Microsoft

Tech Tip: Create system policy files

The System Policy Editor allows you to directly manipulate the registries of remote Windows 9x computers. But the System Policy Editor can also create policy files (.pol), which you can use to provide a central configuration file for your networked Windows 98 computers.

To create a system policy file using the System Policy Editor, Poledit.exe, you should always read the documentation that comes in the form of Help files with the program before you begin. Creating policies with the System Policy Editor can easily become a complex and potentially hazardous task.

Remember that each check box in the System Policy Editor has three states.

  • Selected: Makes the option active.
  • Deselected: Cancels the option if it is active.
  • Gray: Leaves the option as it is currently set in the registry.

With this in mind, it's possible to build up an "anti" policy—to undo your changes for a particular computer or user, which can sometimes be useful if you've been overzealous with your restrictions.

User-level access plays a significant role in the process of creating system policies using the System Policy Editor. For system policies to work, especially with user profiles, you must activate user-level access.

You also need to turn on User Profiles by selecting the User Profiles tab on the Passwords applet of Control Panel. Select this option: Users Can Customize Their Preferences And Desktop Settings. Windows Switches To Your Personal Settings Whenever You Log On.

If you have user-level access turned on and add another user to your policy, the dialog box goes straight to the list of users on the computer you've specified that holds the accounts, so you can select the user to add to the policy. If you have share-level access activated instead, you'll have to type in a username directly, leaving room for error.

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