The Microsoft Mangement Console in Windows 2000 – Step-By-Step

Microsoft® Windows 2000 Knowledge Center

UsingThe Microsoft Management Console

Step-By-Step

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A long, long time ago, in the land of Redmond, a group of developers sought the creation of a more flexible interface that would enable users and system administrators to more easily use the various tools incorporated in new operating system, Windows 2000. What they ended up with was the Microsoft® Management Console. Looking back into that time long ago, we will explorer some of what these developers had in mind.

Think of the Microsoft® Management Console as a sort of starting point for all of the tools you would like to use most often. If you’re used to using the command line, this may be a great opportunity to break the habit. The MMC is a single place within which you can host the various tools and display them in the form of individual consoles. Tools consisting of one or more applications, are built with modules called snap-ins. The snap-ins can also include additional extension snap-ins. The Microsoft® Management Console is a core part of Microsoft’s overall management strategy and is included in all versions of the Windows® 2000 operating system. This new management console design will be incorporated in future management applications developed by Microsoft®.

The Microsoft® Management Console will enable you, as either a user, power user or system administrator, to create customized tools and tools groups and distribute them so that other users and groups can handle administrative tasks in an organized and standardized manner. Beyond the tools included in the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, there are many tools provided with the operating system that you can use perform everyday administrative tasks that need to accomplish.

The available tools are part of the All Users profile of the computer and located in the Administrative Tools group on the Startup menu. These tools, which have been saved as Microsoft Management Console (.msc) files, can be sent by e-mail, shared in a network folder, or posted on the Web. They can also be assigned to users, groups, or computers with system policy settings. There are many things you can do with the console tools, such scale them up or down, integrate them seamlessly into the operating system, and even repackage and customized them. Can’t find your Administrative Tools on your Start Menu? Click Here.

The Microsoft® Management Console can be extremely useful to system administrators who have a need to create unique consoles for workgroup managers or other users to perform specialized administrative tasks. You can create a unique console tool, and then provide it with a system policy, or deliver the file by e-mail, or even post the file to a shared location on a network. When the .msc file is opened, access is then restricted to those tools you have provided.

Building your own tool/console configurations is an easy and straight forward process. At your option, you can create a new console from scratch or you can begin with an existing console and then add, modify or delete components as necessary. Either way, you are able to arrange the administrative components into easy to use separate windows. In the following, we will show you how to construct a basic console

There’s nothing else to install, no prerequisites and there are no other steps to be completed in order for you to begin assembling your own tools. The only thing you need is a computer running either Windows 2000 Professional or Windows 2000 Server. Before building your consoles, you may want to install the extra tools provided on the Windows 2000 CD in the \Support\Tools folder. Many of them will prove useful in consoles that you can build.

Building and Creating Consoles

Although the simplest method that you can use to become familiar with the Microsoft® Management Console is to start with a predefined console file from the Start menu, this will not enable you to see the great deal of flexibility built into the MMC. Sometimes the best place to begin is at the beginning, and create a console file from scratch. This will enable you to see the benefits of building from scratch in order to benefit from the new task delegation features that are part of the MMC. Let’s begin by creating a new console file.

To Create a New Console File

  1. Click Start, then Run, then type in MMC, and then click OK. The MMC will open with an empty console (or administrative tool) as shown in Figure 1. The empty console has no functionality until you begin adding some snap-ins. The MMC menu commands on the menu bar at the top of the Microsoft Management Console window apply to the entire console.

    Figure 1 – Empty Console Window

  2. Now click Console, right under Console1. On the Console Menu, click Add/Remove Snap-in. See Figure 2.

    Figure 2 – Add/Remove Snap-in

    The Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box opens. See Figure 2. This lets you enable extensions and configure which snap-ins are in the console file. You can specify where the snap-ins should be inserted in the Snap-in’s “added to drop-down box.” For this example, accept the default, Console Root.

    Figure 3 – Where should the Snap-in be inserted

  3. Next, click Add. This will display the Add Standalone Snap-in dialog box that lists the snap-ins that are installed on your computer. See Figure 4.

    Figure 4 – Add Standalone Snap-in

  4. From the list of snap-ins, double-click Computer Management to open the Computer Management wizard. See Figure 5.

    Figure 5 – Add/Remove Snap-in

  5. Now click Local computer to select it and then check the box for “Allow the selected computer to be changed when launching from the command line“, and click Finish to close the wizard.
  6. This will return you to the Add Standalone Snap-in dialog box. Just click Close, which will leave you at the Add/Remove Snap-in window.
  7. At the Add/Remove Snap-in window, click the Extensions tab as shown in Figure 6. Now click Add all extensions to select it. By selecting the check box Add all extensions, all extensions that have been installed locally on the computer will be used. Note: If you do not check this box, any extension snap-ins that you select will be explicitly loaded should this console tool be opened on another computer.

    Figure 6 – Add all extensions

  8. Now click OK to close the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box. The Console Root window now has a snap-in, Computer Management, rooted at the Console Root folder. See Figure 7.

    Figure 7 – Basic Console – Computer Management

Now that we have a basic management console to work with, let’s customize how the snap-ins are displayed in the console. Don’t forget to save your new console. Give it a unique name that you will remember. We named ours comp_mgmt.msc. Next, Adding windows and customizing the layout.

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