Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Installing Active Directory Tools Under Windows 7

This blog post is a step-by-step guide to installing the Active Directory Tools (i.e. Active Directory Users and Computers) on a Windows 7 machine. It has been tested on Windows 7 Enterprise but will probably work with Professional or Ultimate as well - Home users it will not work (but then why are you wanting to administer AD from a home machine??!!)

First of all you need to download the software from Microsoft. In the Microsoft Download Centre these are called "Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7" a direct link to the download page is given below;

If you scroll down to the "Files in This Download" section of the page you'll see two files. Depending on whether or not you're running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 you need to pick the correct file. If you're unsure of which version you're running then go to the start button, right-click "Computer" and then select "Properties". You'll see something like this;
System Information (64-bit/32-bit)
Look at the "System type:" value and you'll see what version of Windows you're running.

If you're running 32-bit then you need to download the file which starts "x86..." (currently this is "x86fre_GRMRSAT_MSU.msu" but it might change). For 64-bit users you need to download the file which begins "amd64..." (currently this is "amd64fre_GRMRSATX_MSU.msu") - this is true even if you're running a non-AMD 64-bit processor. The reason for this I'll leave Microsoft to explain ...

Once you've got the file install it (it's a standard KB update file).

After it's been successfully installed go to the Start Menu > Control Panel and select "Programs";
"Turn Windows Features on or off" under "Programs and Features"
The "Windows Features" dialog box will be displayed, scroll down to "Role Administration Tools" (under "Remote Server Administration Tools") and select the the following items;
"Windows Features" dialog
Click "OK" to make the changes.

In order to make finding these under the Start Menu a little easier right-click the Start Button and select "Properties";
Taskbar and Start Menu Properties
Select "Customize ..." and then scroll down the list until you see "System administrative tools" and choose where you want the tools to display;
Customize Start Menu
Under the Start Menu you will now see an "Administrative Tools" option, under this you'll see the new AD Tools;
Active Directory Start Menu Items
NOTE: Sometimes a reboot is required to pick up these changes!