Saturday, March 14, 2009

Configuring Power Management through Group Policy

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It is a daunting task to configure power management through group policy, even though there are options for power management in individual clients, it had been difficult to configure power management through GPO for the entire Active Directory network. At these contexts, a free tool will help you to configure Power Management, which makes some modification in GPO template, registry and the AD schema as well. You can add a new GPO template for power management, and through that template you can configure power management for all the clients in the Active Directory domain, and there is a client agent to be installed to individual PCs, this particular task you can achieve through software deployment option in GPO.

This article, which also contains a ‘How to do’ video, will help you to deploy EZ Power management Tool in GPO.

Microsoft Vista will have new centralized group policies for managing power save mode that can save companies a lot of money in their electric bill. Windows XP users have some ability to do this too with command line tools in Group Policy but it isn't easy to use. But now there is a free tool called EZ GPO that can make centralized management of Windows XP power consumption easy.

What is EZ Power Management tool?

For the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR program, Terra Novum developed the EZ GPO tool to centrally manage power management settings on Windows client workstations using Group Policy Objects under Active Directory using Group Policy as well as using eDirectory/NDS using Zenworks. The tool is released under a BSD style open source license and has no per seat licensing charge.

You can download the tool from here:

Deploying EZ GPO Power Management

See this video, which shows how to deploy EZ GPO template and EZ client application. And then read the description below for more understanding:

ADM Template

Install the ADM GPO template located at "server GPO/EZ_GPO.adm" by opening the "Active Directory Users and Computers" MMC located in Administrative tools. Right click on the domain you want to manage and click properties. Click the "Group Policy" tab and highlight the "Default Domain Policy". Click edit and a new MMC will come up with two sub headings of "Computer" and "User". Expand the "User" hive and then under that expand the "Administrative Templates" hive. Right click on that hive and click "Add/Remove Templates". Click Add and navigate to where you unzipped/installed the EZ_GPO tool. The ADM file in under the "server GPO" directory. Highlight the file and click open. This will load the ADM template under the "Administrative Templates" hive under the name "EZ GPO by the Environmental Protection Agency". You will have three group policies to work with. NB: On Windows Server 2003, the default behavior has changed and the snap in will no longer copy the ADM file to the %SystemRoot%System32\Inf directory when you import it so you will have to copy it there yourself before loading the template into the snap in although this is not required. You may have an alternate location for your imported ADM files.

Binary Executable

Installing the binary (client installer/EZ GPO Installer.msi) is straight forward and leaves a great deal of latitude for the administrator. The easiest option it to install it using a machine based (NB: not a user based) software installation policy. This also will allow you to cleanly manage upgrades through time easily. Please note that if using AD's Software Installation, that for Windows XP clients, the client machines will require a few restarts before the software is fully installed. This is due to Fast Logon Optimization and Asynchronous policy refresh. For more info on that please see;en-us;305293&Product=winxp and

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