how to create a custom Administrative Template

Ok, I've been setting up registry keys for alot of custom applications and other things, and ofcourse, creating scripts to push them out. I just recently realized there is a more nice way of pushing this settings out and having some good wording and order of them, and that is, through Administrative templates in Group Policy. For a general overlook on how to do it, here is an example obtained from the Microsoft website, and some other good references I've found in the way. Remember, if it is not in the policies key folders for microsoft, it treats them as NT4 templates… in other words, you will have to tweak your Group Policy viewer in the filters section in order for them to be diplayed. Have fun!!

Example

loadTOCNode(2, 'summary'); The following example describes how to create a custom
Administrative Template:

1. Start Notepad.
2. Type the following code:

CLASS USER ;This modifies the HKEY_CURRENT_USER portion of the registry
; the following command creates a node called Desktop Settings
; under User Configuration.
CATEGORY !!categoryname

; the following command specifies the registry key to modify
KEYNAME "SOFTWAREPoliciesSystem"

; the following command specifies the name of the policy
; by using the variable "policyname"
POLICY !!policyname

; the following command specifies text on the Explain tab
EXPLAIN !!explaintext

; the following command creates a PART that contains a list box
PART !!labeltext DROPDOWNLIST REQUIRED

; the following statement specifies the registry value to modify
VALUENAME "NoDriveTypeAutoRun"

; the following statement populates the drop down list
ITEMLIST
NAME !!no_cd VALUE NUMERIC 181 DEFAULT
NAME !!no_drives VALUE NUMERIC 255
END ITEMLIST
END PART
END POLICY
END CATEGORY

; the following strings section assigns character strings
; to the variable names specified in the previous section
[strings]
categoryname="Desktop Settings"
policyname="Disable the autoplay feature"
explaintext="This policy disables the autoplay feature on the selected drive(s)"
labeltext="Disable autoplay on"
no_cd="CD-ROM drives"
no_drives="All drives"
3. On the File menu, click Save
As
.
4. In the Save as type box, click All
Files
.
5. Type
windows_folderinfexample.adm in the
File name box, and then click
Save.
6. Quit Notepad.
7. Click Start, point to
Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and
then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
8. Right-click the domain, and then click
Properties.
9. Click the Group Policy tab, click
New, type test policy in the
New Group Policy Object box, and then press ENTER.
10. Click Edit, right-click
Administrative Templates under User
Configuration
, and then click Add/Remove
Templates
.
11. Click Add, click
Example.adm, and then click Open.
12. After "Example" appears in the Current Policy
Templates
list, click Close.
13. Under User Configuration, expand
Administrative Templates, and then click the new
Desktop Settings node.
14. In the right pane, double-click the Disable the
autoplay feature
policy.

Note: If your new policy setting does not appear in the right pane as
you expect, right-click the new Desktop Settings node, point
to View, and then click to clear the check mark that is beside
the Show Policies Only menu item.

15. Click Enabled, and then make sure that the
policy setting contains the features that you specified in the sample
code.

reference obtained from: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q323639

Other good sites to visit:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/technologies/management/gp/admtgp.mspx
http://www.windowsdevcenter.com/pub/a/windows/2005/03/08/working_admin_templates.html
http://msgoodies.blogspot.com/

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