Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

How to Administer a Windows 2008 Server from a Vista Client


This confused me for a while, up until now I’ve been using Windows 2008 inside a VM, so have had little need to remotely administer it other than via the console.

As you all know it’s better practice to use the MMC tools to admin remote servers rather than use terminal services to the actual server (uses less resources, no chance you can hit shutdown rather than logoff etc!).

In the old days you installed adminpak.msi on your XP machine and off you went, this has now been renamed to RSAT (Remote Server Administration Toolkit) – you need Vista SP1, download the appropriate update package from here.

Install the appropriate version of the update (x64 or x86) but don’t worry – you can still admin both x64 and x86 servers from an x86 client using the same tools.

Now at this point I was a bit confused (and I hadn’t read the KB article in full…tsk) but there were no handy admin tools in my start menu anywhere.

To get them installed you actually need to add a Windows “feature” via the “Programs and Features” control panel applet (I assume the update adds them there, I didn’t look beforehand).


Then scroll down and choose the appropriate tools that you need, I’ve expanded out the relevant sections and I’ve chosen to install them all.


Waiting…(no need to provide any CD’s or anything as Windows Vista has the whole OS image on-disk in a .WIM file by default, which is handy.


it did take several minutes 🙂


All done, and my workstation now has a full compliment of Windows 2008 admin tools


Note if you want to administer a Hyper-V server, then you need to download and enable these tools separately – details here, the link in the article is broken but you can download the appropriate update from Microsoft here.

If you run a corporate domain environment, its probably worth bundling these into a GPO or SMS installed package for your administrative machines, as it takes a little while to do by hand (as I did) and you have to jump through the WGA hoops to get the downloads from Microsoft.

Hyper-V Management Tools install (Vista x86 SP1)image



On the subject of Hyper-V – there is an article about a beta version of a solution accelerator/guide to securing and hardening Hyper-V here

One response to “How to Administer a Windows 2008 Server from a Vista Client

  1. Magdalena March 9, 2010 at 4:17 am

    And this is the reason I read Marvelous post.

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