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WMI Filters in Group Policy (especially for Vista machines)

I had to do a Group Policy modeling for new Wireless settings (uses Certificates and PEAP) for Windows XP and Vista based machines. Obviously Vista OS have to have  a different Wireless Group Policy. I decided to use WMI filters  to filter out Vista machines and started digging. The following are the links where I found some information:

HOWTO: Leverage Group Policies with WMI Filters

Applying WMI Filters

Filtering out Windows XP machines is easy. The following WMI query is a easy answer.

Select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where Caption = "Microsoft Windows XP Professional"

Well what about Windows Vista machines. Oh! Only Troubles!!! For Vista machines, the Caption is stored as "Microsoft Windows Vista® Business" for Business edition. Applying the same WMI query as above doesn’t work.

Select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where Caption = "Microsoft Windows Vista® Business"

I would do this. Apply Vista Group Policy to all NON-XP machines. Yeah! that might work. After little reading, that will not work. Because Windows 2000 machines are not checked with WMI filter. I certainly don’t want my Vista policy to be applied in Windows 2000 machine.

Then I decided to go with OS version number, it didn’t quite work out as I expected. OS version number changes if we apply  a new service pack. That’s not a good idea. But somehow I know I can tweak the query to check only the high version number (e.g, 6 for Vista, 6.0.5724 is the full version number)

Then I found this blog:

How to detect Vista and Longhorn with WMI Filters

So my WMI query for Vista machines are (as it is from the above link),

SELECT Version, ProductType FROM Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version >= ‘6’

Voila! It worked. So I created, tested and applied the Wireless GPO for Vista machines in production.

My ONLY fear is Microsoft doesn’t change things in next service pack that affects my current WMI query.


Being in Silicon Valley for years, I became a IT Infrastructure Geek by experience and surrounded by other Geeks everywhere. I try to help others by the solutions I found on odd occasions.

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