I've wanted to accomplish exactly the same thing in several organizations I've worked with, and, unfortunately, there isn't a good solution. You're left with several options, each of which isn't wholly satisfying:
- Add all users to the administrators group on every machine in your domain. This obviously raises security concerns as every user now has admin control over every computer.
- Create separate policies for each user in the organization. This is not a scalable solution!
- Use a middle-ground solution that divides computers into Active Directory Organizational Units (OUs) and assigns rights based upon OU membership. You'll still have the same security concerns as the first option, but it's a little more workable, as an individual's admin rights are limited to systems in the OU.
Let's all hope that Microsoft does something to address this in a future version of Group Policy!
For more information:
- Do the Group Policy Object and 'Password Never Expires' flag interact? Read more.
- Learn about the pros and cons of using stand-alone authentication that is not Active Directory-based.
This was first published in July 2009