Q. Can I manage Windows Server 2008 Active Directory (AD) from a Windows XP client?

A. The Server 2008 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) only install on Server 2008 or Windows Vista SP1. The only administration tools supported on XP are the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools (adminpak.msi).

Server 2008 AD has increased functionality that  the Windows 2003 AD management tool can't understand. You can use the Windows 2003 AD snap-ins to manage basic functionality of 2008 AD, but no enhanced Server 2008 AD features are exposed. Also, the Windows 2003 AD snap-ins will not understand the Server 2008 domain and forest modes, so if you try and view this information, the system will be a hang and a blank domain and forest mode will be displayed, as shown below.

As a best practice, use the Server 2008 RSAT. If you don't have access to this tool, you can use remote desktop to access a Server 2008 or dedicated Vista management box.

Check out hundreds more useful Q&As like this in John Savill's FAQ for Windows. Also watch instructional videos made by John at ITTV.net.

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