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How to Administer Microsoft Windows Client and Server Computers Locally and Remotely

Updated: October 9, 2008

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

This topic describes options for administering computers running Windows Server® 2008 R2, Windows® 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000 operating systems, both locally and remotely.

This topic describes how to install administrative tools for local and remote administration. It also describes some of the compatibility issues that you might encounter when you install or remotely administer computers running Windows Server 2008 (including Windows Vista) and Windows Server 2008 R2 (including Windows 7) operating systems.

As a general rule, administrative tools install and run correctly only on the versions of the operating systems with which they were released. For example, Windows 7 administrative tools install and run only on Windows 7 client computers. In recent versions of Windows, a separate collection of administrative tools exists for client and server computers. In fact, administrative tools whose files are copied from the server CD generally do not run on the corresponding client operating system. For example, tools from the Windows Server 2008 installation disc cannot be copied and made to execute on a do not run on Windows Vista client computers.

Cross-version support—the ability to administer a computer running an older or newer operating system—varies from version to version and even from tool to tool. In general, the administration of features that are common to operating systems on the administrative console and the remote computer can be administered successfully. Superset functionality that is added to newer operating systems cannot be administered from older operating systems. In some cases, protocols change between operating system versions, causing some tools to be retired in newer releases of administrative tools.

noteNote
We recommend that you use the administrative tools for each given set of operating system versions. For example, use Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 7 to manage Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems. The administrative tools for a given operating system are not tested against newer versions of the operating systems.

The best administrative experience occurs when the computer that you use to perform administrative tasks is running an operating system that is related to the operating system on the computer that you are administering remotely.

The following list provides an overview of the administrative tools spanning the Windows 2000 family through the Windows 7 family of operating systems:

  • Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server were released at the same time, which made it possible for graphical user interface (GUI) (ADMINPAK.MSI) and command-line (SUPPTOOLS.MSI) tools to ship on the client and server operating system CDs.

  • Windows Server 2003 CD-ROMS shipped with GUI (ADMINPAK.MSI) and command-line (SUPPTOOLS.MSI) tools on the installation CDs. GUI and command-line tools for Windows XP were made available on the Microsoft.com Web site. GUI and command-line tools for both client and server computers were updated in Service Packs 1 and 2, and they were also made available on Microsoft.com. The exact locations for downloads of these tools is provided in the Administrative tools on Windows client and server versions section of this article.

  • Beginning with Windows Server 2008, four significant changes were made to the administrative experience. The installation of server roles, such as Domain Name System (DNS) or Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), by Server Manager installed the GUI and command-line administrative tools that complemented that role. Secondly, the GUI and command-line tools were consolidated into a single collection called Remote Server Admin Tools (RSAT). You can install the full set of administrative tools on versions of Windows Server by using Add Features in Server Manager.

    After you install RSAT, the administrative tools do not appear in the Start menu. To make the administrative tools appear in the Start menu, see Installing Remote Server Administration Tools (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=153624).

    As 64-bit hardware and operating systems became more common, x64-specific collections of administrative tools were developed.

    You can download the RSAT client version for Windows Server 2008 from the following locations:

  • The Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 administrative experience followed the same model as for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, with an x86 and x64 RSAT client that was developed specifically for Windows 7 client computers.

    You can download the RSAT client version for Windows Server 2008 R2 from the following location:

The following tables list the administrative tools that are available for each client and server version of Windows. Updates are also listed.

 

Client

Windows 7

To download RSAT tools for Windows 7, see Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=153874)

Remove the RSAT for the Release Candidate version of Windows 7 before you install the final version.

After RSAT is installed on Windows 7, the Sessions/Remote Desktop Services Profile/Dial-in tabs are missing. To resolve this issue:

  • After installing RSAT, enable Remote Desktop Services Tools along with the AD DS and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) tools. Simply installing the AD DS and AD LDS tools alone does not include the binaries that expose the Remote Desktop tabs.

Server

Windows Server 2008 R2

Installing Server Roles through Server Manager installs corresponding GUI and command line administrative tools.

You can install the RSAT package by using the Add Features wizard in Server Manager or from the command line. For more information, see Installing or Removing the Remote Server Administration Tools Pack (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=143345).

