Installing the Windows NT Server Tools

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Windows 95 Professional

A Publication of The Cobb Group

Published June 1997

If you work in a technical support position, you know how hectic it can be to make what seems like 1,000 trips from your office to the server room every time you want to check the server or change a user account. Now imagine how much more pleasant your day would be if you could do some of your routine diagnostic and administrative work from the comfort of your own office or home.

You probably already know that Windows NT Server includes a utility called RAS (Remote Access Server) that lets you administer your server from another location. Unfortunately, you've never been able to run this NT utility from a Windows 95 workstation, so your choices of a remote administrative machine have been limited—until now.

In this article, we'll tell you about a Windows 95 patch you can download that lets you manage a Windows NT server from a Windows 95 workstation. As we do, we'll walk you through the process of installing this patch, and we'll give you a brief overview of the tools it includes.

To install the patch, first double-click the Add/Remove Programs Icon in Control Panel. Next, select the Windows Setup tab and click the Have Disk… button. Now, in the Copy manufacturer's files from text box, type the path of the folder where you expanded the Windows NT Server Tools and then click OK. Next, select the check box beside the Windows NT Server Tools option in the Components window, as shown in Figure A , and click the Install button. At this point, Windows 95 will copy all the Windows NT Server Tools files into a directory called \SRVTOOLS on your boot drive. Finally, click OK to close the Add/Remove Programs Properties sheet.


Figure A: Select the check box beside Windows NT Server Tools and then click the Install button.

Your next step is to add the C:\SRVTOOLS directory to your system's default path. To do so, open Notepad and load your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. If you've already set a PATH statement, append the parameter ; C:\SRVTOOLS to it, as shown in Figure B.


Figure B: Append the parameter ;C:\SRVTOOLS to your PATH statement.

If your AUTOEXEC.BAT file doesn't contain a PATH statement, add the command shown in Figure C. Windows 95 uses a default path if you don't specify a custom path. The PATH=%PATH% portion of the command in Figure C tells Windows 95 to keep its default path, while the remainder of the command adds the C:\SRVTOOLS directory.


Figure C: If you don't currently have a PATH statement, add the command PATH=%PATH%;C:\SRVTOOLS to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

At this point, save your changes to AUTOEXEC.BAT and then reboot your computer. The Windows NT Server Tools are now ready to use.

Using your new tools

The NT Server Tools add to your Windows 95 PC many of NT Server's system management utilities, including Event Viewer, Server Manager, and the User Manager for Domains. You'll find these utilities in their own folder on the Programs menu. With these tools, you can manage your server from a Windows 95 PC just as if you were sitting at the server's keyboard. Let's briefly look at each of the tools and their functions.

Event Viewer

Event Viewer, shown in Figure D, lets you diagnose server problems by monitoring any events that occur on your Windows NT server.


Figure D: You can use Event Viewer to see Windows NT's events log.

For example, when the server encounters a network error or runs low on hard disk space, NT Server records the event in a log that you can view remotely on your Windows 95 machine using the Event Viewer. If you want more detailed information about the event, you can double-click on it and Event Viewer will display a dialog box similar to the one in Figure E.


Figure E: If you double-click on an event, Event Viewer will display a more detailed explanation.

Server Manager

Another handy tool is Server Manager, shown in Figure F. You can use this tool for a variety of purposes, such as adding and removing computers from a domain or sending messages to other PCs.


Figure F: Server Manager allows you to remotely manage several aspects of your Windows NT Server.

You can also use Server Manager to remotely start and stop any services you normally control from the server. For example, suppose your network ran slowly during the day, so you unloaded any unnecessary services. However, after you went home, you realized that you forgot to reload a service that was necessary for tonight's backup. You could simply dial into the network from your Windows 95 PC at home and run Server Manager. Then, you could select your NT server at work, choose the Services… command from the Computer menu, and start the service necessary for your backup. As you can see in Figure G, you can manage services just as if you were actually at the server's keyboard.


Figure G: Server Manager lets you remotely start and stop services.

Now, suppose you're at home and you want to remotely update the files in your server's \BACKUP directory. Before you do, you'd probably want to know if anyone was using that directory. To find out, simply double-click the NT server where the directory resides, and Windows 95 will display the properties sheet for the server, as shown in Figure H. Click the Shares button and you'll see a list of all the server's shares, including hidden ones. Server Manager will also show you which directories the shares are associated with and who, if anyone, is using the shares.


Figure H: The server's properties sheet gives you a file usage summary and lets you see more details by clicking the buttons at the bottom

As you can see in Figure I, the user Brien is linked to the directory backup, but he isn't using any files. If you decide you need to disconnect this user, just click the Disconnect button.


Figure I: With Server Manager, you can monitor who's using the server's shares.

User Manager for Domains

The User Manager for Domains tool, shown in Figure J, lets you remotely manage all your user accounts. You can use it to create, edit, and remove user accounts and groups, as well as system policies. With this tool, you can also remotely manage any security issue that you typically would manage from the server.


Figure J: The User Manager for Domains tool allows you to remotely manage the server's security.


In this article, we've introduced you to the Windows NT Server Tools. We've explained how to download and install these tools, and we've given you a brief overview of how you can use them on a Windows 95 PC to remotely manage a Windows NT Server from the comfort of your own home or office.

The article entitled "Remote Server Administration and Diagnostics" was originally published in Windows 95 Professional, June 1997. Copyright © 1997, The Cobb Group, 9420 Bunson Parkway, Louisville, KY 40220. All rights reserved. For subscription information, call the Cobb Group at 1-800-223-8720.

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