A blog with focus on Windows 10 and cloud <solutions
RSS icon Email icon Home icon

  • Busting the myths: Windows 7 require Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 domain controllers and raised functional levels

    Posted on May 26th, 2011 By Andreas Stenhall + 1 comment

    It seems a fairly common misconception is that to be able to use Windows 7 in a Windows or should I say Active Directory environment one need to have either Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers. There are also misconceptions about the need to raise the forest and domain functional levels to be able to use the full power of Windows 7. Neither of these are true.

    You can get all the same features if you are using Windows Server 2003 domain controllers and that is also regardless of which forest or domain functional levels you are running with. The most common misconceptions are:

    • Group Policy Preferences. Work very well in a 2003 domain. However you need to manage the group policies from a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 machine using Group Policy Management Console found in the Remote Server Administration Tools.
    • BitLocker. To store recovery keys in AD you need to extend the schema. If you have a domain controller that is running Windows Server 2008 or later you have what it takes, if you are running Windows Server 2003 on your domain controllers you simply extend the schema.

    I must add that you get stronger encryption for Kerberos by using Windows Server 2008 domain functional level though but the bottom line is that the functionality of the Windows 7 client is the same regardless of forest or domain functional levels.

  • Killing the myths: Group Policy Preferences for everyone!

    Posted on September 20th, 2010 By Andreas Stenhall + No comments

    There is a very common misconception out there that Group Policy Preferences can only be created, managed and applied to your Windows machines if you are running your domain controllers with Windows Server 2008 or later. This is so NOT true.

    What you have to do if you are stuck on domain controllers running Windows Server 2003 is to install the Remote Server Administration Tools on a Windows 7 (or Vista) client machine, add the feature Group Policy Management and then create a GPO in the domain and edit it, configuring the Group Policy Preferences of your choice. Voilà!

    I do not know where this myth is coming from actually but the fact that GPO Preferences were introduced in Windows Server 2008 is the major reason I would assume.