The Active Directory Administrative Center (Dsac.exe) requires Active Directory Web Services (ADWS) to be running on at least one domain controller in each domain that you want to manage. ADWS is installed with the installation of the AD DS or Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) roles. For Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, see Active Directory Management Gateway Service (Active Directory Web Service for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=164543).

noteNote
ADWS listens on port 9389 for incoming requests.

The Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory Administrative Center displays the error message Cannot find an available server if a computer with ADWS cannot be found or contacted. For more information on this issue, see article 969429 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=152375).

The list servers in site operation in Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Windows Server 2008 ntdsutil metadata cleanup command fail if they target Windows Server 2003 target domain controllers.

 

Client

Windows Vista

For an overview, interoperability details, and known RSAT issues, see article 941314in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=116179).

For x86-based Windows Vista computers, install Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=89361)

For x64-based Windows Vista computers, install Microsoft Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista for x64-based Systems (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165812)

To resolve a delay in the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), install the hotfix in article 959438 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=164620)

To add support for Windows Server 2008 group policy preferences client side extensions on Windows Vista clients, see article 943729 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165813).

To install x86-based or x64-based versions of the Windows Vista Management Tools update for the release version of Hyper-V, see article 952627 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=129913)

The Windows Server 2008 or RSAT Client versions of DNSMGMT.MSC or DNSCMD are unable to configure forwarders on Windows Server 2003 DNS Servers. Forwarders on Windows Server 2008 DNS Servers cannot be updated by DNSMGMT.MSC or DNSCMD /RESETFORWARDER from Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 clients. To resolve this issue:

  • Manage Windows Server 2003 server-level forwarders from DNSMGMT.MSC and DNSCMD.EXE running on Windows 7 client and server computers.

  • Manage Windows Server 2003 server-level forwarders from DNSMGMT.MSC and DNSMCD running on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 computers.

  • Toggling the Use root hints if no forwarders are available check box results in the opposite behavior in the Windows Server 2008 DNS Manager snap-in. For more information, see article 2001154in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165814)

Server

Windows Server 2008

Installing server roles installs corresponding GUI and command-line administrative tools.

See article 941314 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=116179) and Remote Server Administration Tools Overview (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165815).

To resolve a delay in GPMC, install the hotfix in article 959438 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=164620).

The Windows Server 2008 or RSAT Client versions of DNSMGMT.MSC or DNSCMD are unable to configure forwarders on Windows Server 2003 DNS Servers. Forwarders on Windows Server 2008 DNS Servers cannot be updated by DNSMGMT.MSC or DNSCMD /RESETFORWARDER from Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 client computers. To resolve this issue:

  • Manage Windows Server 2008 server-level forwarders from DNSMGMT.MSC and DNSCMD.EXE running on Windows 7 clients and servers.

  • Manage Windows Server 2003 server-level forwarders from DNSMGMT.MSC and DNSMCD running on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 computers.

Reverse lookup zones lose UI hints and delegated zones lose hierarchy when they are viewed in Windows Server 2008 DNS Manager. This behavior is by design. The DNS Server and DNS Manager, DNSMGMT.MSC in Windows Server 2008, are Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) aware. While the typical reverse lookup zone hierarchy for Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is two to three levels deep, a similar reverse lookup zone structure for IPv6 could be 10 to 20 levels deep. Rather than requiring administrators to click through 20 nested folders, the design decision was made to flatten DNS Manager’s depiction of reverse lookup zones for both IPv4 and IPv6 reverse lookup zones and pointer (PTR) resource records.

Symptoms of this issue include the following:

  • The New Domain UI option does not appear on the context menu for a reverse-lookup zone.

  • Subdomains of delegated reverse lookup zones that appear in a hierarchical tree when viewed with the Windows Server 2003 DNS Manager appear as a flat namespace when the same zone is viewed with the Windows Server 2008 DNS Manager.

  • Host records, subdomains, and delegations are indistinguishable from each other when they are viewed with the Windows Server 2008 DNS Manager.

