The articles I wrote here on 4sysops about the Adminpak-Vista issue were accessed about 150,000 times. Obviously, Microsoft has managed to frustrate quite a few admins this way. It took them more than a year to finally solve this problem. And the solution is the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT).
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In my opinion, it was one of their biggest mistakes with regards to Vista. IT pros are certainly the ones who have to be persuaded first when a new operating system is released. When I realized that Adminpak tools don’t work on Vista reliably, my first thought was that this operating system can hardly be ready for prime time if even Microsoft is unable to make their own software work on it. I never believed that it would have taken them this long to come up with a new version. Well, I have to say thanks for the many new readers they brought to my blog this way.
Even though I installed SP1 for Vista on several test PCs without problems, I was a bit hesitant to update my own PC to SP1 at work because of the many horror stories I have read about the update. But the release of RSAT was reason enough for me to make this move now. RSAT was installed without problems, too. I am not sure what happened to the Adminpak tools. I think they were just replaced. I didn’t use them for some time because they were too unreliable enough for my taste.
Unlike Adminpak, RSAT has to be enabled as a Windows feature after the installation. This is quite similar as under Windows Server 2008. I wonder why they didn’t just include them in SP1 then? Anyway, to enable the tools you need for your work, you have to go to the Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off under Programs and Features. Only then will they show up in the Administrative Tools folder in the Start menu. There are two groups of tools:
Role Administration Tools ^
- Active Directory Certificate Services Tools
- Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Tools
- Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) Tools
- DHCP Server Tools
- DNS Server Tools
- File Services Tools
- Network Policy and Access Services Tools
- Terminal Services Tools
- Universal 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
I must admit, I do not fully understand the logic behind this division. What makes GPMC so different from the other Active Directory tools? Well, but that doesn’t mean much. To this day, I didn’t understand the difference between a feature and a role. I guess, it is just my lack of imagination. Anyway, I should stop grumbling. We should be happy that Vista can finally be used to manage Windows servers.
You can download RSAT here:
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- Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista SP1 32-bit Edition (KB941314)
- Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista SP1 64-bit Edition (KB941314)