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Administrative Tools

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What is Administrative Tools?:

Administrative Tools is the collective name for several advanced tools in Windows.

What is Administrative Tools Used For?:

The programs available in Administrative Tools can be used to schedule a test of your computer's memory, manage advanced aspects of users and groups, format hard drives, configure Windows services, change how the operating system starts, and much, much more.

How To Access Administrative Tools:

Administrative Tools is a Control Panel applet and so can be accessed via Control Panel.

To open Administrative Tools, first open Control Panel and then click Administrative Tools.

Tip: If you're having trouble finding the Administrative Tools applet, change the Control Panel view to something other than Home or Category, depending on your version of Windows.

How To Use Administrative Tools:

Administrative Tools is a folder containing shortcuts to the various tools that comprise it. Double-clicking on one of the program shortcuts in Administrative Tools will start that tool.

In other words, Administrative Tools itself doesn't do anything, it's just a location that stores related programs.

Most of the programs available in Administrative Tools are snap-ins for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

Administrative Tools:

Below is a list of programs you'll find in Administrative Tools, complete with summaries, which versions of Windows they appear in, and links to more details about the programs if I have any.

Note: This list spans two pages so be sure to click through to see them all.

Component Services

Component Services

Component Services is an MMC snap-in used to administer and configure COM components, COM+ applications, and more.

Component Services is included within Administrative Tools in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows XP.

Component Services does exist in Windows Vista (execute comexp.msc to start it) but for some reason wasn't included within Administrative Tools in that version of Windows.

Computer Management

Computer Management

Computer Management is an MMC snap-in used as a central location to manage local or remote computers.

Computer Management includes Task Scheduler, Event Viewer, Local Users and Groups, Device Manager, Disk Management, and more, all in a single location. This makes it really easy to manage all the important aspects of a computer.

Computer Management is included within Administrative Tools in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

Defragment and Optimize Drives

Defragment and Optimize Drives

Defragment and Optimize Drives opens Microsoft Drive Optimizer, the built-in defragmentation tool in Windows.

Defragment and Optimize Drives is included within Administrative Tools in Windows 8.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP all have defragmentation tools included but they are not available via Administrative Tools in those versions of Windows.

Data Sources (ODBC)

Data Sources (ODBC)

The Data Sources (ODBC) link in Administrative Tools starts ODBC Data Source Administrator, a program used to manage ODBC data sources.

Data Sources (ODBC) is included within Administrative Tools in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

Data Sources (ODBC) was renamed as ODBC Data Sources beginning in Windows 8.

Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup opens Disk Space Cleanup Manager, a tool used to gain free disk space by removing unnecessary files like setup logs, temporary files, Windows Update caches, and more.

Disk Cleanup is part of Administrative Tools in Windows 8.

Disk Cleanup is also available in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP, but the tool is not available via Administrative Tools.

Event Viewer

Event Viewer

Event Viewer is an MMC snap-in used to view information about certain actions in Windows, called events. Events are stored in event logs, of which there are several kinds.

Event Viewer is included within Administrative Tools in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

iSCSI Initiator

iSCSI Initiator

The iSCSI Initiator link in Administrative Tools starts the iSCSI Initiator Configuration Tool which is used to manage iSCSI network storage devices.

iSCSI Initiator is included within Administrative Tools in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

Local Security Policy

Local Security Policy

Local Security Policy is an MMC snap-in used to manage Group Policy security settings.

Local Security Policy is included within Administrative Tools in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

ODBC Data Sources

ODBC Data Sources

ODBC Data Sources (ODBC) opens ODBC Data Source Administrator, a program used to manage ODBC data sources.

ODBC Data Sources is included within Administrative Tools in Windows 8.

ODBC Data Source Administrator is also accessible via Administrative Tools in previous versions of Windows as well but the link is named Data Sources (ODBC).

Memory Diagnostics Tool

Memory Diagnostics Tool

Memory Diagnostics Tool is the name of the shortcut in Administrative Tools in Windows Vista that starts Windows Memory Diagnostic on the next reboot.

This tool was renamed Windows Memory Diagnostic in later versions of Windows. You can read more about it near the end of the next page.

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