  • Pointer (PTR) resource records that appear in reverse lookup domains and subdomains appear in the parent reverse-lookup zone.

To resolve this issue:

  • Manage reverse-lookup zones by using the administration pack tools on Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP computers.

  • Toggling the Use root hints if no forwarders are available check box results in the opposite behavior in the Windows Server 2008 DNS Manager snap-in. For more information, see article 2001154 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=165814).

The list servers in site operation in Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Windows Server 2008 ntdsutil metadata cleanup command fail if they target Windows Server 2003 target domain controllers.

 

Client

Windows XP

ADMINPAK.MSI did not ship on the Windows XP CD. You can download x86-based versions of the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack for Windows XP from the following locations:

For x64-based Windows XP systems, install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Administration Tools Pack for x64 Editions (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165816). WADMINPAK.MSI is located in the \i836 folder of the Windows Server 2003 CD.

To install the Support Tools, run SUPTOOLS.MSI in the \Support\Tools folder of the Windows XP CD. For an SP2 update, see Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165817). Installing Service Pack 2 does not install the SP2 version of Support Tools.

To manage Windows Server 2003 R2 features from Windows XP clients, install the Windows Server 2003 R2 Administration Tools Pack (x86) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=73995).

Server

Windows Server 2003

ADMINPAK.MSI shipped in the \i386 folder on the Windows Server 2003 CD. Dcpromo installs it automatically. You can download x86-based versions of the SP1, SP2, and final release versions of the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack. For more information, see Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Administration Tools Pack (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165819), Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Administration Tools Pack for x86 editions (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165818), and Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165820).

For x64-based systems, install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Administration Tools Pack for x64 Editions (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=165816). You can download the final release x64-based ADMINPAK from Windows Server 2003 R2 Administration Tools Pack (x64) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165821) or by running WADMINPAK.MSI from the \I386 folder of an x64-based Windows Server 2003 CD.

You can find Windows Server 2003 SP1 and SP2 Support Tools at the following locations:

Attempting to connect to a Windows Server 2008 R2 DNS Server by using the Windows 2000 Server or version of DNSMGMT.MSC fails with the error message:

Access is denied. Would you like to add it anyway (YES | NO)

  • Clicking Yes displays the DNS Management snap-in, but an action icon appears adjacent to Windows Server 2008 R2 DNS Server in the navigation pane of DNSMGT.MSC. The details pane of DNS Manager displays the following text:

    “Access is Denied”

    “You do not have permission to access this DNS server.”

    To try the connection again, on the Action menu, press F5.

To resolve this issue:

  • Administer Windows Server 2008 DNS Servers directly from the console.

  • Administer Windows Server 2008 DNS Servers by using Remote Desktop (formerly Terminal Services).

 

Client

Windows 2000 Professional

ADMINPAK.MSI shipped in the \i386 folder of client and server CDs.

Support Tools were installed by running SETUP.EXE in the \Support\Tools folder of client and server CDs.

You can download an update to the administrative tools for Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4) at the following location: Windows Service Pack  4 Support Tools(http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165823).

Server

Windows 2000 Server

ADMINPAK.MSI shipped in the \i386 folder of client and server CDs, and it was installed automatically by Dcpromo.

Support Tools were installed by running SETUP.EXE in the \Support\Tools folder of client and server CDs.

You can find an update to the administrative tools for Windows 2000 SP4 at the following location: Windows Service Pack 4 Support Tools (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=165823).

Attempting to connect to a Windows Server 2008 R2 DNS Server by using the Windows Server 2000 or Windows Server 2003 version of DNSMGMT.MSC fails with the following error message:

Access is denied. Would you like to add it anyway (YES | NO)

  • Clicking Yes displays the DNS Management snap-in, but an action icon appears adjacent to Windows Server 2008 R2 DNS Server in the navigation pane of DNSMGT.MSC. The details pane of DNS Manager displays the following text:

    “Access is Denied”

    “You do not have permission to access this DNS server.”

    To try the connection again, on the Action menu, press F5.

To resolve this issue:

  • Administer Windows Server 2008 DNS Servers directly from the console.

  • Administer Windows Server 2008 DNS Servers over Remote Desktop Services.

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