Posted by: Crowe | October 4, 2006

Bulk Group Policy Update Utility – Specops

Specops Logo 

Ok, I was in a real pinch yesterday. We have about 35 remote sites that all play a continuous stream of music with advertisements injected every 15 minutes. Opening time, no audio.

We use a box running Server 2003 and Windows Media Services/ Encoder to redistribute a Muzak stream to PCs (Windows XP) at each location. The PCs go audio-out to an amp/ PA system onsite. Until recently, all sites had their own Muzak equipment onsite, but we terminated our leases on the equipment and decided to license the Muzak service at out HQ site to redistribute it to each location at a reduced price. (We were on XM but could not get them to bill us appropriately/ per store, so we went back to Muzak because they know how to bill us to keep us legal.) The endpoint PCs use GP to run WMP at startup and automatically connect to a stream (Publishing point). Well, the publishing point URL I setup originally had spaces in the name and WMP refused to play it for whatever reason. I modified the name of the publishing point in the GP script, but would have to reboot the PCs for the change to take place and only after a GPUpdate. I didn’t have time to wait for the auto update, so our developer found this free utility. It works great! It’s simple, quick, reports back, and is an AD Snap-in.

Specops Site

Here’s a few Screenshots:

Install:

Install 

Selecting computer for ‘gpupdate /force’ and reboot:

Right-click Menu

Specifying to force the update:

Reporting back a successful update:

Report

I applied the update and rebooted all of the 35 endpoints within 5 minutes and had streaming audio back up and running. This is my new, favorite tool!

Crowe

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