Windows Vista Help

22. Using Vista in a Windows Domain

0. How do I add a Windows Vista PC to a domain?

Open Control Panel, System, then click on Advanced System Settings link on the left. Click on Computer Name, then the Change button. If you have Windows Vista Professional, Business or Enterprise edition, you can then select Domain and enter the name of your domain (Home edition users cannot join a domain). Click OK and enter a domain username and password to authorize adding the PC to the domain.

1. How do I manage users, computers and so on in Windows Vista?

You need to install the Remote Server Windows Administration Tools (RSAT) (KB914314) from Microsoft Downloads for Vista x86 or Vista x64. This is add the tools to administer the following services in a Windows domain: Active directory, Network services such as DNS, DHCP, WINS, NLB, Terminal Services and so on. Once the patch is installed, you can add the consoles to the Administrative Tools menu buy using Control Panel, Programs, Turn Features on or off and enable the Remote Server Administration Tools.

2. Can I manage SQL Servers on Windows Vista?

A lot of companies use SQL Server for enterprise databases ranging from SQL 2000 to the new SQL 2005. These can be managed using SQL Server 2005 Management Studio tools which can administer SQL 2000 and SQL 2005 servers. Install the tools from the SQL CD.

3. Can I manage Exchange Servers on Windows Vista?

Yes, you can now install ESM (Exchange System Manager) for Exchange 2003 on Vista with the specific ESM for Vista tool (with RSAT tools as well). Do not install the management tools from the Exchange CD as will only work on Windows XP/2003.
You can manage Exchange 2007 using the Exchange 32 bit manager tools from Microsoft and install Exchange 2007 SP1 management tools.

4. Can I deploy Vista Group Policies?

Yes, Windows Vista has a whole new set of Group Policy Settings which can be deployed from a Windows 2003 or a Windows 2008 domain. You can download the new Group Policy files from Microsoft which is in ADMX format, a new XML format for group policy settings. More information about the settings are available in Excel Spreadsheets from here. Vista GPOs can only be managed on Windows Vista/2008 or later computers.

You can deploy printers using Group Policy using Windows 2003 R2 or later with the Printer Management tools. Also, you can use Group Policy Preference (GPP) Client Side Extensions to deploy drive mappings, setup start menus, copy files and so on from GPOs. See Getting Start Guide about GPP.

5. Can I use scripts in Windows Vista?

Yes, you can use Visual Basic Scripts (.vbs) in Windows Vista. More information is available on here. If User Account Control (UAC) is enable, some scripts cannot continue unless some user intervention is required. If using a lot of these scripts, then either change UAC settings or turn it off. For management type scripts, use the new Power Shell.

6. Can I run programs written with Visual Studio on Vista?

Yes, most programs written using .NET Framework should work fine. Visual Studio 6 programs should be upgraded to .NET to ensure they run on Windows Vista machines. For example, if you open a .vbp project in Visual Studio 2003/5, it will start the Upgrade Wizard and create a .NET project. Some additional changes may be required to the project to work such as changing drawing programs, Object/Variant types and so on.

7. If I install Service Pack 1, will I loose the GPMC console?

Yes and no, if you install SP1, then the GPMC console will be removed but a new version will be available if you install the Remote Server Admintration Tools (see above).

8. File and Print Sharing with Windows Server 2003.

Yes, it is possible to use File and Print sharing with Windows Vista. Make sure the printer drivers on the server are up to date to ensure compatibility (you can do this via the Printer control panel, Server Properties (right click in printer window to get to Properties). Also, make sure Vista is set to use 'Network Access: LAN Manager - Use LM and NTLM - use NTLMv2 for security if negotiated' to ensure Vista machines can authenticate with Windows XP/2003 servers.

9. How can I run our legacy programs on Windows Vista?

There are a number of techniques you can use to run legacy programs on Windows Vista:
a) Use the Program Compatibility tab to force it to use older OS APIs.
b) Dual boot setup. Install the old and new Windows Operating system on the same computer.
c) Virtualisation. Run a virtual machine using Virtual PC, VMWare Player or Workstation and run the old os and application in that.
d) DOS applications can be run using DOSBox or Virtual PC with MS DOS installed.
e) For web applications, I would make sure they are validated (HTML, CSS, XML etc) to ensure they render properly. Check here for IE differences.
f) Update the applications where possible from the vender or update inhouse with latest Development tools.
g) Try the Application Compatibility Toolkit.