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Windows Server Cookbook by Robbie Allen

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Where to Find More Information

While it is my hope that this book provides you with enough information to perform the majority of Windows system administration tasks you are likely to do, it is not realistic to think every possible task can be covered. In fact, there are easily another five or six chapters I could have included in this book, but due to space and time considerations it was not possible for this edition. There is a wealth of additional resources and information you can find on the Internet or in a bookstore. In this section I cover some of the ones I use most frequently.

Help and Support Center

Windows Server 2003 comes with a new feature called the Help and Support Center, which is available directly off the Start menu. It is a great resource of information and it serves as the central location to obtain help information about the operating system, applications, and installed utilities.

Command-Line Tools

If you have any questions about the complete syntax or usage of a command-line tool used in the book, you should first look at the help information available with the tool. The vast majority of CLI tools provide syntax information by simply passing /? as a parameter. For example:

> netsh /?

Microsoft Knowledge Base

The Microsoft Help and Support web site is a great source of information and is home to the Microsoft Knowledge Base (MS KB) articles. Throughout the book I include references to pertinent MS KB articles where you can find more information on a topic. You can find the complete text for a KB article by searching on the KB number at the following web site: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx. You can also append the KB article number to the end of this URL to go directly to the article: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=.

Microsoft Developers Network

MSDN contains a ton of information on Windows Server and programmatic interfaces such as WMI. Throughout the book, I'll sometimes reference MSDN pages in recipes where applicable. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to reference the exact page I'm referring to unless I provided the URL or navigation to the page, which would more than likely change by the time the book was printed. Instead, I provide the title of the page, which you can search for via the following site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/.

Web Sites

These web sites are great starting points for information that helps you perform the tasks covered in this book:

Microsoft Windows Server home pages (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/default.mspx; http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/)

These sites are the starting point for Windows Server information provided by Microsoft. They contain links to whitepapers, case studies, and tools.

Microsoft webcasts (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;pwebcst)

Webcasts are on-demand audio/video technical presentations that cover a wide range of Microsoft products. There are numerous webcasts related to Windows Server technologies that cover such topics as disaster recovery, Windows Server 2003 upgrade, and Terminal Services deployment.

Google (http://www.google.com/)

Google is my primary starting point for locating information. Google is often quicker and easier to use to search the Microsoft web sites (e.g., MSDN) than the search engines provided on those sites.

MyITForum (http://www.myitforum.com)

The MyITForum site has very active online forums for various Microsoft technologies. It also has a large repository of scripts.

LabMice (http://www.labmice.net/)

The LabMice web site contains a large collection of links to information on Windows Server including MS KB articles, whitepapers, and other useful web sites.

Robbie Allen's home page (http://www.rallenhome.com/)

This is my personal web site, which has information about the books I've written and links to download the code contained in each (including this book).

Microsoft Technet script center (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/scriptcenter/default.mspx)

This site contains a large collection of WSH, WMI, and ADSI scripts.

Newsgroups

Most of the Windows Server-related Microsoft newsgroups are very active and have one or more of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) actively responding to questions. If you have a question and can't find an answer, try posting to the pertinent newsgroup.

These are general-purpose Windows Server newsgroups:

  • microsoft.public.windows.server.general

  • microsoft.public.win2000.general

Each of these newsgroups covers a specific Windows Server technology:

  • microsoft.public.windows.server.security

  • microsoft.public.win2000.security

  • microsoft.public.inetserver.iis

  • microsoft.public.windows.server.active_directory

  • microsoft.public.win2000.active_directory

  • microsoft.public.windows.server.dns

  • microsoft.public.win2000.dns

  • microsoft.public.exchange2000.general

These are the scripting-related newsgroups:

  • microsoft.public.scripting.vbscript

  • microsoft.public.scripting.wsh

  • microsoft.public.windows.server.scripting

  • microsoft.public.win32.programmer.wmi

  • microsoft.public.adsi.general

  • microsoft.public.active.directory.interfaces

If you have a question about a particular topic, a good starting point is to search the newsgroups using Google Groups (http://groups.google.com/). Just like Google's web search engine, Google's group search engine is an invaluable resource. Another good resource is the following Yahoo! Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/adsianddirectoryservices.

Books

In addition to the Resource Kit books, the following books are invaluable resources for Windows Server system administration:

The Ultimate Windows Server 2003 System Administrator's Guide by Robert Williams and Mark Walla (Addison-Wesley)

This book is a good all-purpose tutorial on Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server 2003 in a Nutshell by Mitch Tulloch (O'Reilly)

This is a great reference guide for Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft Windows 2000 Scripting Guide by Microsoft Windows Server Resource Kit Team (MS Press)

This book is one of the best available on scripting with Windows 2000.

Active Directory Cookbook by Robbie Allen (O'Reilly)

If you like the book you are reading now and want to learn more about Active Directory, you'll want to check out this book.

Magazines

A good way to stay current with the latest industry trends and system administration techniques is by reading magazines. Here are a few good ones you should consider subscribing to:

Windows IT Pro Magazine (http://www.windowsitpro.com/)

This is a general-purpose monthly magazine for system administrators that support Microsoft products. The articles contributed by industry experts are informative and provide unique insight into common issues system administrators face.

Windows Scripting Solutions (http://www.winnetmag.com/WindowsScripting/)

This is a useful monthly newsletter that covers all aspects of scripting in the Windows environment. You'll see a little bit of everything in this newsletter.

Security Administrator (http://www.winnetmag.com/WindowsSecurityIndex.cfm)

Security is an important part of any system administrator's job these days. With this newsletter you'll be able to stay abreast of the latest Windows security issues.

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