The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) application provides
you with an interface shell into which you can insert various tools called
snap-ins to create custom consoles. While custom consoles can come in handy for
performing any number of tasks, Windows XP’s MMC 2.0 convoluted console
creation process often seems counterintuitive.

Fortunately, Microsoft has made the new MMC interface
developed for Windows Vista available for Windows XP. Version 3.0 of the MMC
application provides more functionality for snap-ins than prior versions and
sports a smoother looking user interface that makes it much easier to create
and use consoles.

One of the biggest changes in MMC 3.0 for Windows XP is the
new Add or Remove Snap-ins interface. Instead of having to use a tedious
procedure that involves two separate dialog boxes to build a custom console,
the new MMC 3.0 provides a single dialog box that makes it much easier to
create custom consoles.

Downloading and installing the MMC 3.0 for Windows XP is a
breeze. However, you must manually enable the new user interface by adding a
key to the registry. Here’s how:

  1. Download
    the Microsoft
    Management Console 3.0
    for Windows XP from the Microsoft Download Center.
  2. Locate
    and run the WindowsXP-KB907265-x86-ENU.exe executable file to launch the MMC
    3.0 installation wizard.
  3. Once
    the installation is complete, launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  4. Go
    to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MMC.
  5. Right-click
    the MMC subkey and select New | Key.
  6. Name
    the key UseNewUI and press [Enter].
  7. Close
    the Registry Editor.

Now when you launch MMC.exe from the Run dialog box, you’ll
be able to take advantage of the new Add or Remove Snap-ins interface. You
simply scroll through the available snap-ins in the left panel and click the
Add button to build your custom console in the right panel.

Notes: This tip
applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional, but requires that Service
Pack 2 is installed. Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a
verified backup before making any changes.

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