Talking Shop: Locating familiar Windows NT utilities in Windows 2000

Make the transition to Windows 2000 easier by using the administrative utilities in the Computer Management Console.

If you’ve had a chance to look at Microsoft Windows 2000, you’ve probably noticed that it has a different look and feel than Windows NT. You’re accustomed to finding utilities in certain places in Windows NT, but they may not be in the same place in Windows 2000. Many of the utilities are now in the Computer Management Console. In this Daily Feature, I’ll point out some of the places where you can look for familiar utilities.

Computer Management Console
To get to the Computer Management Console, choose Start | Programs | Administrative Tools | Computer Management. You can use the Computer Management tool to manage local or remote computers using a single, consolidated desktop tool. Combining several Windows 2000 administration utilities into a single console tree, it provides easy access to a specific computer's administrative properties and tools.

The Computer Management utility lets you monitor system events, such as logon times and application errors, and it allows you to create and manage shares. You can also start and stop system services, view a list of users connected to a local or remote computer, set properties for storage devices, view device configurations, and add new device drivers.

Server applications and services—such as the Domain Name System (DNS) service or the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service—can also be managed from the Computer Management Console.

To take full advantage of the Computer Management Console, you must be a member of the Administrators group. Windows 2000 won’t give you access to view or modify administrative properties unless you are an Administrator. The look and feel of Computer Management is similar to any other snap-in within the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), as shown in Figure A. Its two-pane look is similar to that of Windows Explorer. As you can see, the three nodes in the tree are System Tools, Storage, and Services And Applications.

Figure A
The Computer Management Console looks just like any normal Microsoft Management Console.

You perform administrative tasks by selecting the desired tools in the console tree. The menus and toolbars allow you to take action on that tool in the right-hand pane, which displays the attributes about the tool.

System Tools
When you first load Windows 2000, six system tools are available to you. As you install additional software, more tools may become available. System Tools is the first node in the Computer Management Console tree. Using the System Tools, you will be able to manage the following:
  • Performance Logs And Alerts
  • Local Users And Groups
  • System Information
  • Shared Folders
  • Event Viewer
  • Device Manager

The second node in the Computer Management Console is Storage. This node displays all of the storage devices installed on a computer. You can use it to view and manage the properties of storage devices, which include drive labels, disk space used, access rights, and share permissions. The Disk Management snap-in can also be used under this node.

Services And Applications
The third node in the Computer Management Console is Services And Applications. This node allows you to view and manage the properties of any server service or application installed on the computer. As you install additional services or applications, the list under this node will grow. You should see such items as:
  • DNS
  • DHCP
  • Services For Macintosh
  • Fax Service
  • RAS Server
  • Routing Server
  • WINS

If you feel a little lost with the new look and feel of Windows 2000, be aware that you can now find many of the administrative utilities in the Computer Management Console. By consolidating many utilities under this one console, Windows 2000 has helped to make computer management easier.
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