Top five free Windows server management tools

Check out the most popular free server management tools Windows shops are downloading from Microsoft.

Ask just about any Windows administrator about a favorite tool and many of them drop a list of free ones they can't do without.

Some of these free tools and updates come from the Microsoft Download Center, such as the server management ones featured in this article.

The popularity of these downloads change as new tools become available and new products are released, so be sure to check the download center for the latest links to the most popular free server management utilities.

Windows Installer 4.5 Redistributable
When it was released: 6/2/2008
What it does: Updates whatever Windows Installer version you have to version 4.5. Version 4.5 is a minor update to version 4.0 and has new features, such as multiple package transactions and an embedded UI handler. There are also fixes, such as a SeBackupPrivilege that was missing in 4.0 that prevented any custom action that needed this user right, and a tweak that stops new components shared by other products from being uninstalled when an update was uninstalled.
Where to get it: Windows Installer 4.5 Redistributable
System requirements: Supports Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows Vista Service Pack 1, and Windows Server 2008 in X86, X64 and IA64 versions.

SubInACL
When it was released: 6/14/2004
What it does: A command line tool that lets you view and collect security information about files, registry keys and services such as owner and permission access control list (ACL) and move this information from user to user, from group to group and domain to domain.
Where to get it: SubInACL
System requirements: Supports Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools
When it was released: 4/28/2003
What it does: A set of more than 100 tools that helps with such server tasks as troubleshooting operating system issues, managing Active Directory, configuring networking and security features and automating application deployment.
Where to get it: Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools
System requirements: Supports Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1, and requires 30 MB of free disk space. The tools are not supported on 64-bit platforms.

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express
When it was released: 4/18/2006
What it does: A graphical configuration and administration tool for SQL Server 2005 Express Edition and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services. In comparison to the more advanced management features in SQL Server Management Studio, the Express version can't manage SQL Server Analysis Services, Integration Services, Notification Services, Reporting Services, SQL Server Agent and SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition.
Where to get it: Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express
System requirements: Supports Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1; Windows XP Service Pack 2 and requires a PC with an Intel or compatible Pentium III 600 MHz or faster processor, a minimum of 192 MB of RAM and 100 MB of available hard disk space. The installation of this tool will fail if you do not remove previous CTP versions of SQL Server Management Studio Express.

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 [32-bit x86]
When it was released:3/12/2007
What it does: A roll-up of the latest updates and fixes for Windows Server 2003.
Where to get it: Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 [32-bit x86]
System requirements: Supports Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit x86), Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, Windows Small Business Server 2003.



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