Can I manage my WHS2011 users using standard MMC: Server Manager > Configuration > Local Users and Groups > Users? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am confused by what WHS2011 is doing when it creates a new user via the Dashboard, versus when I create a user via the standard Windows Server 2008 r2 Administrative Tools MMC: Server Manager > Configuration > Local Users and Groups > Users. I can't find any documentation on this.

    I'm primarily using the local console or RDP to the server to do remote administration. Just beginning to look at the Dashboard. I want to know what the Dashboard does for me and avoid making mistakes that are incompatible with WHS2011 dependencies upon the Dashboard.

    1. I have set up network shares on my server (prior to getting WHS2011, this was set up on a dedicated Windows XP machine, I am attempting to duplicate the share name and folder structure on my new WHS2011 machine).

    2. I have created standard users in the new WHS2011 server. These user account names match local users on other computers in my workgroup (each computer has similarly-named user accounts and identical password). Kind of a manually-maintained "poor man's" version of having a domain.

    3. I had previously created groups on the WinXP "server" and duplicated this setup on the new WHS2011. Groups are named: KIDS and ADULTS.

    4. I have set the share permissions to be Full Control to built-in group AUTHENTICATED USERS (thus avoiding the confusion of resolving a least-restrictive policy between Share and NTFS permissions; this is how we do things in an enterprise with a "real" server).

    5. I have set the NTFS permissions by groups on folders within the share according to the family's desired settings (e.g., none, list only, read-only or read/write depending on the folder).

    When I go to the WHS2011 Dashboard none of my local users are visible (created using Server Manager > Configuration > Local Users and Groups). How do I get them to show up?

    If I create a new user in the WHS2011 Dashboard, that user will become visible in Server Manager > Configuration > Local Users and Groups if I hit "refresh". I can add the WHS2011 user to a group. It looks like this user is available across both the Dashboard for WHS2011 management and use, and also available within the standard Windows Server 2008 r2 administrative interfaces. I am concerned that if WHS2011 is creating certificates or other "behind the scenes" database or registry entries, I am conforming to the standard operation of WHS2011.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 3:38 PM

All replies

  • "Standard operation" of WHS is via the Dashboard. You can use the underlying Server 2008 R2 Server Manager, but as that's unsupported the documentation of what might go wrong as a result is not available.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 3:50 PM
  • Thanks for the quick response Phil!

    On the server's desktop background, Microsoft has conveniently placed a disclaimer that reads in part:

    "You can use your server desktop to access the operating system tools for advanced tasks, but for general purpose server management, use the Dashboard."

    Given the above, I pretty much have permission by Microsoft  to do anything a Server 2008 r2 administrator might consider an "advanced task". Which begs the questions, what do the Dashboard's "general purpose" tasks do for me? Just starting out of the gate I've uncovered this inconsistency in how local users show up in each of the respective management interfaces, therefore I'm hoping the differences are documented somewhere. Ha!  Would prefer to understand the intricacies and not break things.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 4:24 PM
  • I can do almost everything I want to do using the Dashboard (other than looking in more detail of what's going on on the Server) so I have no experience of doing things with Server Manager that can be undertaken in the Dashboard. Good luck.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 6:34 PM
  • George, Windows Home Server is effectively a set of wizards and add-on applications sitting on top of Windows Server 2008 R2. Those wizards and add-on tools assume that they will be managing whatever features they happen to touch, without any interference from other tools that might also be able to touch the same OS components. Standard enterprise IT practices are immaterial; Windows Home Server isn't designed for people who know standard enterprise IT practice, but for average home users that, at work, only know they should call the help desk when they can't get to the W: drive.

    Specifically regarding users created using the Local Users and Groups snap-in: you can't get them to show up in the dashboard.

    One final note: you mention "permission" to use advanced tools in a reply. Don't confuse what the desktop's warning actually says with a statement of support. 

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Monday, March 12, 2012 2:58 AM