Installation and Administration

The content below is intended for administrators who are responsible for installing, and configuring Specops Gpupdate.

Requirements

The computer where Specops Gpupdate will be installed should meet the following requirements:

  • Windows Server 2008 or later
  • .NET Framework 2.0 or later

Note: In order to install .NET Framework 3.5, you will need to run the following administrator level command prompt: dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /all /Source:D:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess

  • Enterprise administrator rights in the root domain to add the ADUC display specifiers during installation.
  • Domain or Enterprise administrator rights to add license information during installation.
Installing Specops Gpupdate

During installation, Specops Gpupdate will launch the Setup Assistant. The Setup Assistant contains installation information for Specops Gpupdate and Specops Gpupdate Professional. You will only need to complete the installation steps for the product you plan on installing.

  1. Download the Setup Assistant.
  2. Save and Run the Setup Assistant locally to a machine where you administer Group Policy.

Note: By default the file is extracted to C:\temp\SpecopsGpUpdate_Setup_[VersionNumber]

  1. Double click SetupAssistant.exe to launch the Setup Assistant.
  2. If you want to install Specops Gpupdate Professional, click Update License

Update License (Gpupdate Professional only)

If you are installing Specops Gpupdate Professional, you will need to import your license in the Setup Assistant.

  1. Click Update License.
  2. Browse to the location of the TXT file, and click Open.

Installing Specops Gpupdate

  1. Click Start Installation in the Specops Setup Assistant dialog box.
  2. Verify that you have fulfilled the prerequisites. If you do not meet the pre-requisites you may need to do the following:
  3. Install PowerShell
  4. Install ADUC Menu Extensions
  5. Click Install.
Executing a command

You can access Specops Gpupdate from Microsoft Active Directory Users and Computer (ADUC) or you can execute the cmdlet’s directly in PowerShell.

Execute a command using ADUC

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Select a computer by right clicking on one or more domains, Security Groups or Computer objects.
  3. Select Gpupdate in the context menu.
  4. From the Execute Command tab, select a command.
  5. Configure command parameters, and click Execute.

Commands

Available commands

CommandDescription
GpupdateRefreshes local and Active Directory-based Group Policy settings, including security settings.
Read Remote Registry*Gets a registry value for a remote computer.
Run Executable*Runs any executable from the administrator’s computer with the remote computer as a parameter.
Send Message*Sends a message to a computer.
Start ComputerStarts a computer by broadcasting a Wake on LAN message on the network.
Note: The computer to be started must be configured to be able to receive WOL packages. To start a computer with WOL the computer’s IP Address, Mac address, and Subnet mask must be known. By default, these values are retrieved from DHCP servers.
Start Explorer*Starts Windows Explorer to browse the files of the remote computers.
Start Remote Desktop*Starts a Remote Desktop Session against a remote computer.
Ping*Sends a ping command to a remote computer with a specified timeout value.
Restart ComputerInitiates a shutdown and a restart of a computer.
Run Executable Remotely*Use this cmdlet to execute any command line locally on a remote computer.
Shutdown ComputerInitiates a shutdown of a computer.
Start Event Viewer*Displays the Event Viewer console on the local machine connected to a specific remote computer.
Start Remote Assistance*Offers Remote Assistance to a user currently logged on to a remote computer. This will result in a dialog appearing on the user’s desktop with information that an administrator is offering remote assistance.
Windows UpdateRequests the Windows Software Update Services on the target computer to look for updates.

*Gpupdate Professional only

Execute a command using PowerShell

Specops Gpupdate is built on PowerShell and all commands can be executed through PowerShell cmdlets. You will need Gpupdate Professional to run the below cmdlets.

