6.3 Connecting to, Viewing, or Hiding a Domain or Forest

The first time you start GPA, you must connect to a domain in a forest to manage. By default, GPA connects to the PDC. You can use the GPA Console to connect to a different domain or domain controller. The GPA Console displays the connected domain in square brackets next to each snap‑in name.

When you connect to a forest, GPA shows all the domains in that forest. You can show and hide domains for a particular forest.

To connect to or view a domain or forest:

  1. Log on to a GPA Console computer.

  2. Start the GPA Console in the NetIQ Group Policy Administrator program group.

  3. In the left pane, click GP Explorer, then navigate to the forest that contains the domain you want to connect to or view.

  4. Perform one of the following actions:

    • If you are connecting to a domain, click Action > Add Forest and click OK. The GPA Console connects to the domain and adds a forest node for that domain.

    • If you want to show or hide domains, select the domains you want to show or clear the domains you want to hide, click Action > Show Domains, then click OK.

6.3.1 Changing the Domain Controller

From the GPA console, you can select the Domain Controller (DC) the software uses for GP Explorer operations. When using domains with multiple DCs, you can specify for the console to use only the Primary Domain Controller (PDC), any available DC, or the currently specified DC to perform a GPO operation from the GP Explorer.

To configure a domain controller:

  1. Log on to the GPA Console computer with any domain user account.

    NOTE:If the logon user account does not have Local Admin permissions on the console machine, this domain account must have Full Control permissions on the DcOptions registry key for the console to retain any future DC configuration settings.

  2. Start the GPA Console in the NetIQ Group Policy Administrator program group.

  3. In the left pane, expand GP Explorer, and navigate through the forest to the domain you want the console to use for all GPA operations.

    NOTE:For improved performance, consider selecting a domain controller that is close on the network to the GPA Console. You can also consider choosing a domain controller that you want to initiate replication or that you want to use as a temporary back up if you are taking your preferred domain controller offline for service.

  4. Select the domain.

  5. Click Action > Change Domain Controller.

  6. In the Change Domain Controller window, select the preferred domain option.

    • Choose Primary domain controller (PDC Emulator) for GPA to use this domain controller for operations. When you configure the GPA Console to use a specific PDC, and that DC later becomes unavailable on the network, GPA notifies you that the domain controller is inaccessible and asks you to change the DC.

    • Choose Any available domain controller for GPA to choose an available DC for operations. If you specify that the GPA Console use any available DC, and if the DC in use becomes unavailable on the network, GPA searches for another available DC. If another DC is available, GPA continues to work without notifying you or sending any error messages. If another DC is not available, GPA notifies you that the domain controller is inaccessible.

    • Choose This domain controller for GPA to contact the selected DC for operations. If a you indicate for the console to use a specific domain controller, and the DC becomes unavailable on the network, the GPA Console notifies you that the specified DC is not accessible and asks you to select another available DC.

  7. Click OK.

    When the GPA Console does not detect any available DCs, the software does not allow you to work with that domain at the GP Explorer level.

6.3.2 Connecting to a GPA Server

You must connect to a GPA Server for some activities, such as searching for GPOs. For more information, see Connecting to a GPA Server.