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Active Directory Client Extensions 

Added: 06/14/2002, Hits: 2,932, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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Inevitably, after upgrading your network to Windows 2000, you will still find yourself in a mixed environment that still includes Windows 9x and NT 4.0 computers. Fortunately, your down level clients can login to your new environment without any problems because Windows 2000 maintains the NTLM (NT Lan Manager) for legacy clients. However, Microsoft has created an Active Directory client for older operating systems (Windows 9x and NT only) that will allow them to take advantage of some of the benefits of Active Directory. These benefits include:

  • NTLM Version 2 Authentication: Improved authentication features not available in NTLM version 1

  • Site Awareness: Includes the ability to log on to the nearest domain controller and the ability to change passwords on any Windows 2000-based domain controller.

  • AD Windows Address Book (WAB) property pages: Allows users who have permission to change properties on user objects (for example, phone number and address).

  • Support for distributed file system (DFS) fault tolerance features.

The Active Directory client for Windows 9x and Windows NT doesn't support all of the features found in Windows 2000 clients including the following:
  • Kerberos security

  • Group Policy or IntelliMirror

  • IPSec or L2TP

  • SPN or mutual authentication

The software for Windows 9x can be found on the Windows 2000 Server installation CD in the CLIENTSWIN9X directory. The software for Windows NT 4.0 can be downloaded here.

Once you have located the software, double-click on the DSCLIENT.EXE which will launch the installation wizard. The installation is very self explanatory and does not have any configurable options to worry about. Once the installation has finished, you will be prompted to reboot your computer.

The most obvious difference that you will notice after installation are a couple of additions to the "find menu" located at Start->Find. After installing the client you will see "People" and "Printers" now listed as searchable options as shown below.

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