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Group Policy objects in your domain can have preferences that store passwords for different tasks, such as the following:
    1. Data Sources
    2. Drive Maps
    3. Local Users
    4. Scheduled Tasks (both XP and up-level)
    5. Services
These passwords are stored in SYSVOL as part of GP preferences and are not secure because of weak encryption (32-byte AES).
Therefore, we recommend that you not deploy such preferences in your domain environment and remove any such existing
preferences. This script is to help administrator find GP Preferences in their domain's SYSVOL that contains passwords.

This script should be run on a DC or a client computer that is installed with RSAT to print all the preferences that contain
password with information such as GPO, Preference Name, GPEdit path under which this preference is defined.
After you have a list of affected preferences, these preferences can be removed by using the editor in the Group Policy Management Console.

Get-SettingsWithCPassword.ps1 [-Path  <String>]
Get-SettingsWithCPassword.ps1 -Path %WinDir%\SYSVOL\domain
Get-SettingsWithCPassword.ps1 -Path  <GPO Backup Folder Path>

If Group Policy PS module is not found the output will contain GPO GUIDs instead of GPO names. You can either run
this script on a domain controller or rerun the script on the client after you have installed RSAT and
enabled the Group Policy module.
Or, you can use GPO GUIDs to obtain GPO names by using the Get-GPO cmdlet.


# Input parameters
    [string]$Path = $(throw "-Path is required.") # Directory path where GPPs are located.
$isGPModuleAvailable = $false
$impactedPrefs = { "Groups.xml", "ScheduledTasks.xml", "Services.xml", "DataSources.xml", "Drives.xml" }
# import Group olicy module if available
if (-not (Get-Module -name "GroupPolicy")) {
    if (Get-Module -ListAvailable |
        Where-Object { $_.Name -ieq "GroupPolicy" }) {
        $isGPModuleAvailable = $true
        Import-Module "GroupPolicy"
    else {
        Write-Warning "Unable to import Group Policy module for PowerShell. Therefore, GPO guids will be reported.
                       Run this script on DC to obtain the GPO names, or use the Get-GPO cmdlet (on DC) to obtain the GPO name from GPO guid."
else {
    $isGPModuleAvailable = $true
Function Enum-SettingsWithCpassword ( [string]$sysvolLocation ) {
    # GPMC tree paths
    $commonPath = " -> Preferences -> Control Panel Settings -> "
    $driveMapPath = " -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> "

    # Recursively obtain all the xml files within the SYVOL location
    $impactedXmls = Get-ChildItem $sysvolLocation -Recurse -Filter "*.xml" | Where-Object { $impactedPrefs -cmatch $_.Name }

    # Each xml file contains multiple preferences. Iterate through each preference to check whether it
    # contains cpassword attribute and display it.
    foreach ( $file in $impactedXmls ) {
        $fileFullPath = $file.FullName

        # Set GPP category. If file is located under Machine folder in SYSVOL
        # the setting is defined under computer configuration otherwise the
        # setting is a to user configuration
        if ( $fileFullPath.Contains("Machine") ) {
            $category = "Computer Configuration"
        elseif ( $fileFullPath.Contains("User") ) {
            $category = "User Configuration"
        else {
            $category = "Unknown"
        # Obtain file content as XML
        try {
            [xml]$xmlFile = get-content $fileFullPath -ErrorAction Continue
        catch [Exception] {
            Write-Host $_.Exception.Message
        if ($null -eq $xmlFile) {
        switch ( $file.BaseName ) {
            Groups {
                $gppWithCpassword = $xmlFile.SelectNodes("Groups/User") | where-Object { [String]::IsNullOrEmpty($_.Properties.cpassword) -eq $false }
                $preferenceType = "Local Users"
            ScheduledTasks {
                $gppWithCpassword = $xmlFile.SelectNodes("ScheduledTasks/*") | where-Object { [String]::IsNullOrEmpty($_.Properties.cpassword) -eq $false }
                $preferenceType = "Scheduled Tasks"
            DataSources {
                $gppWithCpassword = $xmlFile.SelectNodes("DataSources/DataSource") | where-Object { [String]::IsNullOrEmpty($_.Properties.cpassword) -eq $false }
                $preferenceType = "Data sources"
            Drives {
                $gppWithCpassword = $xmlFile.SelectNodes("Drives/Drive") | where-Object { [String]::IsNullOrEmpty($_.Properties.cpassword) -eq $false }
                $preferenceType = "Drive Maps"
            Services {
                $gppWithCpassword = $xmlFile.SelectNodes("NTServices/NTService") | where-Object { [String]::IsNullOrEmpty($_.Properties.cpassword) -eq $false }
                $preferenceType = "Services"
            default {
                # clear gppWithCpassword and preferenceType for next item.
                try {
                    Clear-Variable -Name gppWithCpassword -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
                    Clear-Variable -Name preferenceType -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
                catch [Exception] {}
        if ($null -ne $gppWithCpassword) {
            # Build GPO name from GUID extracted from filePath
            $guidRegex = [regex]"\{(.*)\}"
            $match = $guidRegex.match($fileFullPath)
            if ($match.Success) {
                $gpoGuid = $match.groups[1].value
                $gpoName = $gpoGuid
            else {
                $gpoName = "Unknown"
            if ($isGPModuleAvailable -eq $true) {
                try {
                    $gpoInfo = Get-GPO -Guid $gpoGuid -ErrorAction Continue
                    $gpoName = $gpoInfo.DisplayName
                catch [Exception] {
                    Write-Host $_.Exception.Message
            # display prefrences that contain cpassword
            foreach ( $gpp in $gppWithCpassword ) {
                if ( $preferenceType -eq "Drive Maps" ) {
                    $prefLocation = $category + $driveMapPath + $preferenceType
                else {
                    $prefLocation = $category + $commonPath + $preferenceType
                $obj = New-Object -typeName PSObject
                $obj | Add-Member membertype NoteProperty name GPOName    value ($gpoName)      passthru |
                Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -name Preference -value ($gpp.Name)     -passthru |
                Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -name Path       -value ($prefLocation)
                Write-Output $obj
        } # end if $gppWithCpassword
    } # end foreach $file
} # end functions Enum-PoliciesWithCpassword
# Check whether Path is valid. Enumerate all settings that contain cpassword.
if (Test-Path $Path ) {
    Enum-SettingsWithCpassword $Path
else {
    Write-Warning "No such directory: $Path"

Example usage (assumes that the system drive is C)

.\Get-SettingsWithCPassword.ps1 –path “C:\Windows\SYSVOL\domain” | Format-List

Note Be aware that you can also target any backup GPO for the path instead of the domain.

The detection script generates a list that resembles the following:

insert graphic

For longer lists, consider saving the output to a file:

.\Get-SettingsWithCPassword.ps1 –path “C:\Windows\SYSVOL\domain” | ConvertTo-Html > gpps.html

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