Even if you are a seasoned Window’s user, it is quite rare for us to come across the powerful administrative tools that it packs. But, every now and then we may stumble upon some part of it unknowingly. Windows Administrative tools deserve to be well hidden as it is powerful as well as a complex tool which is responsible for an array of core Windows operations.
What are Windows Administrative tools?
Windows Administrative tools are a set of several advanced tools used commonly by System administrators.
Windows Administrative tools are available on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server Operating system.
How do I access Windows Administrative tools?
There are multiple ways to access Windows Administrative tools, Following is the list on how to access it. (Windows 10 OS being used)
- An easy way to access it would from the Control Panel > System and security > Administrative tools.
- You can click the start button on the taskbar panel and click on Windows Administrative Tools.
- Open Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R then type “shell:common administrative tools” and hit Enter.
These are some additional ways to access Windows Administrative tools that we have not listed above.
What does Windows Administrative tools consist of?
Windows Administrative tools are a set/shortcut of different core tools clubbed together in a single folder. Following will be the list of tools from Windows Administrative tools:
1. Component Services
The Component Services allows you to configure and administrate COM components, COM+ applications and more.
Microsoft Management Console . Both COM+ components and applications are managed through the Component Services Explorer.
The Component Services is used to create and configure COM+ applications, import and configure COM or .NET components, export and deploy applications, and administer COM+ on local as well as other machines on the network.
A COM+ application is a group of COM+ components that share an application if they depend on one another to accomplish their tasks and when all the components require the same application-level configuration, as with security or activation policy.
Upon opening the component services application we are able to view all the COM+ applications installed on our machine.
The Component Services tool offers us with a hierarchical tree view approach to manage the COM+ services and configurations: a computer in the components services application contains applications, and an application contains components. A component has interfaces, and an interface has methods. Each item in the list possesses its own configurable properties.
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2. Computer Management
Computer Management is a console consisting of various snap-in administrative tools in one window. Computer Management helps us to manage both local as well as remote computers. The inclusion of all of the administrative tools in one console makes it easy and friendly for its users.
The Computer Management tool is divided into three main categories, which is visible in the left-hand side of the console window they are –
- System tools
- Services and Applications
System tools are actually a snap-in that consists of tools such as Task schedular, Event Viewer, Shared folders apart from system tools, there are Local and shared groups folder, Performance, Device manager, Storage, etc.
convert empty MBR to GPT disk , and convert empty dynamic disk to basic disk. Upon opening this tool we get to view each drive which displays the layout, type, file system, status, capacity, free space, % free, and fault tolerance. These are especially useful when we have to work with various storage devices.
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service.
3. Defragment and Optimize drives
Defragment and Optimize drives tool opens Microsoft’s optimize drive which helps you optimize your drives in order to help your computer work more efficiently.
You can analyze your drives to get an overview of the current fragmentation and then you can optimize according to the fragmentation rate of the drives.
Windows OS does its own defragmentation task in default intervals which can be changed manually in this tool.
Optimization of the drives is done usually in a week’s interval frequently as a default setting.
4. Disk Cleanup
Disk Cleanup tool as the name says helps you clean up the junk from the drives/disks.
It helps you identify junks such as temporary files, setup logs, update logs, Windows update caches and more other spaces in a cumulative manner which in return is easy for any user to clean their disks immediately.
How to Use Disk Cleanup in Windows 10
5. Event Viewer
Event Viewer is to view events that are generated by Windows when actions are taken.
When an issue occurs with no clear error messages, Event Viewer can sometimes help you identify the problem that occurred.
Events which are stored in a specific manner is known as event logs.
There are a lot of event logs stored which include Application, Security, System, Setup and Forward events.
6. iSCSI initiator
iSCSI initiator configuration tool .
The iSCSI initiator tool helps you to connect to the iSCSI based storage array through an Ethernet cable.
transport control protocol(TCP) .
iSCSI is typically used on a large scale business or enterprise, you can see iSCSI initiator tool being used with Windows Server(OS).
