Archive for Tools

It looks like Microsoft finally released RSAT for Windows Vista.  What a relief.  We can finally effectively manage our environment with Vista.  It can be downloaded in two versions, 32bit or 64bit

What Is Included in RSAT?

This is the list of Windows Server 2008 administration tools which are included in RSAT:

Role Administration Tools:

·         Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) Tools
·         Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Tools
·         Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) Tools
·         DHCP Server Service Tools
·         DNS Server Service Tools
·         Shared Folders Tools
·         Network Policy and Access Services Tools
·         Terminal Services Tools
·         Uniiversal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Services Tools

Feature Administration Tools:

·         BitLocker Drive Encryption Tools
·         Failover Clustering Tools
·         Group Policy Management Tools
·         Network Load Balancing Tools
·         SMTP Server Tools
·         Storage Manager for SANs Tools
·         Windows System Resource Manager Tools

The tools in the following list are fully supported managing Windows Server 2003 servers as well:

·         Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Tools
·         Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) Tools
·         Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) Tools
·         DHCP Server Tools
·         DNS Server Tools
·         Group Policy Management Tools
·         Network Load Balancing Tools
·         Terminal Services Tools
·         Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Services Tools  

 Thanks Kendall for the heads up email on this.

I”ve always loved these spreadsheets as they allow a quick and easy way to search for Group Policies.  With Server 2008 live and Vista SP1 out Microsoft has updated their reference sheet to add all the new Group Policy settings.  There are now over 2700 settings you can apply in your environment…have fun!

This is been a hot topic here for a long time. Back in May I mentioned that there was going to be no AdminPak and sure enough that was confirmed. Microsoft”s decision was to create a new tool called the Remote Server Administration Tools. Back in June Microsoft said it would be released with Vista SP1.

We now finally have the ability to test the Remote Server Administration Tools out by participating in the beta. Go here to get involved and PROVIDE your feedback directly to Microsoft appears the link is currently not working.  Keep trying to ensure you get into the beta.  I’ll update here when I confirm it works.

There will be a chat hosted by Microsoft on the 3rd of December so this would be another great time to let them know how it works:

Please join Microsoft for a live chat on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 12:00 – 1:00 pm PST and get all your questions about Remote Server Administration Tools answered:
Password: 43322110SAT

I haven”t had time yet to play with this so I would love to hear what you think of the new tools. Please leave comments and let the community know.


I just noticed that the Microsoft Cluster Configuration Validation Wizard was released yesterday. Don”t bother about the long name, everyone just calls it ClusPrep. This is a great little tool that will evaluate potential nodes that are to be clustered. You can also run it on existing clusters for inventory purposes of you cluster. It currently is not supported on Vista so you will have to install it on Server 2003 or XP to do your testing.

If you migrating to Windows Vista or playing with Longhorn you may be interested in this newly released utility. The Windows NT Backup – Restore Utility allows you to restore files that were backed up in Windows XP or Server 2003 to Windows Vista and Longhorn.

I’ve been looking for a good tool that allows me to manage a large amount of servers via Remote Desktop for…well for as long as I can remember.  I’ve become tired of the Remote Desktops MMC because of its lack of features.  Yesterday I found a truly unbelievable application that I have to share with all of you.  Its name is VisionApp Remote Desktop  and best of all it is FREEWARE!

VisionApp Remote Desktop allows you to manage your servers via Remote Desktop with the following features:

·      Sort Servers Alphabetically (This made me so angry that I couldn’t do this with Microsoft’s Remote Desktop MMC.  When you have to manage a lot of servers it really sucks that when you add new ones that follow a naming convention that they fall out of order now.)

·      Create folders to help sort different types of servers (I created folders for my Production, Integration, Development and Virtual servers.  This has made it extremely easy to find what I’m looking for.)

·      Tabbed Remote Desktops (Tabs are huge right now and this tool takes full advantage of them.  I can now open several different types of servers from different folders and access them via the tabs on the top.)

Please take some time to evaluate this product yourself as it is a huge timesaver.

On the subject of managing your servers, Microsoft recently released the Remote Desktop software to go along with the one that is built into Windows Vista. If you have Windows Vista you don’t need this but if you are using XP SP2 or Server 2003 you may want to download it and try it out.

This will also allow you to connect the operating systems below to Vista and Longhorn using the new Network Layer Authentication technnolgy 

Here is download links for Remote Desktop Connection 6 for various OS:

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Just finished publising my latest article at  This was such a fun one to write since it was something so many people have asked me about over the years.  I can”t believe it has taken me so long to get out to them.

I would love to find some other MVPs or MCTs that would be interested in writing a similar article so that I could publish that as well on the site. I really think it would help others out there that are working in the field.  If anyone is interested just drop me a line and let me know your technology of choice.

Filed Under (Tools) by on 30-05-2006

One of the requirements of upgrading to Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 SP1 for you clients is to ensure those clients reporting to MOM are running Windows Installer 3.1 or higher.  After attempting to install the agent on my Integration servers I noticed that  large amount of them did not have that version.  It sure would have been nice to have known which version they were running.  I found such a way but it is only run on one server at a time.  Just log on to that machine and from the Run dialog box just type msiexec.exe /?.

Any scripting people out that know a better way please let me know.  I really need to make that a focus of mine…scripting.

Also if you need to download the latest version of Windows Installer just check here.


From the MOM product team on why they used this version of Windows Installer.