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Locate Active Directory Objects in Active Directory Administrative Center

Updated: July 31, 2012

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

If you want to locate Active Directory objects quickly in Active Directory Administrative Center, you can use the query-building search and filtering mechanism. When the Active Directory objects that you target are returned as the results of a search or a filter query, you can then perform the necessary administrative tasks.

You can also save the queries that you build and use them again at a later time. Each saved query consists of the query criteria that you select, as well as the customized sorting and column information that you specify.

To search for Active Directory objects in Active Directory Administrative Center, you can use the Global Search feature to specify a scope for your search query.

There is no minimum group membership required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83477).

  1. To open Active Directory Administrative Center, in Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Active Directory Administrative Center.

    noteNote
    Another way to open Active Directory Administrative Center is to click Start, and then type dsac.exe.

  2. In the Active Directory Administrative Center navigation pane (the left pane), click Global Search.

    Or

    Use the Global Search tile on the Administrative Center Overview page.

  3. You can build a Global Search query by using keywords and the available search criteria or by using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) query mode:

    • To build a query by using keywords and search criteria, click Normal. To add search criteria to your query, first click to expand the search criteria.

      Click the chevron to expand the search criteria as shown in the following illustration:

      Expand Search Criteria Then click Add Criteria as shown in the following illustration.

      94471623-ff8d-413f-93ae-d7d359539b52
    • To search for Active Directory Data by using the LDAP query mode, click Convert to LDAP and enter the LDAP query, as shown in the following illustration.

      2640efd6-a373-40b6-89c9-c405d1059bfc
  4. To adjust the scope of your search query, click Scope.

    The default Global Search scope is set to the local domain, that is, the domain that you are currently logged on to. You can set Global Search scope to Global Catalog Search for any forest that you are managing in the selected instance of Active Directory Administrative Center. You can also set Global Search scope to one or more nodes that are currently added to your navigation pane.

    If you set the scope of your query to Global Catalog Search for a particular forest that you are managing in Active Directory Administrative Center, the query returns a subset of the Active Directory objects that are stored across all the partitions of the selected forest, including domain partitions, configuration partitions, schema partitions, and all other user-defined partitions.

    If you set the scope of your query to one or more nodes that are currently added to your navigation pane, the query returns a subset of the Active Directory objects that are stored in the containers that the selected navigation nodes represent, including all the child containers of the selected parent containers.

  5. To run your query, click Search.

  1. To open Active Directory Administrative Center, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Administrative Center.

    noteNote
    Another way to open Active Directory Administrative Center is to click Start, click Run, and then type dsac.exe.

  2. In the Active Directory Administrative Center navigation pane (the left pane), click Global Search.

    Or

    Use the Global Search tile on the Administrative Center Overview page.

  3. You can build a Global Search query by using keywords and the available search criteria or by using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) query mode:

    • To build a query by using keywords and search criteria, click Normal. To add search criteria to your query, first click to expand the search criteria.

      Then click Add Criteria as shown in the following illustration.

      94471623-ff8d-413f-93ae-d7d359539b52
    • To search for Active Directory Data by using the LDAP query mode, click Convert to LDAP and enter the LDAP query, as shown in the following illustration.

      2640efd6-a373-40b6-89c9-c405d1059bfc
  4. To adjust the scope of your search query, click Scope.

    The default Global Search scope is set to the local domain, that is, the domain that you are currently logged on to. You can set Global Search scope to Global Catalog Search for any forest that you are managing in the selected instance of Active Directory Administrative Center. You can also set Global Search scope to one or more nodes that are currently added to your navigation pane.

    If you set the scope of your query to Global Catalog Search for a particular forest that you are managing in Active Directory Administrative Center, the query returns a subset of the Active Directory objects that are stored across all the partitions of the selected forest, including domain partitions, configuration partitions, schema partitions, and all other user-defined partitions.

    If you set the scope of your query to one or more nodes that are currently added to your navigation pane, the query returns a subset of the Active Directory objects that are stored in the containers that the selected navigation nodes represent, including all the child containers of the selected parent containers.

  5. To run your query, click Search.

noteNote
By default, Active Directory Administrative Center is installed on your Windows Server 2008 R2 computer with the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell and the Active Directory Web Services (ADWS) service. The Active Directory module must be installed on your Windows Server 2008 R2 computer for Active Directory Administrative Center function correctly. The ADWS service must be installed on at least one domain controller in the Active Directory domain so that you can use Active Directory Administrative Center to manage the domain.

The Active Directory module imposes a two-minute operations time-out (when it attempts to connect to the ADWS service), which is different from the operations time-out that is monitored and controlled by the ADWS service that is running on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server. When you are running a Global Search query in Active Directory Administrative Center, if you are experiencing a slow network connection or if the results of your Global Search query are not returned within the two minutes of the Active Directory module time-out, you might see the following error message: “The operation was aborted because the client side timeout limit was exceeded.”

If an organizational unit (OU) in your Active Directory logical structure contains a particularly large data set, you can narrow it down by building a query and filtering through the Active Directory data of that specific OU.

There is no minimum group membership required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83477).

  1. To open Active Directory Administrative Center, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Administrative Center.

    noteNote
    Another way to open Active Directory Administrative Center is to click Start, click Run, and then type dsac.exe.

  2. Navigate to the OU by using either the Active Directory Administrative Center navigation pane or the management list.

    ImportantImportant
    The scope of filtering through the Active Directory data of a specific OU is always set to that particular OU. It cannot be adjusted. This scope does not include any child OUs of the selected parent OU. To include the child OUs of the selected parent OU in the filter scope, in the Tasks pane (the right pane), click Search under this node.

  3. In the Filter box near the top of the Active Directory Administrative Center window, type keywords for your query, or to add criteria, click Add criteria as shown in the following illustration. As soon as you type keywords or add criteria, the search results will appear.

    28e09645-9a30-421c-8bae-e4c7128a423d
ImportantImportant
If you build a query to filter through the Active Directory data of a specific OU, your query is applied only to the objects that are displayed in the Active Directory Administrative Center management list for this OU. In other words, this query returns a subset of the objects that appear in the Active Directory Administrative Center management list for this OU, not a subset of all the objects that this OU contains. To specify the maximum number of objects that are displayed per container (or OU), in the Active Directory Administrative Center management list, on the View menu, click Management List Options.

noteNote
If you add Users with enabled accounts who have not logged on for more than a given number of days criteria to your query (either in Global Search or when filtering through the Active Directory data of a selected organizational unit), and then run this query against a domain with the domain functional level set to Windows Server 2000, your query might return inaccurate results. This occurs because the update of the logon time stamp feature is not enabled in domains with the domain functional level set to Windows 2000. When the update of the logon time stamp feature is enabled, the lastLogonTimestamp attribute is updated with the last logon time of the user or computer, and the attribute is replicated within the domain. This feature is enabled in domains with the domain functional level set to Windows Server 2003 or higher. For more information about functional level features, see Understanding Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Functional Levels.

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