This article is excerpted from the book "Microsoft Windows 7 Unleashed" by Paul McFedries, published by SAMS, copyright Pearson Education Inc. all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
There are two essential rules to management. One, the customer is always right; and two, they must be punished for their arrogance.—Scott Adams
The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is a system administration program that can act as a host application for a variety of tools. The advantage of MMC is that it displays each tool as a console, a two-pane view that has a tree-like hierarchy in the left pane (this is called the tree pane) and a taskpad in the right pane that shows the contents of each branch (this is called the results pane). This gives each tool a similar interface, which makes it easier to use the tools. You can also customize the console view in a number of ways, create custom taskpad views and save a particular set of tools to reuse later. These tools are called snap-ins because you can "snap them in" (that is, attach them) as nodes to the console root.
This article gives you an overview of the MMC and shows you a few techniques for getting the most out of its often-useful tools.
Reviewing the Windows 7 Snap-Ins
When you work with the MMC interface, what you're really doing is editing a Microsoft Common Console Document, a .msc file that stores one or more snap-ins, the console view and the taskpad view used by each snap-in branch. You learn how to create custom MSC files in this chapter, but you should know that Windows 7 comes with a large number of predefined MSC snap-ins, and I've summarized them in the table below.
Launching the MMC
To get the MMC onscreen, you have two choices:
To start with a blank console, select Start, type mmc, and then press Enter. To start with an existing snap-in, select Start, type the name of the .msc file you want to load (see table), and then press Enter. Next page: Adding a snap-on.
Default Windows 7 Snap-Ins
|Active X Control||N/A||Launches the Insert ActiveX Control Wizard, which enables you to choose an ActiveX control to display as a node. I haven't been able to find a good use for this one yet!|
|Authorization Manager||azman.msc||Used by developers to set permissions on applications.|
|Certificates||certmgr.msc||Enables you to browse the security certificates on your system.|
|Component Services||comexp.msc||Enables you to view and work with Component Object Model (COM) services.|
|Computer Management||compmgmt.msc||Contains a number of snap-ins for managing various aspects of Windows 7. You can examine hidden and visible shared folders, set group policies, access Device Manager, manage hard disks, and much more.|
|Device Manager||devmgmt.msc||Enables you to add and manage your system hardware.|
|Disk Management||diskmgmt.msc||Enables you to view and manage all the disk drives on your system.|
|Event Viewer||eventvwr.msc||Enables you to view the Windows 7 event logs.|
|Folder||N/A||Enables you to add a folder node to the root to help you organize your nodes.|
|Object Editor||gpedit.msc||Enables you to work with group policies.|
|IP Security Monitor||N/A||Enables you to monitor Internet Protocol (IP) security settings.|
|IP Security Policy Management||N/A||Enables you to create IP Security (IPSec) policies.|
|Link to Web Address||N/A||Adds a node that displays the contents of a specified web page.|
|Local Users and Groups||lusrmgr.msc||Enables you to add, modify, and delete user accounts.|
|NAP Client Configuration||napclcfg.msc||Enables you to configure Network Access Protection (NAP) for a computer.|
|Performance Monitor||perfmon.msc||Enables you to monitor one or more performance counters. See Chapter 6, "Tuning Windows 7's Performance."|
|Print Management||printmanagement.msc||Enables you to view and manage either local printers or network print servers.|
|Resultant Set of Policy||rsop.msc||Shows the applied group policies for the current user.|
|Security Configuration and Analysis||N/A||Enables you to open an existing security database, or build a new security database based on a security template you create using the Security Templates snap-in.|
|Security Templates||N/A||Enables you to create a security template where you enable and configure one or more security-related policies.|
|Services||services.msc||Enables you to start, stop, enable, and disable services.|
|Shared Folders||fsmgmt.msc||Enables you to monitor activity on your shared folders.|
|Task Scheduler||taskschd.msc||Enables you to schedule programs, scripts, and other items to run on a schedule.|
|TPM Management||tpm.msc||Enables you to configure a work with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security devices.|
|Windows Firewall with Advanced Security||wf.msc||Presents an advanced Windows Firewall interface.|
|WMI Control||wmimgmt.msc||Enables you to configure properties related to Windows Management Instrumentation.|