As a server administrator, I frequently use Active Directory for both Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. However, for many of the servers I administer, I don’t always use the administrative account to log on to a server, but instead I use an alternative username that has limited administrative capabilities. On top of that, I normally remote on to a Terminal Server that does not always function as a Domain Controller. While I am under the limited administrative account and/or while I am on the terminal server (or another server), I normally do not have an active directory shortcut under my administrative tools.
However, I can create a shortcut for both Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.
How to Create the Shortcut (Quick Method)
- Right click on your desktop, select New, and select Shortcut.
- Type in dsa.msc
- Click Next.
- Rename your shortcut. I generally name my Active Directory Users and Computers.
- Click Finish.
- Done! You should have an Active Directory shortcut on your desktop.
How to Create the Shortcut with Snap-In Method
Using Microsoft Management Console (MMC) allows you the flexibility of customizing which administration tools you would like to use in a single click, such as DNS, IIS, Active Directory, Computer Management, etc. In this particular case, I have given the instructions for adding Active Directory.
- Open up your run command. (Quickest way to do is to do ‘Windows Key’ + r)
- Type in MMC
- A console should open up where we can now add Active Directory (or other administrative tools). Go to File > Add/Remove Snap-in.
- For Windows Server 2003, click Add. From here you will be able to select Active Directory Users and Computers.
- Once added, click OK. Note: For Windows Server 2003, you will have Close the Add Standalone Snap-in then click OK.
- Now we need to save a shortcut to our desktop. Go to File > Save As.
- Name your file. I usually name mine Active Directory.
You should now be able to open Active Directory on whatever machine you placed the icon.