Apply Server 2008 Group Policy to Windows XP Devices

by Chris Sanders [Published on 24 Nov. 2009 / Last Updated on 24 Nov. 2009]

Windows Server 2008 Group Policy provides several new features that ease network administration. In order to apply these new settings to your Windows XP devices a couple of extra steps will need to be taken.

One of the most exciting things Windows Sever 2008 has to offer are its new Group Policy preference features. These features such as mapping drives or installing printers will work just fine on Windows Vista devices, but your Windows XP workstations and Windows 2003 Servers will need one more thing before you can expect to leverage Group Policy for their administration.

The reason for the issue is that the “Preference” settings now configurable in Group Policy require the installation of Group Policy Client Side Extensions (CSE) on Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server machines. Once these are installed, the GP preferences will apply as they should. Alternatively, these updates can be pushed to clients by WSUS. You can download the Group Policy CSE here: Windows XP 32-Bit: Windows XP 64-Bit: Windows Server 2003 32-Bit:

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The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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