Central Store for ADMX Templates

This week, I am having the opportunity to attend a class specifically on Group Policy (taught by Jeremy Moskowitz).  The class has been excellent and has helped me to learn some great Group Policy troubleshooting tips. 

In going through some of the labs, one of the things I noticed is that some of the options that we had listed in our Administrative Templates were not available to me in my production environment.  This told me it was time to update our ADMX Central Store.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the ADMX Central Store, let me provide you a few details.  Prior to Vista/2008, whenever you edited a group policy, it would upload the ADM templates (that store information used by the Administrative Templates section of Group Policy Editor) to the SYSVOL so that you would have them available in the future if you needed to edit that particular GPO.  It uploaded these templates from your local computer and it takes about 4 MB for each set of these ADM templates in the SYSVOL.  Multiply that by 40 or 50 GPO (Group Policy Objects) and it is taking up some substantial space (not to mention the replication traffic it adds whenever you bring on a new DC.

Enter the Central Store and the new ADMX templates.  First, let me tell you a little about ADMX templates.  These are new versions of the ADM templates in XML format.  It separates out the language into separate ADML files so that if you are editing GPOs in multiple languages, it is bring it up in your locale language.  Now, by simply creating a folder called PolicyDefinition at C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\{Domain Name}\Policies\ , and copying all the ADMX templates from C:\Windows\PolicyDefinition (on a 2008 or 2008 R2 server) to the central store, you now can manage the templates that are available to everyone!  (To verify that you are getting your templates from the Central Store – must be using Group Policy Management Console on Vista/2008/7/2008 R2 – click on Administrative Templates when editing a GPO and look for this:


This brings me to one of the things I need to remember to do.  I created our Central Store a number of years ago, but didn’t remember to update our ADMX templates in our Central Store.  Today, I copied the latest ADMX templates from a Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 machine to our Central Store to make sure that I am getting all the latest goodies. Some of our ADMX templates were from 2006, so I didn’t have the latest options available to me, including some Group Policy Preference goodies. (You can also add other template files to your store such as ones for Office 2010.)

Hope this helps you and happy GPO editing!


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929841 – Creating Central Store

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc709647(WS.10).aspx – Managing ADMX Templates

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=0F1EEC3D-10C4-4B5F-9625-97C2F731090C&displaylang=en – ADM to ADMX migrator