Fullarmor ADMX Migrator is a free must-have Group Policy tool which allows you to create ADMX templates easily with a graphical user interface (GUI). You can also use it to convert your ADM files into the ADMX format. Under Windows Vista, the XML-based ADMX format replaces the ADM format that you have known from Windows XP/2003. Please, check out my posts about ADMX and ADM for more information.
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I was about to read the documentation of the ADMX format, but with the ADMX Migrator that was not necessary anymore. With this easy-to use tool, you don't have to mess with XML files at all. This really saves a lot of time.
To create a new template, you have to right click on "ADMX Templates". Then, you specify the template name. Next, you have to create a category and within this category you can create a new policy. The configuration of a policy is super easy. Just give it a name, specify the corresponding registry key, the values, the value lists, etc. You can even add your own explanation.
When you're done with the policy configuration, you can save these settings as ADMX and ADML file. The ADML file will contain the explanation of this policy and the ADMX file its definition. Then, you copy the ADMX file to %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions and the ADML file to %systemroot%\PolicyDefinitions\en-US\ on your Vista machine. If you use a different language version, you have to copy the ADML file to the corresponding folder. You can also copy these files to your domain controller, if you want to use this template on other Vista machines in your network. Please, read my post about the Central Store and Windows Server 2003 for more information.
To activate this policy, you have to open the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) on a Vista machine which has to be a member of your Active Directory domain. Launch a command prompt with admin privileges and enter gpmc. Create a new Group Policy Object (GPO) and edit it. In the GPO editor, you should disable all filters (under the menu point "View"). Otherwise your new policy might not show up. Depending on how you configured your policy with the ADMX Migrator, you should be able to see it under Administrative Templates of the Computer Configuration or the User Configuration.
ADMX Migrator also enables you to convert the ADM format to ADMX. You just have to load the ADM template into the ADMX Migrator. Then, you can change your policies and save it as ADMX and ADML file. Unfortunately, you can't use the ADMX Migrator to create ADM files. But maybe it is now time to say goodbye to ADM and embrace ADMX. Although, you have to edit GPOs using ADMX templates on a Vista machine, you can deploy the corresponding policies to Windows 2000/XP/2003 computers. Thus, even if you still have non-Vista machines in your network you can move to ADMX already.