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Troubleshooting problems that stem from policies can be incredibly frustrating. There are several reasons for that, and the most common one is that it's hard to tell if a specific problem stems from the restrictions imposed by a given policy. Often the only way to find out if this is the case is to make tedious modifications to the policy, which involves a lot of tiresome logging out and back in again.
Programmer Asaf Ganot of Daniel Petri's MCSEworld site has come up with a handy utility that takes a lot of the pain out of debugging such problems. Dubbed KillPol (not to be confused with Kill Bill, the movie), it allows a user to temporarily revoke the restrictions placed by the currently applied policy.
KillPol runs as a GUI application and requires the user to submit the credentials of a user who is a member of the Administrators group. Consequently, you may not want to allow a user to toy with it directly; you can either run it yourself or create a temporary Administrator group account that's revoked the minute the debugging is finished.
The program can revoke policy restrictions and re-apply them -- both without logging off and then back on again, so it is a convenient way to interactively test if something is not working because of a given policy. Note that in order for the program to work, the Secondary Logon service must be running, and it is only present in Windows 2000, XP and 2003. (Secondary Logon is also the service used by the RunAs command.)
Keep in mind that the program itself must be in a location where the user has read and execute permissions when the policy is in force or else it will not work.
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Serdar Yegulalp wrote for Windows Magazine from 1994 through 2001, covering a wide range of technology topics. He now uses his expertise in Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP as publisher of The Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter and writes technology columns for TechTarget.