If you’re an administrator of a network running Active Directory, then you probably spend a great deal of your time working within the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC. While there’s no question that this and other management tools can be extended in cool ways to perform additional tasks (similar to what Alan outlined in his recent Windows Scripting article Extending the Capabilities of Active Directory Users and Computers Using VBScript), scripting isn’t the only option. In fact, you can add “remote control” capabilities to Active Directory Users and Computers by installing a simple (and free) Resource Kit utility available for download from the Microsoft web site.
The Remote Control Add-on for Active Directory Users and Computers (rControlAD.exe) is a tool that adds the ability to connect to any computer running Remote Desktop or Terminal Services directly from the popular MMC tool. Once installed on one server in your Active Directory forest, you can simply right-click on any computer object and select Remote Control. Doing so launches a Remote Desktop-style connection to that system, without the need to specify a computer name or IP address manually.
The rControlAD tool can be downloaded here. Just extract the downloaded file, and then install it. You be presented with a message similar to one shown below.
Once the installation is complete, just fire up Active Directory Users and Computers, browse to a computer object, right-click, and select Remote Control. That’s all there is to it!
Whether you’re looking for an easy way to access your Windows XP Professional desktops or a way to seamlessly connect to Terminal Services on Windows servers, this tip makes it a snap.