Saturday, August 6, 2011

AD Tips: How to view hidden folders in Active Directory Users and Computers Snap-in

The primary administrator tool to manage users, groups, computers and organizational units is Active Directory Users and Computers. It is snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). You can also refer to the Active Directory administrative tools included MMC snap-ins for Managing Active Directory. However, this is somehow different from other snap-ins.
If you wish to start Active Directory Users And Computers, you can do it by selecting it from the Administrative Tools Menu. Moreover, this snap-in can be added to any console that can be updated. Usually, the Active Directory Users and Computer snap-in works with the domain to which your computer is currently connected. Therefore, you can access the computer and the user objects in this domain through the console tree. If you can’t find a domain controller or if the domain you want to work with isn’t displayed, it is required to connect to a domain controller in the current domain or a domain controller in a different domain. Moreover, the other high-level tasks you might want to perform with Active Directory Users And Computers are viewing advanced options or searching for objects. The following standard set of folders will be disabled if you access a domain in Active Directory Users and Computers.

•    Builtin List of built-in user accounts and groups.
•    Computers Default container for computer accounts.
•    Domain Controllers Default container for domain controllers.
•    ForeignSecurityPrincipals Contains information on objects from a trusted external domain. These objects are typically created when an object from an external domain is added to a group in the current domain.
•    Managed Service Accounts Default container for managed service accounts.
•    Microsoft Exchange Security Groups Default container for groups used by Microsoft Exchange Server. This folder is listed only if Exchange Server is running in the environment.
•    Saved Queries Contains saved search criteria so that you can quickly perform previously run Active Directory searches.
•    Users Default container for users.
Make sure that the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in has the advanced options that aren’t displayed by default. If you wish to access these options, it is required to click View and then select Advanced Features and view the following additional folders.
•    Program Data Contains stored Active Directory data for Microsoft applications.
•    LostAndFound Contains objects that have been orphaned. You can delete or recover them.
•    System Contains built-in system settings.
•    NTDS Quotas Contains directory service quota data.
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