Windows Tips &amp Tricks UPDATE, November 15, 2004, —brought to you by the Windows IT Pro Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
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FAQs

  • Q. What's Gpotool?
  • Q. What's the Microsoft Partner Pack for Windows XP?
  • Q. Why do I receive an error when I preview a Windows XP 3-D screen saver and use a third-party utility to change the screen resolution?
  • Q. Why doesn't my Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 site correctly assign some SMS legacy clients?
  • Q. I'm creating a PC image that will contain the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 Advanced Client. How can I ensure that SMS site assignment occurs dynamically when the imaged machine starts?

Commentary
by John Savill, FAQ Editor, jsavill@windowsitpro.com

This week, I tell you what Gpotool and the Microsoft Partner Pack for Windows XP are and explain why an error occurs when you preview a Windows XP 3-D screen saver and change the screen resolution via a third-party utility. I also explain why a Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 site doesn't correctly assign some SMS legacy clients and how you can ensure that site assignment is dynamically set when an imaged PC that contains the SMS 2003 Advanced Client starts.

I'll be presenting a Microsoft Webcast on November 16, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST. The Webcast, "Maximizing Your Windows IT Investment-Level 100," will focus on the benefits of upgrading from Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server 2003 and provide insight into some of the most overlooked features of Windows 2003. For more information and to register, go to http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/webcasteventdetails.aspx?eventid=1032262434&culture=en-us.

~~~~ Correction ~~~~

In the November 8, 2004, Windows Tips & Tricks Update, the FAQ "How can I install the new Energy Blue display theme that's available for Windows XP Media Center Edition (XP MCE) 2005 and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 on a standard Windows XP machine?" omitted some information. The corrected text is as follows:

"1. Open the downloaded windowsxp-tabletpc-energybluetheme-x86-enu.exe file in WinZip (or another program that can extract files from a packaged executable) and extract its content to a local folder--for example, C:\temp\bliss."


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FAQs

Q. What's Gpotool?

A. Gpotool (gpotool.exe) is an advanced Group Policy troubleshooting tool that's included in the Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server resource kits. You can find information about the Windows 2003 version of Gpotool in the resource kit and at http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windowsserv/2003/all/techref/en-us/default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/windowsserv/2003/all/techref/en-us/gpotool.asp. You can download the Win2K Server version of Gpotool at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/reskit/tools/existing/gpotool-o.asp.

Gpotool performs the following tasks:

  • checks the consistency of Group Policy Objects (GPOs) between the Sysvol- and Active Directory (AD)-based portions of GPOs
  • checks GPO replication
  • searches GPOs
  • targets specific domain controllers (DCs) to allow testing of specific DC Group Policy status
  • displays GPO information
  • checks cross-domain GPOs

Q. What's the Microsoft Partner Pack for Windows XP?

A. The Microsoft Partner Pack for Windows XP is a free package of products for the XP platform that are supplied by Microsoft partners. You can download the full Partner Pack or individual applications in it at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/partnerpack/default.aspx?prereq=true. The applications in the pack are

  • Google Deskbar, a desktop search bar
  • Desktop Media Gallery, which provides a collection of various templates and images
  • Onfolio Express, an Internet-links-organizer utility
  • Post-it notes for the desktop
  • PayPal Payment Wizard
  • Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager
  • PhotoSite photograph management and sharing software, which lets you create a Web site for digital photos
  • Microsoft Time Zone, a utility that lets you quickly determine the time in other areas of the world
  • Computer Associates' eTrust EZ Antivirus 2005, a free antivirus solution
  • two games: Super Slyder and Serpentine

Q. Why do I receive an error when I preview a Windows XP 3-D screen saver and use a third-party utility to change the screen resolution?

A. Many graphics-card drivers supply utilities that let you modify the screen resolution without using the Control Panel Display applet. If you're previewing an XP 3-D screen saver and use a third-party screen-resolution-modification utility to change the screen resolution, you'll receive an error similar to this:

There was an unspecified problem with this screen saver.
Direct 3D Screen Saver has encountered a problem and needs to close.

This error occurs because XP 3-D screen savers don't support changing the display configuration while they're running. To avoid the error, stop previewing the screen saver (by closing the Display dialog box) before you change the screen resolution.

Q. Why doesn't my Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 site correctly assign some SMS legacy clients?

A. SMS 2003 has its own site concept and, unlike SMS 2.0 (which uses IP and IPX for site boundaries), uses IP and Active Directory (AD) site definitions. If your SMS sites are defined by using AD sites and your legacy clients aren't AD-aware, SMS 2003 won't assign those systems to a site because they don't recognize AD sites. To work around this problem, you'll have to define your SMS sites in terms of IP subnets instead of AD sites. Doing so should let SMS correctly assign legacy clients to sites.

Q. I'm creating a PC image that will contain the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 Advanced Client. How can I ensure that SMS site assignment occurs dynamically when the imaged machine starts?

A. The best way to accomplish this is to install the client without configuring site assignment--that is, you should make sure that the SMSSITECODE=auto switch is set. Before the PC is imaged, run the CCMDelCert command on the system that's being imaged to remove machine-specific SMS information. Doing so ensures that every new image generates a brand-new client certificate the first time the imaged system is started.

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