Submitted by Dan Wilson
Update by Michael
SpecOps Gpupdate 2.0 is only available for a few days. I had a quick look at this nifty tool today. I have to agree with Dan – it is indeed a handy tool. Gpupdate can be launched in Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) by right-clicking on a single computer or organizational unit. In the latter case, the operation will be applied to all computers in this container.
Most interesting is the feature that allows you to update Group Policy on selected clients. You probably know that the default Group Policy refresh interval is 90 minutes for client computers. This can be a long wait if you want a setting to take effect immediately. You can change this interval via Group Policy, but it might have a negative effect on the performance of your domain controllers. Another option is to use gpupdate.exe (Windows XP, Windows Vista) or secedit.exe (Windows 2000) on the command prompt or in a script whenever you want to update Group Policy instantly.
However, the preceding approach is quite cumbersome. With Specops Gpupdate, it costs you only a couple of mouse clicks to update all machines in an Active Directory container. Furthermore, you can restart, shutdown, and start computers via Wake-On-LAN (WOL). Version 2.0 supports the import of a text file with which you can specify the MAC and the IP-addresses. This allows you to work with WOL in non-DHCP environments.
Also new is the feature that enables you to request the WSUS (Windows Software Update Services) on target computers to look for new updates. WSUS is a nice patch management solution, but I always missed having a way to tell it to update all clients NOW. Wait for the next computer worm –then you will like this feature.
Specops Gpupdate requires the .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 and Powershell on the computer that has ADUC installed.
There also is a commercial edition, which is called Specops Remote Admin. It is included in the download, but you will need a valid license key to use it. If you want to try Specops Remote Admin, you also have to download the license file. The link below has more information about the additional features.