A guide to the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools

Microsoft's oft-ignored Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools can help administrators deal with issues such as troubleshooting operating system issues, managing Active Directory, configuring networking and security features and automating application deployment.

Systems administration is an extremely complex task to carry out each day. Every Windows administrator has a set of tips, tricks and tools up their sleeves which they use to battle the issues that each day plague their Windows environments.

But sometimes that set of tricks doesn't seem to be enough. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a collection of valuable weapons that you could easily use in the fight? Especially if they were free?

The often-ignored Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools is a veritable arsenal of tools designed to alleviate an administrator's stress of dealing with issues such as:

  • Troubleshooting operating system issues
  • Managing Active Directory
  • Configuring networking and security features
  • Automating application deployment.

Why do so many administrators ignore the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit? It may have something to do with the glut of options (126 of them – yikes!) in the kit. It might be overwhelming to look at this seemingly endless list, but don't let that dissuade you from learning and using at least some of these wonderful little gems. You won't regret it.

This series of articles will not only give you information about each tool, but also specific scenarios and reasons why you would use the tool in your environments. Hopefully you'll be able to add one (if not more) of these tools into your set of tips, tricks and tools. We'll start out by learning where to get the kit, how to install it and where to look for the tools.

Requirements for the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools

  • Supported operating systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows XP (not supported on 64-bit platforms)
  • 30 MB of free disk space

Installing Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools

  • Download the kit.
  • After downloading the kit, simply double-click on the file and hit Next in the wizard to install.

General use of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools

First, locate the utilities. Most of the tools are command-line driven, but others have a GUI screen.

  • Navigate to: Start --> All Programs --> Windows Resource Kit Tools --> Command Shell.
  • Or else, at a command prompt: C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools

The tools Click the links to learn about the tools we've covered so far.



Tim Fenner (MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, Network+ and A+) is a senior systems administrator who oversees a Microsoft Windows, Exchange and Office environment. He is also an independent consultant who specializes in the design, implementation and management of Windows networks.

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