The Computer Management utility provides a single portal to some of the most used administrative tools. In this video, you’ll learn about the Computer Management utility and its built-in plugins.
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If you’ve ever used the Windows Computer Management Console, then you’ll notice that it has a similar look and feel to the more generic Microsoft Management Console. That’s because the Computer Management Console is a pre-built console that has a lot of Windows plug-ins already pre-designed and added into one place. And Microsoft is simply calling that Computer Management.
Windows also has other management consoles that use the same idea of taking the Microsoft Management Console and building a series of utilities out of it. Although you can’t modify what’s in the Computer Management Console, you could easily load mmc.exe, that’s the Microsoft Management Console, and build your own console yourself to emulate some of the things that is done inside of Computer Management.
If you look a little deeper, you’ll notice that Computer Management has a lot of other utilities that are embedded within it. So you can go to the Computer Management Console and look at all of your Windows events. You can look at user account information. You can pull up service information, where you can start and stop services. There’s a lot of other features inside of Computer Management.
Let’s have a look at it. You’ll find the Computer Management Console, from your Start menu, choose the Control Panel. And inside of your Control Panel will be an Administrative Tools option. Inside of there, you can find Computer Management, along with all of the other administrative tools that you have available to you.
You’ll notice that the Computer Management Console has three different panes. There’s a left, a center, and a right. Along the left side, you’ll find different functions, different capabilities that you can choose from. The center pane is going to show you more detail about what you have chosen. And on the far right side will be a series of actions that will change depending on what you have selected.
Let’s start with the left pane. You’ll notice that there is a centralized Computer Management section. There is a System Tools section with a number of utilities inside of that. There’s a Storage option. And there’s also a selection for Services and Applications.
And I’m going to expand out everything so we can see it. You’ll notice that all of these things are tasks that as an administrator you may need to get to very quickly. So you can simply come to one screen, select the utility that you need, and then perhaps choose another utility from the same list.
If we start at the top, you’ll notice the System Tools begins with Task Scheduler. Again, this is a separate utility. But it’s now contained within the Computer Management Console for ease of use. If you ever wanted to fire off a utility to run at a certain time every night, if you wanted your disk defragmentation to occur at a certain time every week, this would be a great place to configure that.
The Windows Event Viewer can also be launched from within Computer Management. You can see all of the information in the center pane and all of your actions along the right side. You also have the ability to look at what folders are shared on this particular computer. If you’re trying to determine if a particular area of your hard drive has been made available to others, this would be the section that you would go to so you can see all of the shares. The list is here. That’s the default list.
You can see if anyone is actually connecting to those shares and has a session open at this time. And you can see what files are currently open by people who may be connecting into those shares. That way if you were trying to determine if you should reboot your system or apply certain patches, you can look to see if you might be interrupting somebody who’s actually doing work to data in those particular shared folders.
There’s also a section in here for your Local Users and Groups. If you wanted to add a new user, delete a user, change a user’s password, this would be a great place to do it. And you can also look at all of the built-in groups or create some new groups that you can use locally on this computer.
The Performance section gives you the ability to look at how your computer is performing and look at it over a very long period of time. We’ll have a completely separate video on this, because you can really go into detail about how your computer is performing and perhaps find ways to make it work a little more efficiently.
Your Device Manager is in here as well. This is a great place to go to see how your hardware that’s connecting to your computer may be performing. Is it working properly? Is it not? Do I need to install a new driver? This would be the place to go.
Those are all of the system tools. Let’s look at storage. And storage has one central place to go, that is the Disk Management screen.
So you can see all of the disks that may be connected to this computer. You can make modifications. You can format partitions. You can add and remove partitions. It can all be done in this Disk Management section.
You can start to see now why this is in the Administrative Tools area. All of these things are not really what your end users would be doing. But if you ever needed to make a change, this would be exactly where you would go.
The last section is the Services and Applications section. And of course, from here, you can modify any services that may be running in the background, restart them, stop them. Everything that you need to control services is right here in this menu. And you also have WMI control. If you’re running Windows 7, the Windows Management Instrumentation service provides third parties with a way to access your computer and gather more information about how this device is running.
If you’re performing day-to-day administration on your computer, you can see the Computer Management utility inside of your Administrative Tools may be a great place to go for a one-stop shop for all of these different functions.