Customizing Server Manager in Windows Server 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This article explains how to create a customized Server Manager console for Windows Server 2008 that displays more (or less) MMC snap-ins and extensions. The example above shows the default Server Manager console with the Microsoft Exchange 2007 and Queue Viewer snap-ins added to it. Note that you can't customize the default Server Manager console in Windows Server 2008, but you can create a new one that you can customize.

To begin, use Windows Explorer to navigate to the %WINDIR%\System32 folder, right-click ServerManager.msc, and select Author. This will open the MSC for editing.

Click File, Options and set the Console Mode to User mode - full access. This will cause the new console to automatically save and remember views and changes you make to the console in the future. Click OK.

To add new snap-ins to the console, click File, Add/Remove Snap-in. Now click the Advanced button and select the checkbox to Allow changing the parent snap-in and click OK. Select Server Manager from the Parent snap-in drop-down box. This is where the new snap-ins will be added.

Now select the additional snap-in(s) you want to add to the console. In my example, I double-clicked Exchange Server 2007 and Queue Viewer to add them below the Server Manager snap-in, as shown below.

If you want to remove extensions (or features) from a snap-in, select the snap-in under Selected snap-ins and click the File Extensions button. Click Enable only selected extensions and clear the check-box for the extensions you want to hide, such as Component Services and Disk Management Extension in the example below, and click OK.

Once you've added and configured the snap-ins you want to add to the console, you have to save it. Click File, Save as and give the new console a unique name, such as ServerManager1.msc. Windows will save the new console in the %WINDIR%\System32 folder by default.

Now modify the Server Manager icon in the Windows task bar to launch the new console. Right-click the Server Manager icon in the Quick Launch toolbar and select Properties. Change the Target path to read %SystemRoot%\system32\ServerManager1.msc and click OK, as shown below.

Now when you click the Server Manager icon in the task bar, your new Server Manager console will be displayed with the new snap-ins. Not only that, Server Manager will remember states of extensions (such as always displaying the Standard view of Windows Services, a pet peeve of mine) and will also open to the last extension you viewed. If you decide you want to add or remove snap-ins from this console in the future, simply right-click the console icon and select Author to make your changes.

Hope this helps you out!

1 comment:

  1. Great article! It worked perfectly for me.

    And I’ve also gone back to the ‘Standard’ view in the Services snap-in since I began using Server Manager. :)


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