Saturday, December 20, 2014

How to Remotely Manage AD from a Member Server

How to Manage AD from Member Server

This was once a default option for Windows member servers in an organization's domain. An administrator user in the domain was able to click Start then Run then type in ad.msc and start Microsoft Active Directory Users and Computers from a member server in the domain. This feature was useful indeed and was removed as a default with Windows Server 2008.
For administrators that are looking to enable remote management of Active Directory from a member server there is a simple way to add this functionally to a member 2008 and 2008 R2 server in the domain. It is done by installing Remote Server Administration Tools for AD DS. 

Remotely Access Active Directory from Another Server

When an administrator installs Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) on a member server to create a new or additional domain controller, tools that are used to manage AD DS are installed automatically. To  manage Active Directory domain controllers remotely from another server or a Windows desktop operating system that is not a domain controller, Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) can be installed on a member server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008. RSAT can also be installed on a computer that is running running Windows 7 or Windows 8. The Active Directory Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) component that's used to access and manage AD Directory Services is Active Directory Domain Services Tools.

Installing Remote Server Administration Tools for AD DS

Active Directory Domain Services Tools on a member server

Open Server Manager on the member server and click Add Features.

In Features, check the box to expand Remote Service Administration Tools and Role Administration Tools:

Windows Server 2008 member server: 
Expand Active Directory Domain Services Tools, and then click Active Directory Domain Controllers Tools.

Windows Server 2008 R2 member server: 
Expand AD DS and AD LDS Tools, then expand AD DS Tools, and then click AD DS snap-ins and command-line tools.

Click Next and then click Install. The setup wizard will install the necessary files and create the shortcust to manage Active Directory (AD) from this member server.  

The Active Directory Domain Services Administration Tools are available on the Administrative Tools menu.
In some cases even before a reboot of the server is performed , you can run the active directory suers and computers management console AD.msc by clicking Start > Run > then typing AD.msc , then click open. 

Installing Active Directory Domain Services Tools on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows 8

Windows 7 and Windows 8 does not ship with RSAT installation files as does Windows Server 2008. To install RSAT on Windows 7 or Windows 8, you must first download the RSAT installation package. See Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 and Windows 8 at