Windows Server 2003/8 – Active Directory Home Page

Windows Server 2003/8 Active Directory

Microsoft first released Active Directory in Windows 2000 (v 5.0).  Active Directory has made user accounts much easier to manage compared with NT 4.0.  Although Windows Server 2003/8 with SP1 is only a 0.2 upgrade on Windows 2000 it introduces features that many think should have been in the original edition.  Perhaps the biggest improvements are in replication, for example, reduced latency, and less network traffic.  Thanks to Windows 2003, only changed attributes are replicated rather than the whole object.

The purpose of this page is to act as a mini sitemap and provide pointers to managing Windows Server 2003/8 Active Directory.

Windows Server 2003/8 Active Directory

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Getting to Know Directory

Active Directory has so many sides and so many ramifications that you really need a test network to try settings and test new ideas.  VMware or Microsoft’s Virtual PC are purpose built software for experimenting with Windows Server 2003/8 Active Directory.  In each case you can create multiple Domain Controllers on a virtual network and practice Group Policy settings, replicating servers and Raising Domain levels.

If you are tranfering to Active Directory from an earlier system, or a different directory service, then do keep an open mind for new ways of performing old tasks.  For example deploy logon script through group policy rather than through the users’ profile property tab.

Guy Recommends 3 Free Active Directory ToolsDownload Solarwinds Active Directory Administration Tool

SolarWinds have produced three Active Directory add-ons.  These free utilities have been approved by Microsoft, and will help to manage your domain by:

  1. Seeking and zapping unwanted user accounts.
  2. Finding inactive computers.
  3. Bulk-importing new users.  Give this AD utility a try, it’s free!

Download your FREE Active Directory administration tools.

Related Topics

I wrote this section to give advice on how to configure, and troubleshoot Active Directory.  There is hardly an aspect of a Windows Server 2003/8 domain that is not affected by Active Directory, so take the time to explore all the aspect of Microsoft’s directory service.