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This chapter is from the book

Tips on Tools

We use the Users and Computers snap-in often, as a main tool, and there are some helpful tips that we haven't yet covered. In addition, the snap-in is not the only tool available to manage Active Directory objects. Before we conclude this chapter, we'll say a few words about the Users and Computers snap-in, as well as about other means to manage objects.

The Users and Computers Snap-In

We have been using the Users and Computers snap-in throughout the chapter. Here we'll briefly fill in some last few holes.

Choosing a Domain

You can connect to another domain by right-clicking the uppermost line of the left pane (Active Directory Users and Computers . . .), selecting Connect to Domain, and then specifying a new domain either by typing its name or selecting it from a list.

Choosing a Domain Controller

Sometimes you want to communicate with a certain domain controller. You can choose one by right-clicking the uppermost line of the left pane (Active Directory Users and Computers . . .), selecting Connect to Domain Controller, and then selecting a new domain controller or typing in a new domain controller's name in the dialog box shown in Figure 3.37.

Figure 3.37 You can specify a domain controller to communicate with in the Connect to Domain Controller dialog box.

Finding Objects and Information

The item list of the context menu of the domain object and each OU has a Find item. You can use it to find objects that match certain criteria.

Filter Options

The item list of the View menu of the snap-in includes Filter Options. This feature enables you to specify the objects you want to see when you browse various container objects. (For more information about finding and filtering objects, see Chapter 6.)

Viewing Advanced Features

The item list of the View menu of the snap-in includes Advanced Features. If you turn on those features, the user interface will make the following adaptations:

  • Each object will show additional tabs in the property pages. We discuss the Security tab in Chapter 4 and the information in the Object tab in Chapter 5.

  • You will see additional containers and objects. The System container includes miscellaneous domain-specific objects, such as the DNS records of Active Directory's integrated zones and Group Policy containers. The LostAndFound container includes objects that lost their parent container due to a replication conflict. This is explained in Chapter 5.

Alternative Means to Manage Users and Other Objects

In addition to the Users and Computers snap-in, you also have the following means available to you to manage users and other objects:

  • ADSI Edit: This tool is part of Windows 2000 Support Tools. While the Users and Computers snap-in shows only some objects and some of their properties, ADSI Edit shows everything. It is not practical for everyday administration, but occasionally you might need it. We use ADSI Edit in quite a few places in later chapters.

  • LDIFDE and CSVDE: These two tools are part of Windows 2000. They enable you to import and export objects between Active Directory and a text file. We explain how to use them in Chapter 6.

  • NET commands: Windows 2000 includes about 20 NET commands that were inherited from Windows NT, which inherited them from LAN Manager. You can create batch files with them to automate administration, but they don't understand the directory structure of Active Directory. You can get a list of these commands by typing "NET HELP" (without quotes), and you get help with an individual command by typing "NET HELP command." Chapter 11 includes an example of creating a user account with these commands.

  • WSH scripts: You can download scripts from the Internet or write scripts that will do "anything," including manage Active Directory objects. Chapter 10 and Chapter 11 provide further information.

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