Tech Tip: Automate Win2K tasks/Add a computer to a different container

Find out how to automate tasks and add a computer to a different container.

Windows 2000 Professional: Automate Windows tasks

Many applications offer the capability to record macros to perform time-consuming or repetitive tasks. Most of the applications in the Microsoft Office Suite include this functionality.

Other applications offer macro programming functionality rather than the ability to record keystrokes. Microsoft Outlook is a good example of this.

Unlike early versions of Windows, Windows 2000 doesn't offer a macro recorder to capture keystrokes that would otherwise help automate tasks in Windows itself. However, it does support the Windows Scripting Host (WSH), a good option if you're familiar with Visual Basic. Another option is to create batch files and run them from a command console.

If neither of these options appeals to you, or if you're looking for an option that you can pass along to users who don't have the programming skills to develop scripts or batch files, consider one of the many third-party macro recorders available for Windows 2000, including Aldo's Macros Recorder 4.1, EZ Macros, and Macro Magic.

Windows 2000 Server: Add a computer to a different container

When you use Windows 2000's Network Identification tab or Windows XP's Computer Name tab of Control Panel's System applet to add a computer to a Windows 2000 domain, the Active Directory of the target domain adds the computer account to the default Computers container. But in many cases, you might want to add computers to other containers.

You have a couple options for adding a computer to a different container. You can use the Active Directory Users And Computers console to add the computer to a specific container. Right-click the container in the console, choose New | Computer, and follow the wizard's prompts to add the computer.

To specify the target container when working from a client computer or to use a console-based tool to create the account, consider using the NETDOM utility included with the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, which handles the task easily. For example, to add a computer account named PC99 to the RemotePCs container in the test domain, use the following:

netdom join PC99 / /OU:OU=RemotePCs,DC=TEST,DC=COM

If the OU name contains spaces, enclose the domain name with quotes. Finally, if the account you logged in with doesn't have administrative rights on the computer that's joining the domain, use the /UserO and /PasswordO switches to specify an appropriate username and password.