Group Policy Improvement, Part II: Destrangulation

article #1203, updated 1489 days ago

Second in a series on improving Windows Group Policy.

One very common Group Policy strangulator shows up in Windows event logs as SceCli, event ID 1202. When Group Policy processing encounters this, it can prevent many things from occurring.

The error, specifically, is a nonexistent user or group present in a GP configuration item. For instance, most recently there was a Group Policy including a security item which included “Domain Uers”, a typo of “Domain Users”, deep in computer-level security items, and this prevented the policy from doing anything, even though there were other, equivalent, items in the same area. I’ll repeat, the typo item had to be removed, before the entire policy would do anything; group policy processing is apparently not able to treat a nonexistent referent as irrelevant.

Finding the item is interesting too. It requires a file of this name and location:

%SYSTEMROOT%\Security\Logs\winlogon.log

It may not exist. If not, or if it’s not up to date, browse to this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\GPExtensions\{827D319E-6EAC-11D2-A4EA-00C04F79F83A}

and set DWORD ExtensionDebugLevel to 2. Then run gpupdate, and the file will be created. Then in administrative CMD, run:

FIND /I "Cannot find"  %SYSTEMROOT%\Security\Logs\winlogon.log

The above will produce one or more invalid security group names or login names, included somewhere as a configuration item within a group policy. Once you have the name(s), run:

rsop.msc

and examine all of its tree carefully, to find the error. That will lead you to the spot in GPMC where you will find the bad entry, to fix. Once you have fixed, try your gpupdate again, and your policy will apply, unless something else is wrong!

Part III, Copying Files, is here.

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