These Windows 2000 administration tools will help you get through the day more quickly.
In this era of consoles and wizards,
I still like to do things the old-fashioned way.
That is, I use the native tools found in folders
accessed from the Start menu. Heck, I sometimes
pr prefer to execute commands from the command
line! In the spirit in which this column was founded
- to help newbies learn the ins and outs of Windows
2000 - this month I explore the Administrative
Tools folder, something that you may often take
Starting at the top, I'll list the
program item and a definition of each in Table
1. Following that, I'll provide selected screenshots
of tools that I've not discussed in the last year
of this column (If you've been reading this column
on a regular basis, you're probably already familiar
with some of these cool tools such as Active Directory
Users and Computers).
Table 1. Windows 2000 Administrative
tools and what they do.
||What Makes It So Useful
|Active Directory Domains and
||Helps you manage domains and
trust relationships between domains. This
tool is more enterprise-centric than some
of the others.
|AD Sites and Services
||Helps you to define sites and
manage data replication, including information
about domain controllers, sites, replication
between sites, and replication of network
service configurations. To be honest, this
tool is more sophisticated than it first appears
and is likely to be used by larger organizations.
|AD Users and Computers
||This is a tool for everyone
in any company running Win2K Server. It helps
you administer and publish information about
users, computers and other objects. Note for
Small Business Server 2000 (SBS) users: It's
recommended that you access this component
via the Small Business Server Administrator
||A rarely used tool that helps
you to configure and manage COM+ applications.
||The Win2K Server Swiss Army
Knife. It helps you manage disks and provides
access to other tools you can use to manage
local and remote computers. Again, SBS user
should access this component by using the
Small Business Server Administrator Console.
|Configure Your Server
||This is the on-screen Wizard
that appears the first time you boot Win2K
Server (and each time until you turn it off).
It helps you set up and configure Windows
services for your network.
|Data Sources (ODBC)
||Helps you to add, remove and
configure Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)
data sources and drivers.
||More important than you might
imagine, this tool helps you manage Dynamic
Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers
on your network. The DHCP service centrally
manages Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and
other related configuration details that are
used on your network. This tool has more nooks
and crannies than you might think and is worth
|Distributed File System
||A somewhat less-used tool. It
helps you manage Distributed File System (Dfs),
which is a single hierarchical file system
that provides a logical tree structure for
file system resources on the network.
||One of the most important tools
in Win2K Server. This jewel allows you to
manage the Domain Name System (DNS), which
allows client computers on your network to
register and resolve DNS domain names.
|Domain Controller Security Policy
||This tool, shown
in Figure 2, lets you view and modify
the security policy for the DC's organizational
|Domain Security Policy
||Closely related to the tool
above, this one enables you to view and modify
security policy objects for the domain, such
as user rights and audit policies.
||A very popular tool, it allows
you to view monitoring and troubleshooting
Event Log messages from Win2K and other programs.
||For SBS and BackOffice 2000
only. This tool lets you closely monitor Win2K
and application behavior by using data collectors.
You can also configure alerts for notification
purposes. You can access this tool via the
Administrator Console in both SBS and BackOffice
|Internet Services Manager
||Lets you manage Web servers
that have Internet Information Services (IIS)
installed on them and are running a Web (HTTP)
service. This is where you can also manage
the FTP service, if it's installed.
||Enables Win2K Server users to
manage client access licensing. SBS and BackOffice
users would manage licenses from the Administrator
|Local Security Policy
||This tool enables you to view
and modify local security policies, such as
user rights and audit policies.
||This is my favorite. Performance
Monitor (also known as System Monitor) displays
graphs of system performance and configures
data logs and alerts.
|Routing and Remote Access
Enables you to manage Routing and Remote
Access (see Figure 3),
which provides multi-protocol LAN-to-LAN
(local area network), LAN-to-WAN (wide area
network), virtual private network (VPN),
and network address translation (NAT) routing
services. In addition, Routing and Remote
Access also provides dial-up and VPN remote
Note: You have to be careful
with this tool if you're also running Microsoft
Internet Security and Acceleration Server
2000 (ISA). In this case, you'll want to
run the ISA VPN Wizard, not the RRAS VPN
Wizard. The RRAS VPN Wizard will close almost
all ports except those used for VPN traffic,
which, typically, isn't what you want.
||I use this tool daily. It lets
you start and stop services on the server
computer, and it can also be viewed via the
Computer Management snap-in listed above.
|Terminal Services Client Creator
Allows you to create the two diskettes
needed for installing the Terminal Services
Note: In Win2K Server, the
Terminal Services client uses two diskettes
(Terminal Server under Windows NT 4.0 Server
only used one diskette).
|Terminal Services Manager
||Use Terminal Services Manager
to manage servers and connections and monitor
the sessions, users and processes of Terminal
Services servers in trusted domains.
|Terminal Services Licensing
||Enables you to register and
track licenses for Terminal Services clients.
||An oldie, but goody. This tool
enables you to manage the legacy Windows Internet
Name Service (WINS), which provides a dynamic
database service that registers and resolves
network basic input/output system (NetBIOS)
names to IP addresses used on the network.
So there you have it, for another
month. Keep this list hand as a quick reference
to all that's good, bad and indifferent in the
Administrative Tools folder.