How to Upgrade Administrative Template Files

In order to manage Windows XP clients, administrators need a computer running Windows XP, which comes with updated Administrative Template files (.adm), as well as a computer running Windows 2000 Server. The .adm files are the files that provide policy information for items that are under the Administrative Templates folder in the console tree of the Group Policy snap-in, as shown in Figure 1 below.

Windows XP contains the following updated administrative template files:

  • System.adm. Used for core settings.

  • Wmplayer.adm. Used for Windows Media settings.

  • Conf.adm. Used for NetMeetingĀ® conferencing software.

  • Inetres.adm. Used for Internet Explorer.

    Viewing Administrative Template policies in Windows XP

Upgrading to the Latest Administrative Template Files

If you have .adm files that are newer than those in a given Group Policy Object (GPO), your computer will automatically update the GPO with the newer .adm files. In order to make this happen, you need to have the latest .adm files in your INF directory on your Windows 2000 Server-based computer.

To upgrade .adm files:

  1. Locate the desired .adm files on a Windows XP machine. (These are located in the Windows/INF directory.)

  2. Copy system.adm and any other .adm files to a file share.

  3. Go to the Windows 2000 Server-based computer and open a GPO in the Group Policy snap-in.

  4. Right click Administrative templates and select Add/Remove Templates as shown in Figure 2 below.

    Add/Remove Templates

  5. When the Add/Remove Templates dialog box appears, remove the Windows 2000-based .adm files and add the Windows XP-based .adm files.

  6. Repeat for each GPO.

Best Practices

  • In a mixed environment, use Windows XP .adm files to administer your GPOs.

  • Try to apply the same policy settings to both Windows XP and Windows 2000 to allow roaming users to have a consistent experience.

  • Test interoperability of the various settings before deployment.

  • Only configure policy settings on client machines using GPOs. Do not try to create these registry values by other methods.