Tech Tip: Configure the Start menu/Install Network Monitor

Windows 2000 Professional: Configure the Start menu

The Windows Start menu and taskbar provide quick access to a variety of applications and services, some of which you might not want readily available to your users. For example, you might want to remove the Run or Help commands from the Start menu, prevent Windows from keeping a document history, or configure Windows to clear the document history when the user exits. You can accomplish these types of tasks through group policy.

To view the policies you can configure for the Start menu and taskbar, open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), and add the Group Policy console for the local computer. Or, open a group policy object from the Active Directory Users And Computers console on a server.

Navigate to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu & Taskbar. This branch contains more than 20 policies that remove features from the Start menu and disable functions such as drag-and-drop context menus on the Start menu. To view more information about a particular policy, double-click the policy, and select the Explain tab.

The Start menu is the main location most users go to access applications and resources on their computers. Controlling what they see in the Start menu can go a long way toward keeping them out of trouble.

Windows 2000 Server: Install Network Monitor

Whether your organization has a small or large network, it's always a good idea to keep an eye on what traffic is moving across the network. For example, you might need to track access to unauthorized Web sites that your firewall's content filter doesn't block, spot connection problems, or identify computers that generate an excessive amount of network traffic.

A network sniffer is a device or application that analyzes network traffic at the frame (packet) level and provides the means to view individual frames. Sniffers typically offer the ability to create reports and perform other tasks with the information they gather.

Windows 2000 Server includes its own network sniffer. Network Monitor can capture frames sent to or from the local server. It does not install by default, but you can add it via the Add/Remove Programs applet in Control Panel. You'll find Network Monitor under Management And Monitoring Tools in the Add/Remove Windows Components list.

After you install Network Monitor, you can begin capturing data going to and from the server. You can view the data, filter it to view only certain packets, and manipulate the data in other ways that fit the problem area you're trying to resolve.

The version of Network Monitor included with Windows 2000 Server doesn't capture network data for client computers or other servers, but you can use the version of Network Monitor included with Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) to do so.

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