Hi, this is Jeremy Moskowitz from GPanswers.com and today we are going learn about how to troubleshoot the Group Policy Preferences. This is actually a very advanced topic, so what we are going to do is turn on this thing called Group Policy Preference Tracing. Here is the deal, hopefully you will never have to use Group Policy Preference Tracing, but it is there if you need it. The idea is that if you are having trouble with any of the Group Policy Preferences client-side extensions like shortcuts, files, drive maps, any of the 21 Group Policy Preferences extensions, you can turn on what is called Group Policy Tracing about that extension.

What I have done here is pre canned what I want to show you, just to make sure it all goes perfectly. So, what I have done here is, I have got a performing Group Policy tracing and I have linked it over to where the computers live. Because, again, what is broken? What is broken is a computer and the computer is not able to process the client-side extension. So what I have done here is created a GPO against where those computers live, called Performing GP Tracing and it is linked over to East Sales Desktops.

If I click Edit here, and I have pre created this situation here. So under Admin templates/System/Group Policy you will see that there is a little thing called Logging and tracing underneath that. What I want to do is, let's say I was having a problem with short-cuts. I'm not, but let's say I was having a problem with shortcuts. What I could do is click on the Configure Shortcuts preference logging and tracing options and in doing so I could enable it and turn Tracing On. The idea is that, what it is going to do is, once tracing is on here it is going to write data on either the user or computer side depending on what we are talking about.

Now, in this particular one shortcuts is only available on the user's side. If I turn on user side tracing here and click OK, the very next time the computer connects back it is going to get the signal that 'oh, my gosh! I need to have very important tracing and logging'.' Again, what tracing logging is the in-depth descriptions of everything the preference item thinks that it is doing. If you think it should be doing something and it is not, you can actually read its mind to figure out what it is doing.

Over here on \\computer1, if I run gpupdate. I already have that thing enabled. I have a shortcut preference item over there and maybe that preference item is not working perfectly, it is, but let's say it wasn't. What would I do? Well I would run gpupdate after having turned on the tracing. What happens is that a special log file gets created. Let me show you what that log file looks like. It is a bit of a spaghetti log but you can see here that it has got a date and time stamp, and you can see what it thinks is going on, on a very molecular level here. You know, if there was a link error or some other problem. I do not have a problem right now so everything is succeeding correctly and the status code has returned all zero's which usually means all good.

Long story short, the preference tracing is a very powerful, but hopefully unnecessary thing. I guess what I am trying to say that you should only use it if you only have a real emergency and you feel like there is something that can only be handled by really investigating the Group Policy Preferences log file. I hope that gives you what you need for now and that is it. For more information on Group Policy, Group Policy training and Group Policy preferences come visit me at GPanswers.com. Thanks so much, talk to you soon.