Import using GPMC
Updated: January 21, 2005
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
The Import operation transfers settings into an existing GPO in Active Directory using a backed-up GPO in the file system location as its source. Import operations can be used to transfer settings from one GPO to another GPO within the same domain, to a GPO in another domain in the same forest, or to a GPO in a domain in a different forest. The import operation always places the backed-up settings into an existing GPO. It erases any pre-existing settings in the destination GPO. Import does not require trust between the source domain and destination domain. Therefore it is useful for transferring settings across forests and domains that don't have trust. Importing settings into a GPO does not affect its discretionary access control list (DACL), links on sites domains or organizational units to that GPO, or a link to a WMI filter.
For step-by-step instructions, see Import a Group Policy object using GPMC.
If you have separate test and production forests, with or without trust, it is a good idea to test GPOs in the test forest before importing them into the production forest.
When using import to transfer GPO settings to a GPO in a different domain or different forest, you may want to use a migration table in conjunction with the import operation. A migration table allows you to facilitate the transfer of references to security groups, users, computers, and UNC paths in the source GPO to new values in the destination GPO. For information about migration tables, see Migration tables. For step-by-step instructions on creating a migration table, see Create a migration table.