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Seven Things to Check if your Policy Packages Won't Download

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 18 Aug 1999

Having trouble with Policy Packages not downloading? This is a hot issue right now, both in our e-mail, and in the Customer Support area. Here are seven handy troubleshooting suggestions, based on the TID that has been most successful in helping people troubleshoot this problem. We present it here for your convenience. (Note: these TIDS are sometimes updated and revised, so you may want to check the Knowledgebase version of TID 10013297 to get the most current Support information.)

Seven Troubleshooting Strategies

If a User Policy Package is not being downloaded or applied when a user logs in, check the following:

What policies are in effect for this user?

Make sure you look first at the Effective Policies page on the user. This will tell you what policies are active for the user, what policy package the policy came from and where the policy is associated in the tree (user, group or container). A workstation also has an Effective Policies page.

Is it the right kind of Policy Package?

Make sure you have created the appropriate type of Policy Package (for example, if the user is logging in from NT, make sure you have created a WINNT User Policy Package). The Policy Package will only be downloaded if it is of the same type as the operating system.

Have I associated the user to the Policy Package?

Make sure that you have associated the user to the Policy Package. This can be verified by looking at the Details of the Policy Package within NWADMN32.EXE and clicking on the Associations tab. Make sure that the user you are logging in as is listed here, is a member of a group listed, or exists in a container listed. If you are only using the container to associate the user, make sure to look for potential problems with a Container Policy Package. When in doubt, it is a good idea to associate the user directly (as a troubleshooting step, not as an implementation design).

Is there anything to download?

Make sure there is at least one policy to download. For the WINNT User Package the default policies include:

  • Dynamic Local User
  • Help Desk Policy
  • NT Desktop Preferences
  • NT User Printer
  • NT User System Policies
  • Remote Control Policy
  • Workstation Import Policy

For the WIN95 User Package the default policies include:

  • 95 Desktop Preferences
  • 95 User System Policies
  • Help Desk Policy
  • Remote Control Policy
  • Workstation Import Policy

If no policies are enabled, then there will be no noticeable change to the user/workstation environment to detect.

Did I install the Workstation Manager?

Make sure that when you installed the client for Win95/98, the workstation manager component was installed. It is installed by default, so it should automatically be there. To make sure it has been installed you can go into the control panel/network configuration tab and look for the service called Novell Workstation Manager.

Is the active tree a Trusted Tree?

Make sure that the workstation has listed the active tree as a "Trusted Tree." The Workstation Manager component of ZENworks uses the concept of "Trusted Trees" and a 95/NT Workstation will only attempt to search for a ZENworks Policy Package if the tree you are logging into is listed as a Trusted Tree. This feature gives greater administrative flexibility as to what workstations are controlled by ZENworks.

When installing the Novell Client for NT or 95, you will only be prompted for the "Trusted Tree" if you select a Custom Installation. If you select a Typical Installation, it will automatically set the tree you first login to as the "Trusted Tree." The "Trusted Tree" can be viewed on an NT workstation by going to Control Panel/Network/Services/Properties of Novell Workstation Manager. Make sure that the option for "Enable Workstation Manager" is checked and that the "Tree" field has the NDS Tree name spelled correctly.

WARNING: The NDS Tree field does not attempt to validate the tree name to make sure it exists. If the Tree name does not exist, then the Client will never search for Policy Packages and there will not be any type of an error at the Client.

Although the "Trusted Tree" property is not visible through a dialog box when using the Novell Client for Windows 95 version 2.5, you can view the registry key directly. This registry key is the same for Windows NT Client version 4.3. The registry location for the Trusted Tree is:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NOVELL\ Workstation Manager\Identification

Tree:REG_SZ:Tree_Name (in Windows NT)
Tree "Tree_NAME" (in Windows 95)

Is the NDS timestamp newer than the workstation timestamp?

If the policy that is not downloading is an NT Desktop Preferences or NT Computer System Policies ZEN policy, then it may be an issue with the NDS object timestamp. The workstation will keep a copy of these Policy timestamps and will only download these policies again if the NDS timestamp is newer than the workstation timestamp.

Unlike the User Policy Package there is not an "Always update workstation during NDS Authentication" setting available in ZENworks 1.0 or 1.01. This feature was implemented in ZENworks 2.0 as part of the Computer Extensible Policy policy and was not rolled back into future versions because of the extensive code changes to support Computer Extensible Policy policies. The setting is a "Force application of policy" checkbox inside an extensible policy. Here's how to set it:

  1. Click NT Workstation Policy Package
  2. Click Computer Extensible Policies
  3. Choose the User Extensible Policies tab
  4. Double-click on Computer Policies
  5. Choose Force application of policy

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