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After a few days of this, even the most security-conscious person begins to toy with the idea of logging on to the administrator account and staying there. And in time, most administrators succumb to the temptation and stay in the privileged account most of the time.
This practice makes Microsoft Windows NT systems highly susceptible to "Trojan horse" attacks. Just running Microsoft Internet Explorer and accessing a nontrusted Web site can be very risky if done from an administrator account. A Web page with Trojan code can be downloaded to the system and executed. The execution, done in the context of administrative privileges, will be able to do considerable mischief, including such things as reformatting a hard disk, deleting all files, or creating a new user with administrative access. When you think about it, it's like handing the keys to your network to a complete (and malicious) stranger.
This problem is finally addressed in Windows 2000 with the RunAs service. This service enables you to work in a normal, nonprivileged account and still access administrative functions without logging off and then logging back on again. To set up the RunAs service, follow these steps:
After performing these steps, create an ordinary user account for your own use (if you don't have one already). Make sure that the user account has the right to log on locally at the machine you want to use.
Windows 2000 views all domain controllers as special cases. On a domain controller, for example, all management of users and groups must be done through the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. Also, by default, users can't log on locally to a domain controller. Chapter 9 has more on creating user accounts and granting rights.
You can perform any command-line tasks you want from this window. Of course, there are some administrative tasks that can't be done from the command line or that can be done only with great difficulty. Some applications, such as Control Panel and the Printers folder, are launched from the shell at the time of logon, so if you're logged on as an ordinary user, the Control Panel functions stay in that context.
To stop the shell and start it again as an administrator so that you can use functions like Control Panel, follow these steps:
To return to the ordinary user's desktop, use Task Manager to shut down Explorer.exe again. Then start a new instance by typing explorer.exe (without runas, so that Internet Explorer is restarted in the original security context) in the Create New Task dialog box.
Don't close Task Manager while you're working in the desktop's administrative context-just minimize it to the taskbar. Closing Task Manager can produce unpredictable results and is likely to cost you more time than you can possibly save by using RunAs.
If you don't see the Support Tools on your Programs menu, you'll need to install them. To install the Windows 2000 Support Tools, insert the Windows 2000 CDROM. Open the Support folder and then the Tools folder. Double-click Setup.
The tools provided on the Windows 2000 CD-ROM are a subset of the tools you can get by purchasing the full Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. The Resource Kit is a separate product with its own companion CD, available from Microsoft Press.
Command syntax and examples are available in the Support Tools Help files. To find the syntax for a specific tool, open a command window and enter tool_name /?.
The units of replication among domain controllers are directory partitions that must contain the most current information about objects in the domain. If a server is down or the network is disrupted, the information may not be completely up-to-date. The Replication Monitor can synchronize a monitored server with a specific replication partner to get everything back in order. It also generates status reports for servers throughout a forest for troubleshooting replication errors.
To build a custom tool, you can either start with an existing console and modify it or start from scratch. In a mature network, you'll most likely use the former method, taking predefined consoles and adding or subtracting snap-ins.
Creating an MMC-Based Console with Snap-ins Building your own tools with the MMC's standard user interface is a straightforward process. The next few sections walk you through the creation of a new console and describe how to arrange its administrative components into separate windows.
Save the console by choosing Save from the Console menu. You will be prompted for a name-be as descriptive as possible. The file is saved in the Administrative Tools folder by default. This folder is part of your profile, so an added benefit is that if you use roaming profiles, any tools you create will go with you. See Chapter 9 for information on creating roaming profiles....
Posted July 1, 2001
An excellent book. Covers precisely what an Administrator would need for the day-to-day administration. Provides the right balance between theoretical information and practical guide lines for implementation. Great job done for the magnitude and scope of the subject covered.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 2000
Microsoft books tend to be choppy and difficult to read from cover to cover. (Try reading a resource kit manual) This is clearly an exception to that rule. It is an enormous book, but it is written so that the voluminous information is easy to follow and read. Good job on this one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2000
This is a humongous book (almost 1500 pages)and packed with details about every piece of Windows 2000 server. Good stuff on security and group policies and maybe a hundred other subjects. I especially liked the chapters on installation, upgrading, and the chapters on working in a heterogenous environment. This is just the book that every network admin needs -- buy this book first and you may not need any more. But not for reading in bed, serious injury may result.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.