Best Practices

There are some best practices you should use to avoid the need for troubleshooting.

Examine Active Directory and Group Policy    To predict how the Windows 2000 Change and Configuration Management features affect the desktops they manage, you need to examine your organization's Active Directory structure, review how Group Policy works, and understand precedence among the Group Policy objects that are in effect. For more information, see "Group Policy" and "Active Directory Logical Structure" in this book. For information about troubleshooting Active Directory, See "Active Directory Diagnostics, Troubleshooting, and Recovery" in this book.

Check the Configuration of the Network    Before you can use the Change and Configuration Management features, the domain controllers, Distributed Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and Domain Name System (DNS) servers and services must be correctly configured and operating properly. Fix any of these problems first.

Use Test Labs    If you work in a large organization, use test labs to determine the effect of enabling or disabling various change and configuration management features. You are using tools that swiftly affect their entire scope — which might be your entire organization — so you will need to make sure your proposed course of action works as you expect in a test lab.

Change Only One Item at a Time    When you do this, you are assured that the change in behavior is due to a known action on your part.

Don't Ignore Error Messages    Write error messages down if you suspect they might disappear if the system fails. Pay attention if they change slightly.

Examine Event Logs    Certain Windows components are dependent on other components, and this is reflected in the chronological order of failures recorded in event logs. This is useful information. For specific instructions on how to enable verbose logging of certain events, see "Verbose Logging" later in this chapter.

Roaming User Profiles    Because roaming user profiles keep a copy of the profile local and only resynchronize this profile during logoff, some care must be taken to prevent awkward behavior.

After users have their roaming user profile enabled, they should first log on from their main workstation and then log off to have a correct roaming user profile stored. For daily usage of multiple computers, users should always log on to their main computer first, and then log on to other computers that they use.

When logging off, log off of the computers in reverse order — that is, log off of the computer you logged on to last first and work backward. For example, if the user first logs on to Computer 1 and then logs on to Computer 2, he or she should log off of Computer 2 first, and then log off of Computer 1.