GPO disabling a Windows service

Recently I had a virtual machine that would not obtain an IP from DHCP. I noticed the DHCP client service was disabled in windows services. I would enable it, start it and it would start just fine. I would then reboot the VM. The DHCP client service would be disabled again. I had a feeling there was a GPO that was disabling that service. I wanted to check this without going through the domain policy, the local policy and any other group policies that could be causing this. I used a tool in windows called Group Policy Results Tool. You can use this tool to find out how Group Policy settings are affecting both the the computer and the logged-on user.

To track down the GPO setting faster this is what I did:

  • Open a command prompt on the client machine
  • Type: cd\ (to go to the root of C:)
  • Type: gpresult /v >gposettings.txt (This gave me a verbose report of all group polocies applied on the client machine)
  • Go to the C: drive and open gposettings.txt in notepad
  • I did a search for DHCP in this text file

This brought me to any GPO settings that had anything to do with DHCP. This helped me identify which group policy was pushing down the setting that was disabling the DHCP client service. It was in the Default Domain Policy. This is the path to system services:  Computer configuration\Windows settings\Security settings\System services

If you have a similar issue you can use the above method and Group Policy Results Tool to track down the cause of it.

More information on using the Group Policy Results Tool:

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