Windows Server Management FAQ

Systems admins can find answers to common Windows server management questions.

Countless issues can arise for systems administrators working with Windows servers. Below you'll find some questions asked of Laura E. Hunter, SearchWinComputing.com's Windows server management expert.

How can I sync files between two Win2003 servers?

I need to synch files between two servers in different locations. They both have Win2003 SP1, and are in the same forest. However they have different domains. Tried DFS -- isn't working. Can you help?

Try ScriptLogic's Secure Copy tool. You can also use the synchronization tools in the File Server Migration Toolkit, a free download from Microsoft.

Will there be problems if I defrag a disk array on a Windows 2000 Server?

I want to defrag a disk array on a Windows 2000 Server. Will there be problems if I do?

Since Windows 2000 Server Disk Defragmenter operates at a software level it is not aware of any physical RAID arrays that operate below it. Most modern disk arrays will handle the disk defragmenter process without complaint, but you may want to check with your manufacturer to see if there is a manufacturer-specific utility that you should use instead.

Why has Exchange 5.5 Server stopped retrieving email?

At my organization, our computers all log onto a Windows 2000 Advanced Server domain. Most of your users receive their email through our Exchange 5.5 server that runs NT. Recently, some users could not retrieve their mail from the Exchange server and receive an error message that says the server is not available. However, when we ping it, it replies. Do you know why Exchange 5.5 server is acting this way? And, what can we do to fix it?

Aside from pinging the Exchange Server, be sure that it is accessible via NetBIOS name resolution (typically managed by a WINS server on your network), as well as DNS name resolution.

How to create a secondary DNS server?

How do I create a secondary DNS server on another box when Active Directory is using Windows 2000 Server SP4?

You can use the DNS Management MMC snap-in to create a secondary zone on another server. Right-click on the Forward Lookup Zones node and select New Zone. You will be prompted to create a primary, secondary or stub zone. Select create a secondary zone, and specify the address of a DNS server that's hosting a primary zone for the domain in question.

How do I control user access to a network server?

There's a service on the server that I would like a few people to be able to stop and start. But they shouldn't be able to stop and start any other services. How do I allow them to do this without making them administrators?

Delegate permissions over an individual service using a Group Policy Object. Microsoft KnowledgeBase article 256345 provides detailed instructions.

Is there a tool that can I can use to back up my standalone DNS Server?

I need to back up my standalone DNS Server, is there a tool that can help me?

The built-in Windows backup utility can back up your DNS data. So can any other Windows-compatible backup utility, like Veritas or Legato.

Can I restore local administration rights on a Windows 2003 server

Our local administration is gone and no one knows the Windows 2003 DC password. A locksmith let me reset the local administration password but now the account has very limited access. While I can access the server I cannot do much more. Can I restore those local administration rights?

If the domain administrator's password has been lost or forgotten and you do not have another user with administrative rights, I suggest you perform a parallel installation of the OS onto a different partition, or use a password recovery utility to reset the password.

DNS issue with SBS and SP1

We have network of 12 PCs (XP Pro and W2k Pro) and single server that runs 2003 SBS premium edition. I recently installed Service Pack 1 on the server and since then our workstations can't ping the server, but the server can ping the workstations. There haven't been any major issues, but I worry that we'll run into the same problems when we install Service Pack 1 on a number of other servers that we look after. Any solutions?

Sounds like this may be a DNS issue that some SBS'ers have reported after the SP1 install. Try the following command from a command prompt to turn off EDNS0 support and see if that helps: dnscmd /Config /EnableEDnsProbes 0

Then give it another try. This Knowledge Base article also examines why DNS query responses do not travel through a firewall in Windows Server 2003.

How to configure Windows Server 2003 as a router

We have a Win 2003 Server Standard platform and have a Windows 2003 Server set up with two NICs, a WAN and a LAN. The WAN connects to a PIX firewall and the LAN to a switch. The server itself connects to the Internet fine, but clients connected through the LAN switch do not have access. Am I missing a RRAS configuration?

If you are using your Windows Server to allow your clients to connect to the Internet, you'll need to configure RRAS to function as a router to direct traffic between the LAN and the WAN. This Technet checklist can help you configure your Windows 2003 server as a router.

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