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Administering Windows 2000 Server with the Admin Pack

TIP: Thanks to Bryan Doviack for pointing out that you can also install the Admin Pack from a 2000 Server CD-ROM or network install share: Simply navigate to the system32 folder and execute adminpak.msi .

Though Windows 2000 Professional includes a good number of Admin tools that will connect to remote machines, it doesn't come with the full complement of tools you get in Server Edition. If you're a systems administrator, this leaves you in somewhat of a bind: You want to run Professional on your desktop, but you need to administer one of more servers. There are a couple of options available, including installing Terminal Services for remote administration. But a better solution would be to simply load the Server administration tools onto your Professional desktop system.

Alas, such a solution is actually available, though its completely undocumented. To get this working, you'll need to be able to access a Server install through My Network Places. And the tool you're looking for is called the Windows 2000 Admin Pack.

Installing the Windows 2000 Admin Pack

To install the Admin pack, simply navigate to C:\winnt\system32 on a remote Server. Then, find and execute the file named adminpak.msi. This launches the Windows 2000 Administration Tools Setup Wizard (Figure 1) , which will place the full range of Server admin tools on your system. There's no option for custom install and it's not smart enough to only install the tools for services that are actually running on the system (in other words, you'll get all of the Active Directory tools even if its not installed on the server), but it's better than nothing. The Setup Wizard will copy the needed files and register components on your system (Figure 2) . It's that simple.

Using the Windows 2000 Admin Pack
When the Wizard completes, you'll find an amazing number of tools available to you in Start menu | Programs | Administrative Tools (Figure 3) . You'll need to configure each tool to work with the proper server, but that's easy enough in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC)-based tools: The only hard part was figuring out how to get them on your system in the first place.


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