Microsoft has, for a long time, provided tools called Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) to do remote administration of servers and desktops. These tools are handy if you are regularly having to look at configurations or make changes for machines joined to a Microsoft Windows Domain. Unfortunately, installing these tools is not always that easy since Microsoft changes the install method with each version of Microsoft Windows.
Let's look at how to quickly install the tools using Powershell with just one line of code and modifying local group policy if you encounter issues, especially if you are in an environment that is using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
Got your your Windows Start Menu, look for Powershell, and right-click to get the submenu, then click on "Run as Administrator". Enter the Powershell command below.
If you see the errors above, then you'll need to make a change to your local group policy. Launch local group policy editor by going to Windows Start Menu and typing gpedit.msc. Navigate to "Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair" and make the changes shown below.
Set the following settings:
Check the box for "Download repair content and optional features directly from Windows Update instead of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)"
You should now see all the tools in your Windows Start Menu.
Don't forget to switch back the setting in Group Policy if you're in a corporate environment.
Byron Zepeda is a Senior Systems Engineer in Orange County, California, working with VMware vSphere, Citrix Virtual Apps, backups, and storage. As cloud technologies and automation become first-class citizens within IT organizations, he desires to share everything he learns and pass it on to others.