For more information, see To refresh Group Policy immediately Some policy items, such as computer-assigned software, require a reboot to take effect, however. You can set a registry key that causes Group Policy diagnostic logging to be written to a file named on the client computer.
User-assigned software requires the user to log on and log off. See the section "Monitoring Group Policy with Log Files" in Troubleshooting Group Policy at the Microsoft Web site.
For example, Software Installation relies on Group Policy, and Group Policy relies on Active Directory Active Directory relies on proper configuration of network services.
When trying to fix problems that appear in one component, it is generally helpful to check whether components, services, and resources on which the component relies are working correctly. Tools that you can use to see what policy is in effect include Resultant Set of Policy and gpresult You can also get a report on policy from Help and Support Center by following these steps: The report includes User name and domain; Computer name and domain; When User Settings and Computer Settings were last applied; Folder redirection details; Logon, logoff, startup and shutdown scripts; Installed software; and Administrative Templates.
One of the most exciting things Windows Sever 2008 has to offer are its new Group Policy preference features.
These features such as mapping drives or installing printers will work just fine on Windows Vista devices, but your Windows XP workstations and Windows 2003 Servers will need one more thing before you can expect to leverage Group Policy for their administration.
An important part of troubleshooting Group Policy problems is to consider dependencies between components.For client computers configured with an Active Directory-based GPO, it will take about 20 minutes after Group Policy refreshes (that is, applies any new settings to the client computer).By default, Group Policy refreshes in the background every 90 minutes, with a random offset of 0–30 minutes.The reason for the issue is that the “Preference” settings now configurable in Group Policy require the installation of Group Policy Client Side Extensions (CSE) on Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server machines.Once these are installed, the GP preferences will apply as they should.