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10 quick practical tips for Windows Server 2016

10 quick practical tips for Windows Server 2016

With simple commands and abbreviations in the command line, servers with Windows Server 2016 can be managed very effectively and errors can be found quickly. In this article, we show ten quickly implementable tricks that can make life easier for Windows administrators.

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  1. Manage Active Directory and certificates faster

Administrators often need the commands to open the administration programs. The fastest way to open Active Directory users and computers is to enter “dsa.msc” in the search field of the start menu. The administration of DNS is opened with “dnsmgmt.msc”, DHCP server with “dhcpmgmt.msc”.

To manage the local certificates of a computer, go to “certlm.msc”, the user certificates are managed with “certmgr.msc”. There are numerous other MSC files in Windows server that can be used to call up the local administration programs on Windows servers. Most of them can be found in the directory C: \ Windows \ System32.

  1. Isolate errors in Active Directory more quickly

To quickly find errors in Active Directory, it helps to first analyze the domain controller with “dcdiag” on the command line. If the analysis shows errors, you can search for them on the Internet. So solutions can be found very quickly. The replication between domain controllers is shown with “repadmin / showreps”. The data can be redirected to a file with “repadmin / showreps> reps.csv”. To display the current location of the domain controller in Active Directory, “nltest / dsgetsite” is entered.

  1. Unattended installation of roles and features

In order to install the same server roles on one server as on another, the selection of the roles can be saved in an XML file. On other servers, the role installation is then started in the PowerShell, for example with “Install-WindowsFeature -ConfigurationFilePath C: \ Daten \ iis.xml”

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  1. Use Best Practices Analyzer

Windows Server 2016 checks the function of its server roles. The color of the tiles in Server Manager shows what the status of a server role is  Clicking on a tile displays extended information.

  1. Test the operations master

FSMO roles play an important role in Active Directory. Which domain controller provides the individual roles can be checked on the command line. The roles can be displayed bundled with “netdom query fsmo” or individually using the following commands:

  • dsquery server -hasfsmo pdc (PDC master)
  • dsquery server -hasfsmo rid (RID master)
  • dsquery server -hasfsmo infr (infrastructure master)
  • dsquery server -hasfsmo schema (schema master)
  • dsquery server -hasfsmo name (domain name master)
  1. Enable Remote Desktop in Windows Server 2016

Setting up servers directly in the server room or data center is not very convenient. Here it makes sense to activate a remote desktop connection. The fastest way is to call “sysdm.cpl”. The remote desktop can be activated on the “Remote” tab.

For this, the option “Allow remote connection to this computer” is activated. If the connection does not work, the option “Allow connections only from computers running remote desktop with authentication at network level” should be deactivated. Then the connection can also be established without an available domain controller. For example, to establish a remote desktop connection from a Windows 10 computer, “mstsc” is opened in the start menu.

  1. DNS troubleshooting

If the name resolution does not work correctly, you can check with “nslookup” on the respective server whether a DNS name resolution can be carried out. With ” ipconfig / registerdns” servers re-register on the DNS servers that are defined in the network settings. If entries in Active Directory do not work, “dcdiag / fix” can be repaired. The tool tries to include missing entries from the “netlogon.dns” file.

  1. Uninstall media player

By default, Windows Media Player is active in Windows Server 2016. This is not required on production servers. The following command is used to uninstall the media player:

dism / online / Disable-Feature / FeatureName: WindowsMediaPlayer / norestart

  1. Find out Group Policy registry settings

One way to search for Group Policy settings is on the Group Policy Search website. Administrators can search for settings here in a tree structure. On the right-hand side, you can see the exact name for the corresponding setting and above all the registry key and value that is changed. NIT-GPOSearch reads in the group policy templates in the network and allows the search for certain settings.

  1. Protect and restore objects

In Windows Server 2016, Active Directory objects are protected from accidental deletion. This protection is activated by default. After the extended view has been activated via the “View” menu in Active Directory users and computers, the “Protect object against accidental deletion” checkbox can be found on the “Object” tab.

This option controls the permissions on the Security tab. The “Everyone” group is denied the “Delete” entry. This manifests itself in the fact that before deleting such a protected object, an administrator must first deactivate the check box for this option before he can delete the object.

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