Editor's Choice: Windows 2000 Administration
<b>Winner:</b> Microsoft Press Windows 2000 Resource Kit<br>
<b>Honorable Mention:</b> <a href="#erdisk">Aelita Software Aelita ERDisk</a>
2000 Resource Kit $299.99
Microsoft Press; mspress.microsoft.com
When I was told to write about my favorite tool, there was, quite simply
one tool for me that’s worth every penny of its $299 average price—the
Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. If you don’t yet have it, I have two
words for you: Buy it.
Before plunking down your money, however, you need to embrace the fact
that these tools fall into Microsoft’s “unsupported” category of software.
At first blush, $299 might seem like a high price for a collection of
“unsupported” tools but, pound for pound, you get a lot for your money.
Actually, you get about 20 pounds of goodies—a whole shelf full of books
and a CD full of tools.
This kit is so full of trinkets, I’m hard-pressed to isolate just a few
to extol in this limited space. However, I think I’ve narrowed my favorites
down to the following.
- GPRESULT—Why aren’t group policies applying on a desktop? GPRESULT
can tell you why. This tool is so important to the Group Policy admin’s
daily life, it’s now built directly into Windows XP.
- KiXtart 95—I hate programming, so this tool helps me be at my batch-file
best. With the latest installment of KiXtart 95, I can even trigger
conditions based upon which Active Directory site someone is logged
- Kerbtray and Klist—Am I logged in via NTLM or the industrial-strength
Kerberos? Only Kerbtray and Klist know the answer, and they’re in this
- GP.CHM—This isn’t a “tool” exactly, rather it’s a CHM file, or Compiled
HTML help file. GP.CHM allows you to do text searches for items you
might be looking for in the Group Policy editor. Don’t know which Group
Policy to select to Disable Autoplay? No problem. Search for Autoplay
and—voila!—the policy is revealed.
- L-Bridge—Got Win2K DCs? Got NT 4.0 BDCs? Got logon scripts that need
to replicate and co-exist? Don’t pull your hair out; use this script!
- Clear Screen Saver—Want to make sure the night-shift operator can
see what’s on the server console screen, but can’t actually touch anything?
Use the Clear Screen Saver to enforce the Ctl-Alt-Del requirement but
keep the current status of the system in full view.
Kit is full of handy tools.
There are literally hundreds of tools, scripts, tips and goodies packed
into this CD and book box set. Sure, you’ll need a forklift to get it
home or to the office, but you’ll have hours of fun pawing through the
CD to grab the tools you need for your utility belt.
$179 per server
800-263-0036, 614-336-9223 www.aelita.com
However, one good tool does not a full utility belt make. That’s why
it was a close call for my “runner up” tool, Aelita’s ERDisk for Active
Directory. This product should’ve been named “Job Security in a Box.”
Its name makes you think it helps with emergency repair disks (and, yes,
they have a product that does this), but this is so much cooler. Quite
simply, it restores inadvertently deleted users, groups, OUs and Group
Policy objects out of AD—painlessly—all while your DCs are up and running.
Wow! It’s pure magic!
Jeremy Moskowitz, a Group Policy MVP, is the Chief Propeller-Head for Moskowitz, Inc. and GPanswers.com. He is one of less than a dozen Microsoft MVPs in Group Policy. Since becoming one of the world's first MCSEs, he has performed Active Directory and Group Policy planning and implementations for some of the nation’s largest organizations. His latest books are Group Policy Fundamentals, Security, and Troubleshooting and Creating the Secure Managed Desktop: Group Policy, SoftGrid, and Microsoft Deployment and Management Tools.