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2,001 Tips
Windows NT 4.0

Wonderful Wizards

NT 4.0 Server has a new set of Administrative Wizards, which provide semiautomatic step-by-step assistance in performing common administrative tasks, including: user account and user group management, file/folder access, print drivers, program setup, modem installation, network client setup, diskette creation and license management. To use the Wizards, select Start/Programs Administrative Tools, and pick Administrative Wizards from the list.

Performance Detective

Use NT Performance Monitor to log performance data over extended periods of time-it's particularly useful on servers. Start Performance Monitor, and select View/Log. Then select Edit/Add to Log, and add the objects you're interested in. Select Options/Log and specify a path for your log file, and how often you want to update the log. Then click on Start Log. To view the log data, select View/Chart, then Options/Data From... and type in the name of your log file. You can now add counters to the chart as usual.

Policy Police

NT 4.0 Server includes a Windows 95-compatible System Policy Editor (in the Start menu's Programs/Accessories/System Tools folder). It allows an administrator to restrict a particular user's application rights. To use the editor, start it and select File/New. To add policies for a specific user, select Edit/Add User and double-click on the user's icon. Clicking on any category in the resulting Properties dialog will expand it to list categories and settings available to restrict the user. Once you've created all the policies you need, save the file.

Serve up the Internet

Internet Information Server (IIS) 2.0 comes bundled with NT Server 4.0. To install this combination Web, gopher and ftp server: Run the Add/Remove Programs icon from the NT Server Control Panel, select the Install/Uninstall tab, and pick Microsoft Internet Information Server from the list. Then follow the on-screen instructions. Once IIS is installed, it's controlled using an Internet Server Manager (ISM) application located in the Microsoft Internet Server folder of Start/Programs.

Browse the Possibilities

IIS 2.0 in NT Server 4.0 can be controlled using either ISM or an administrative Web-page. The latter allows you to manage IIS from any Web browser. To start the Web-based version of ISM, launch Internet Explorer and type http://servername/iisadmin (if you're logged in locally you can use localhost for the servername). The resulting Web page provides practically the same functionality as the ISM application. Please note: Normal Web access is inherently insecure; we recommend that you use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) with encryption when using this tool.

Gift Certificate ...

IIS 2.0 in NT Server 4.0 supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for secure communication on the Internet-but to use SSL, you need a certificate. To get one, run Key Manager from the Start menu's Microsoft Internet Server folder. Select WWW Service from the list and choose Key/Create New Key. Fill in the form with your server's IP address and your company information-and create an alphanumeric password for your certificate. When you click on OK, Key Manager creates a certificate request file. Send that file to a Certificate Authority (CA) such as Nortel/Entrust (http://www.nortel.com/entrust). For a fee, the CA will send a security certificate file.

... For Corporate Security

When you've received your certificate file, open Key Manager again, select the key you created earlier, and select Key/Install Key Certificate. SSL-compatible browsers can now access your site via Secure HTTP protocol by typing https:// instead of http:// in front of the URL. You can require SSL to be used with specific IIS Web pages (such as the administrative Web-page described above) by checking the "Require secure SSL channel" box on the Directories tab of ISM (with the Web service selected).

Auto Pilot

Normally, Windows NT requires human intervention to log on after a reboot. But you can reset the server to log in automatically. Start the NT Registry Editor (REGEDT32.EXE) and edit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/Winlogon. Set the AutoAdminLogon value to 1, the DefaultUserName and DefaultDomainName values to a valid user account and create a new value called DefaultPassword of type REG_SZ. Enter the password for the account into that value (a word of caution: the password will appear in clear text). The next time you reboot, the system will automatically log back on.

Perfect Print Jobs

Printer Management has changed significantly in NT 4.0. NT 3.x's Print Manager application has been replaced by the NT 4.0 Printers folder in Start/Settings. To install a new printer (or connect to a network printer) double-click the Printers folder's Add Printer icon. The Add Printer Wizard will appear. To install a new local printer, select the My Computer radio button. To connect with a print server, select the Network Print Server button. Then press the Next button and follow the on-screen directions. Once your printer is installed, it will have an icon in the Printers folder from which you can manage its print queue.

What's in a Name?

Like previous versions, NT 4.0 supports the Internet-standard Domain Name Service as a way to connect human-readable names (mips40.jruley.net) with 32-bit IP addresses ( NT Server 4.0, however, adds a new DNS Server service. To install it, start Control Panel/Network, select the Services tab, and add Microsoft DNS Server. Microsoft DNS supports both static (UNIX-style) and Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)-compatible dynamic naming, and is controlled through a new DNS Manager application in the Start menu's Administrative Tools folder. Check out the Help/Table of Contents from the DNS Manager; it includes a long and helpful "how-to" list.

No Postage Necessary

NT 4.0 (Server and Workstation) includes a free workgroup version of Microsoft Mail that can be used in conjunction with the Windows Messaging e-mail client. To create a new Microsoft Mail Postoffice, start Control Panel/Microsoft Mail Postoffice, select Create a new Workgroup Postoffice and click on Next. Enter the path to a disk or directory for storing messages and user files for the postoffice, and click on Next. Confirm the directory, enter administrative account data in the resulting dialog, and click on OK. Mail will advise you that it has created the workgroup postoffice. It will also remind you that the postoffice directory needs to be shared on the network so other users can find it.

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