Windows Server 2012 : Implementing Group Policy preferences (part 3) - Understanding preferences - Item-level targeting, Configuring a preference item

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Item-level targeting

The default scope of a preference item is the users or computers targeted by the GPO in which the preference item has been configured. You can modify this default scope by using item-level targeting, which you can use to create one or more targeting items for a preference item. These targeting items can be used to determine whether or not the preference item should be applied based on various conditions—for example:

  • Whether or not a battery is present in the targeted computer

  • Whether the name of the targeted computer matches the name specified in the targeting item

  • Whether an environment variable for the targeted user or computer has the value specified

The full list of different categories of targeting items is as follows:

  • Battery Present

  • Computer Name

  • CPU Speed

  • Date Match

  • Disk Space

  • Domain

  • Environment Variable

  • File Match

  • IP Address Range

  • Language

  • LDAP Query

  • MAC Address Range

  • MSI Query

  • Network Connection

  • Operating System

  • Organizational Unit

  • PCMCIA Present

  • Portable Computer

  • Processing Mode

  • RAM

  • Registry Match

  • Security Group

  • Site

  • Terminal Session

  • Time Range

  • User

  • WMI Query

Configuring a preference item

As an example of configuring a preference item, you will create an item that will map a network drive for a user targeted by a GPO. To do this, follow this procedure:

  1. Open the GPO in the Group Policy Management Editor, and expand the Windows Settings for the Preferences node under User Configuration to display the Drive Maps preference extension. 

  2. Right-click on the Drive Maps preference extension and select New, and then select Mapped Drive. This opens the New Drive Properties with the focus on the General tab, which you will configure as follows:

    • Action Replace.

    • Location UNC path to a network share.

    • Reconnect This option is selected to save the mapped drive in the user’s profile and attempt to restore a connection to it at each subsequent logon.

    • Label As A descriptive label for the new mapped drive.

    • Drive Letter Select an available drive letter for the new mapped drive, or use the first available drive, starting at the drive letter specified.

    • Connect As This option can be used to map the drive using different credentials from those of the currently logged-on user.

    • Hide/Show This Drive This option can be used to configure the visibility of the mapped drive on the client.

    • Hide/Show All Drives This option can be used to configure the visibility of all mapped drives on the client.

    image with no caption
  3. Switch to the Common tab and select Remove This Item When It Is No Longer Applied so that the mapped drive will be deleted if the targeted user goes out of scope from the GPO.

After you complete the preceding steps, the new preference item is displayed in the details pane of the Group Policy Management Editor when the Drive Maps extension is selected in the context pane. (See Figure 4.)

A new Drive Maps preference item has been created.
Figure 4. A new Drive Maps preference item has been created.

As a continuation of the preceding example, let’s now use item-level targeting to configure the new Drive Maps item so that it applies only to members of the Sales security group who are targeted by the GPO:

  1. With the Drive Maps preference extension selected in the console tree of the Group Policy Management Editor, right-click on the new Drive Map item (S drive) and select Properties.

  2. Switch to the Common tab, and select the Item-Level Targeting option on this tab.

  3. Click the Targeting button to open the Targeting Editor.

  4. Click the New Item menu option, and select Security Group as the item-level target:

    image with no caption
  5. In the Group field on the Targeting Editor, select the Sales security group as shown here:

    image with no caption
  6. Click OK to finish configuring item-level targeting for the preference item. As Figure 5 shows, the information on the Processing tab will be updated to indicate that the preference item is being filtered using item-level targeting.

A preference item that is being filtered using item-level targeting.
Figure 5. A preference item that is being filtered using item-level targeting.
  •  Windows Server 2012 : Managing Group Policy using Windows PowerShell - Creating and linking GPOs
  •  Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2008 R2 : Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 (part 2) - Installing Windows Server 2008 R2—Server Core
  •  Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2008 R2 : Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 (part 1)
  •  Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2008 R2 : Preparing to install Windows Server 2008 R2
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