  1. Open Windows PowerShell.
  2. Run the following:

Add-PSSnapin Specops.Adx
Add-PSSnapin Specops.Gpupdate
Add-PSSnapin Specops.GpupdatePro

  1. Run the desired cmdlet.
NameModule
Update-SpecopsGroupPolicySpecops Gpupdate
Stop-SpecopsComputerSpecops Gpupdate
Start-SpecopsComputerSpecops Gpupdate
Get-SpecopsRemoteRegistrySpecops Gpupdate Pro
Send-SpecopsMessageSpecops Gpupdate Pro
Invoke-SpecopsCommandSpecops Gpupdate Pro
Invoke-SpecopsRemoteCommandSpecops Gpupdate Pro
Ping-SpecopsComputerSpecops Gpupdate Pro
Start-SpecopsEventViewerSpecops Gpupdate Pro
Start-SpecopsExplorerSpecops Gpupdate Pro
Start-SpecopsRemoteAssistanceSpecops Gpupdate Pro
Start-SpecopsRemoteDesktopSpecops Gpupdate Pro
Get-SpecopsADComputerSpecops Adx
Update-SpecopsWsusSpecops Gpupdate
Restart-SpecopsComputerSpecops Gpupdate

 

Command pinning

Pinned commands are shortcuts to your most used commands. The commands are available in the context menu in the Active Directory Users and Computers Console. A pinned command is not only a shortcut to the command itself, but also the parameters of the command. A pinned command can be saved for the current user or for all users who run Specops Remote Admin on the same computer.

Note: Specops Gpupdate (free version) contains pre-pinned commands installed by default.

Pin a command

There are two ways to pin a command.

Pin a command from the Pinned Commands tab

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Select a computer by right clicking on one or more domains, Security Groups or Computer objects.
  3. Select Gpupdate in the context menu.
  4. From the Pinned Commands tab, click New Pinned Command.
  5. Enter the display name of the pinned command that will appear in the context menu in the Active Directory Users and Computers Console.
  6. From the Based on command drop down list, select a command.
  7. Specify if the pinned command should be stored for the current user or for all users.
  8. Configure the pinned command parameters, and click Save.

Pin a command from the Command Action menu from the command parameter page

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Select a computer by right clicking on one or more domains, Security Groups or Computer objects.
  3. Select Gpupdate in the context menu.
  4. From the Execute Command tab, select a command.
  5. Configure command parameters.
  6. From the Command Actions menu, select Pin Command.
  7. Enter a display name for the pinned command, and click OK.

Edit pinned commands

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Select a computer by right clicking on one or more domains, Security Groups or Computer objects.
  3. Select Gpupdate in the context menu.
  4. From the Pinned Commands tab, select the command you want to edit by clicking its name.
  5. Modify the settings, and click Save.

Delete pinned commands

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Select a computer by right clicking on one or more domains, Security Groups or Computer objects.
  3. Select Gpupdate in the context menu.
  4. From the Pinned Commands tab, locate the command, and click Delete.
Scheduling (Gpupdate Professional only)

All commands in Specops Gpupdate Professional can be scheduled to execute regularly. A scheduled command in Specops Gpupdate Professional is a PowerShell script saved to a file. The script will be executed from within PowerShell. You can also specify a log file for the command. The PowerShell script will then save the output from the command execution to that log file.

The scheduling feature of Specops Gpupdate Professional utilizes the built in Windows Task Scheduler.

Add a scheduled command

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Select a computer by right clicking on one or more domains, Security Groups or Computer objects.
  3. Select Gpupdate in the context menu.
  4. From the Execute Command tab, select a command.
  5. Configure command parameters.
  6. From the Command Actions menu, click Schedule Command.
  7. In the Path to script field, click Browse to identify the path to the PowerShell script file that will be created.
  8. In the Path to log file field, click Browse to identify the path to the log file that will be generated when the script is executed from the Task Scheduler.
  9. Click OK.
  10. From the Task tab in task scheduler dialog box, specify the user account that will be used to run the command in the Run as text field.

Note: You should use an account that has access to the path where you specify the script to be saved. If you specify a log file, the account you select for the scheduled job must have write access to this file.

  1. Click Apply.
  2. From the Schedule tab, specify the schedule for the command, and click Apply.
  3. Configure any additional settings, and click OK.

Edit a scheduled command

You can edit a scheduled command from the Windows Task Scheduler console.

  1. Open the Windows Scheduler console.
  2. Double-click the scheduled command from the task list.
  3. In the task scheduler dialog box, make the necessary changes, and click OK.

Delete a scheduled command

You can delete a scheduled command from the Windows Task Scheduler console.

  1. Open the Windows Scheduler console.
  2. Right-click the scheduled command from the task list, and select Delete.
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