Domain Management in Vista
I’ve been running into a few problems with Vista and management pack from Microsoft. I use my workstation to manage different domains for clients, so I’m neither a member of the domain nor am I looking to join any of them.
The first problem was after I installed the Windows 2003 Management tools was that I couldn’t even launch the mmc’s. I continued to get these errors: "mmc could not create the snap-in"
I was able to find an easy fix from Microsoft’s KBase, article 930056. Essentially they give you a batch file to run that registers the DLLs with the OS. Another security "feature". Microsoft claims that I didn’t have administrative rights or ran the installer as an admin when I installed the AdminPak. Kudos for that.
The second problem was a little trickier. I wanted to manage a domain that my workstation wasn’t a member of. I’ve done this in the past with XP, using runas.exe, but Vista’s file paths were messing me up.
For this problem, there are a few hoops to jump through.
Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
Then run this command. Obviously replace domain and userid with your information.
runas.exe /netonly /user:"domain\userid" "mmc C:\Windows\System32\admgmt.msc"
Once you run this command, you’ll be prompted for your password on that domain (if you have network connectivity to it, that is. You do need to be on the network for this to work.. vpn works too).
The MMC will generate a warning:
Naming information cannot be located because:
The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted.
Contact your system administrator to verify that your domain is properly configured and is currently online.
Click OK, as its the only option.
Finally, right click on the Active Directory Users and Computers and choose Connect to Domain. Enter in your entire domain name and mash the OK button. With any luck, you should be able to admin the domain now.
Bonus: Check out this article on how to setup a contextual menu for an Administrative Command Prompt.