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Microsoft Belatedly Explains Remote Server Admin Tools Dependency on Windows 10 Build 1607

Microsoft explained this week that the current version 1.2 of the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 10 is just for organizations using Windows 10 build 1607, the "anniversary update."

Many of the tools included in RSAT for Windows 10 version 1.2 "will not work" when running earlier builds of Windows 10, explained David Loder, a Microsoft premier field engineer, in a blog post today. In some cases, when using those older Windows 10 builds, the RSAT console will crash, he added.

This information isn't explained in RSAT for Windows 10's download page under "System Requirements." Additionally, there's also no mention of that detail in Microsoft's main TechNet article on the topic, dated Nov. 11, 2016. Microsoft released the anniversary update of Windows 10 on Nov. 11, 2016.

RSAT version 1.2 for Windows 10 was last updated on Oct. 12, 2016, according to the download page information. Consequently, IT pros who got their hands on RSAT for Windows 10 early after its release may have fumbled around with it for a few months, likely experiencing problems.

Microsoft first released RSAT for Windows 10 on Aug. 19, 2015. It may have been a beta test release at that time, although it was not labeled as such by Microsoft. Certainly, many users reported having problems with this first release. The problems were partly tracked to an unstated requirement (back then) to use the U.S. English Language Pack with it.

Loder explained today that the RSAT for Windows 10 tools are "tied to Windows Server 2016" and that Microsoft only released "RTM" ("release-to-manufacturing") versions of the RSAT for Windows 10 tools after Windows Server 2016 was released. Microsoft's commercial release of Windows Server 2016 happened on Oct. 12, 2016, so early RSAT for Windows 10 users had something other than a polished release on their hands.

RSAT for Windows 10 only works on Windows 10 build 1607 client machines (Professional, Enterprise or Education editions) to remotely administer Windows Servers. It contains a bunch of IT pro tools that can be used for managing "Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, and in limited cases, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2," according to Microsoft's TechNet article description. Updates are required on the older Windows Server operating systems for the Server Manager component of RSAT for Windows 10 to work properly, according to Microsoft's System Requirements description.

When Microsoft first released RSAT for Windows 10 on Aug. 19, 2015, some important tools were missing. For instance Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) tools were missing and IT pros were told to use PowerShell instead. However, Loder's post today indicated that DHCP tools are now included in RSAT for Windows 10, as well as Routing and Remote Access tools. Loder noted that Hyper-V tools now are not part of RSAT for Windows 10 since Hyper-V is included in Windows 10.

Microsoft's TechNet article listed the following tools that aren't part of RSAT for Windows 10:

  • BitLocker Drive Encryption administration utilities
  • direct Access
  • Routing and remote Access
  • remote Desktop Services
  • Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Cluster Aware Updating
  • Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Best Practices Analyzer

That TechNet article is dated from mid-November, so the information likely is up to date for version 1.2 of RSAT for Windows 10.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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