Creating a "Super" MMC

Manage your server network with a customized Microsoft Management Console.

Since Windows 2000, administration and management of Windows networks has been performed through the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), which provides a central interface for all aspects of server administration. Like Microsoft Office, MMC provides a single interface to a multitude of tools so you don't have to re-learn a console each time you open a new one.

But you can also customize MMCs by creating a "super" console that includes all the tools you need; no more changing tools whenever you need to perform another task. This is especially useful if you're using normal user credentials for everyday tasks and using the Runas command to launch each of your administration consoles. With a Super MMC, you only use the Runas command once and automatically gain access to all the tools needed.

If you've worked with Win2K, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 for a while, you might have noticed the usefulness of the Computer Management console. It automatically adds the management snap-in of any service you install on a server. While this is a good general purpose console, it's not an all-encompassing tool. Thus, you can use it as the starting point for the creation of your Super MMC.

Super MMC Prerequisites: Before you can create the Super MMC, you should have the following installed:

  • Windows Server 2003 Administration Pack (adminpak.msi in the i386 folder of the Windows 2003 installation CD)
  • Windows Server 2003 Support Tools (suptools.msi in the Support\Tools folder of the Windows 2003 installation CD)
  • Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit (download from www.microsoft.com/downloads)
  • Group Policy Management Console (download from www.microsoft.com/downloads)

Once you've installed these components, you can prepare your console. You'll need administrative credentials to create the console; either log on as an administrator or use Runas to open the console in editing mode.

STEP 1. Use Start | Run to execute the following command:

mmc /a %SystemRoot%\system32\compmgmt.msc

Step 1
Step 1

STEP 2. This launches the Computer Management console in editing mode. Begin by using File | Save As to save the console as Super MMC.msc under the C:\Toolkit folder. (You may have to create this folder.)

Step 2. This launches the Computer Management console in editing mode.
Step 2
(Click image to view larger version.)

STEP 3. Then use File | Add/Remove Snap-in to open the dialog box. Make sure you choose Computer Management under Snap-ins added to and click the Add button.

Step 3. Use File | Add/Remove Snap-in to open the dialog box.
Step 3
(Click image to view larger version.)

STEP 4. Double-click each of the snap-ins listed in List 1. Click Close when done. Click OK to return to the console.

List 1. Super MMC Contents: In addition to all the features of the Computer Management console, this console should include the following snap-ins:

  • .NET Framework 1.1 Configuration
  • The three Active Directory snap-ins: User and Computers Management, Sites and Services Management, Domains and Trusts Management
  • Authorization Manager
  • Certification Authority (specify the server to manage)
  • Component Services
  • Distributed File System
  • Enterprise PKI (if you have a PKI in place)
  • Group Policy Management (requires Group Policy Management Console installation)
  • Performance Logs and Alerts
  • Remote Desktops
  • Security Configuration and Analysis
  • Security Templates
  • Wireless Monitor
Step 4. Double-click each of the snap-ins in List 1.
Step 4
(Click image to view larger version.)

STEP 5. Click File | Options and name the console Super MMC Console. Make sure it's set to User mode - full access and uncheck Do not save changes to this console. Click OK when done.

Step 5. Click File | Options and name the console Super MMC Console.
Step 5
(Click image to view larger version.)

STEP 6. Use File | Save to save your changes.

Step 6. Use File | Save to save your changes.
Step 6
(Click image to view larger version.)

There are several uses for this console, but it's basically the most common tool you'll use to manage your server network. One of its most useful components is the Remote Desktops snap-in, because you can use it to create RDP connections to all the servers you manage.

Featured

  • The 2020 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generations of .NET and PowerShell, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • 2020 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss. (Now updated with COVID-19-related event changes.)

  • Microsoft Closing Most of Its Retail Stores

    Microsoft on Friday announced a major shift in its retail operations, with plans to close most of its physical Microsoft Store outlets in favor of online sales.

  • Matrix

    Microsoft, Harvard Describe Joint Privacy Initiative

    To facilitate data sharing while still preserving data privacy, Microsoft and Harvard have embarked on a set of open source tool called the "OpenDP Initiative."

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.