7. Local Security Policy
Local Security Policy is a combination of security policies that helps you set a certain protocol.
For example, You can Enforce password history, Password age, password length, password complexity requirements, password encryption can be set as desired by the users.
Any detailed restrictions can be set with Local Security Policy.
8. ODBC Data Sources
ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity, ODBC Data Sources opens ODBC Data Source Administrator a program to manage database or ODBC data sources.
ODBC is a standard that allows ODBC compliant applications to communicate with each other.
When using the Windows 64-bit version you will be able to view Windows 64-bit and Windows 32-bit versions of the tool.
9. Performance Monitor
Performance Monitor tool helps you generate performance and system diagnostic report, which shows real-time and previously generated diagnostic report.
Performance Monitor helps you create Data collector sets to configure and schedule performance counter, trace event, and configuration data collection so that you can view reports and analyze the results.
Windows 10 Performance Monitor lets you view detailed real-time information about hardware resources which includes CPU, disk, network, and memory) and system resources in use by the operating system, services, and running applications.
How to Use Performance Monitor on Windows 10
10. Print Management
The print Management tool is the hub of all printing activities it consists of all the existing printers settings to date, printer drivers, current printing activity & viewing all the printers.
You can also add a new printer and driver filter when necessary.
Print Management tool in the Windows Administrative Tools folder also provides the option to view the print server and deployed printers.
11. Recovery Drive
The Recovery Drive is a drive saver as it can be used to troubleshoot problems or reset the Windows OS.
Even if the OS doesn’t load properly still it will help you to back up the data and reset or troubleshoot.
12. Resource Monitor tool
Resource Monitor tool in the Windows Administrative Tools folder helps us monitor hardware resources. This Application helps in segregating the entire application usage into four categories i.e CPU, Disk, Network & Memory. Each category lets you know which application is using most of the network bandwidth and which application is writing to your disk space.
This is a tool that lets us view all the background services that start as soon as the operating system boots up. This tool helps us to manage all of the services in the operating system. If there is any resource-hungry service that is hogging up the system resources. This is the place for us to explore and locate the services that are draining our system’s resources. Most of these services come preloaded with the operating system and they perform all the essential tasks required for the operating system to work and function normally.
14. System Configuration
This tool helps us to configure the start-up mode of our operating system such as normal startup, diagnostic startup or selective startup where we get to choose which part of the system starts and which doesn’t. This is especially useful when we are having issues booting up the operating system. This tool is similar to msconfig.msc tool that we access from run to configure the boot options.
Apart from the boot options we also get to select all the services that start with the booting of the operating system. This comes under the services section in the tool.
15. System information
RAM , Sound cards, display adapters, printers
16. Task Scheduler
This is a snap-in tool that comes pre-loaded with the operating system, Windows by default saves various tasks in this took. We can also start new tasks and modify them as required.
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17. Windows Firewall Setting
When it comes to security, this tool plays the most important of all. This tool contains all the rules and exceptions that we may want to add to the system for any of the applications. A firewall is the front line of defense when it comes to the operating system security. It helps us to determine if we wanna block or install any application to the system.
18. Windows Memory Diagnostic
RAM is failing. It may start with random freezes, sudden shutdowns, etc. If we ignore the cues we may end up with a non-working computer soon. To mitigate that we have the memory diagnostic tool. This tool conducts various tests to determine the quality if the present memory or RAM that is installed. This would help us make a conclusion on whether to keep the present RAM or get a new one very soon.
This tool readily gives us two options one is to restart and start the test immediately or just conduct these tests the next time we boot the system.
I hope we have Made it fairly easy to understand various administrative tools windows ships with but we don’t know what they can be used for. Here we discussed a brief overview of all of the tools that are at our disposal, whenever there comes a time to check various details of the system and make changes to it.