Active Administrator FAQ

Active Administrator

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  • GPO Overview as it should be
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ActiveAdministrator running on Vista ?

Active Administator works on vista. When installing please follow the guideline below:

Remove from add/remove programs if it is listed there

With Vista and all the installer packages for the products the user will need to log into the machine with the builtin administrator account and install then apply the license file before using the product or disable the User Access control feature.  

It is a known issue and will be documented in a KB shortly.

I have GPMC; Why do I need Active Administrator ?

Active Administrator manages GPOs and runs RSoP reports in both Windows 2000 and 2003 Server environments.

Active Administrator offers a complete GPO management solution including offline GPO management, GPO history rollbacks, and auditing and reporting of all AD changes.

For a more comprehensive comparison at the Group Policy Management features found in Active Administrator and GPMC, take a look at our Group Policy Management Comparison Matrix.

Beyond Group Policy management, Active Administrator also manages AD security, role-based delegation of AD permissions with Active Templates, auditing of AD management and object-level restores of Active Directory.

We have Migrated to Active Directory, and need to know who can do what ?

This is a common problem.

Native AD tools have the ability to establish delegated permissions, but no simple way to identify and report on those delegations.

Active Administrator makes it easy to find permissions assigned and generate reports to begin the cleanup process.

Report on Active Directory Changes

Can I find out who changed what and when in AD? - Even going back 12 months?


Active Administrator maintains its own auditing database.

Providing you have ample disk space to store the audit data, or have archived old entries from your database, you can go as far back as the data you are keeping allows you to.

Active Administrator FAQ

What is Active Administrator and why do I need it?
Active Administrator is a complete Active Directory and Group Policy management tool, designed to replace the built-in utilities that are provided with Windows 2000 networks.

Cant I just use the built-in tools like Active Directory Users and Computers?
While Active Directory Users and Computers does provide for basic management of Active Directory, it is much more cumbersome and less functional than Active Administrator. Active Administrator significantly builds on this basic functionality and includes a much more intuitive interface.

Does Active Administrator run on Windows NT 4.0?
Unfortunately the limitations of the operating system prevent Active Administrator from installing and running on anything other than Windows 2000 and later operating systems.

Does Active Administrator perform any kind or Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) calculations and reporting?
Yes. Active Administrator allow you to develop views of your Group Policy implementation based on several factors and generate useful reports based on this information.

Does Active Administrator provide any disaster recovery for Active Directory?
Yes. Active Administrator has the ability to backup and restore Group Policy objects. This protects these mission critical policies from accidental modification or deletion.

Can I search for a specific user or groups permissions on objects in Active Directory?
Yes. Windows 2000s native tools do not allow an administrator to search through Active Directory for a specific user or groups permissions. This inadequacy results in the inability for the administrator to obtain an over all depiction of Active Directory security. This is a very powerful tool to analyze your users permissions and close hard-to-find security holes.

Does Active Administrator require any agents or client software to be installed on my servers?
No. Active Administrator allows for complete management of your entire Active Directory environment from a single console.

Can I manage multiple domains using Active Administrator?
Yes. Active Administrator not only allows you to manage multiple domains, but also allows you to manage domains in discontiguous forests. The interface allows you to manage all of these domains at the same time.

Why do permissions on objects in Active Directory appear in different colors?
Active Administrator color codes the security on these objects so it is easy for administrators to see what the default permissions were on the objects, where the permissions have been modified, and which permissions are inherited.

Can I use Active Administrator to set security on all objects in Active Directory?
Actually, Active Administrator allows you to modify security on Active Directory Configuration and Schema objects in addition to all of the other types of objects in Active Directory.

Does Active Administrator require any changes to Active Directory Schema?
No. Active Administrator is fully functional without schema modification and can be removed as easily as it is installed.

How is Active Administrator licensed?
Active Administrator is licensed on a per user basis. Every user account in Active Directory must have a license purchased for them. There is not need to purchase licenses for servers or computer objects in Active Directory.

What kind of reporting can I get from Active Administrator?
Active Administrator provides several reports that can be tailored to exacting specifications. These include:

  • Delegated Permissions Report ? Find out where users have been delegated permission within your Active Directory.

  • Object Class Summary Report ? Easily report on the number and type of objects in Active Directory.

  • Group Policy Object Settings Report ? Determine exactly what settings there are in a particular Group Policy object.

  • Group Policy Object Affected Registry Keys Report ? Many Group Policy settings affect Registry Keys on computers. Based on the settings in a Group Policy, Active Administrator tells you which keys are modified and how.

  • Domain Group Policy Object Summary Report ? This report returns all of the settings for all of the Group Policy objects in a domain.

  • RSoP Settings Report ? Retrieve a calculated report for all of the effective settings for Group Policy objects as they are applied to the objects you choose, in the containers you choose.

  • RSoP List Report ? Create a list of the application of Group Policies as they are applied in the Resultant Set of Policies display.

  • Container Group Policy Object Links Report ? Find out what Group Policy Objects are being applied to the container you specify.

Does Active Administrator allow me to recreate Group Policy Objects in other domains?
Yes. Active Administrator features a Copy function, which allows administrators to copy a Group Policy object from one domain to others, including GPO Links and Security Group Filters. This is particularly useful when moving from a test domain to a production domain.

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