Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) have been around since the Windows Vista days and replaced the Administrative Tools pack (Adminpak) that came before it, allowing sysadmins to manage various server roles and features directly from a desktop OS. RSAT helps alleviate the challenge of sysadmins juggling shared usage of servers to get their jobs done. These tools are provided for free by Microsoft, but keep in mind that only Pro and Enterprise level operating systems support RSAT.
While the tools themselves have been around a while, the process of installing the tools has changed in recent years, so let's break down the new way and the old way of installing RSAT features on your devices.
If you're rocking the latest and greatest versions of Windows 10, then you're in luck! The newest versions of Windows 10 come with RSAT baked right into the OS. However, even though RSAT is included with the OS, they are not enabled by default. Here's how to enable your favorite RSAT features.
Click the Start icon to open the Start menu
Click the Settings icon to open the Settings menu
Click on Apps
Click Optional features
Click Add a feature
Scroll down the list of optional features until you find the RSAT features. Select whichever RSAT features you want to add, then click Install
After clicking Install, you will see the status of each RSAT feature being installed
Once the tools have finished installing, you'll be able to access them through the Start menu in the Windows Administrative Tools folder
If you consider yourself more of a power user and love all things power, like power tools and power steering, and you drink nothing but Powerade, then here's how to install RSAT features using PowerShell.
Get-WindowsCapability -Name RSAT* -Online | Select-Object -Property DisplayName, State
As you can see from this screenshot, this machine already has a few RSAT features installed.
Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name "Tool.Name"
Replace Tool.Name with the name of the RSAT feature you want to install.
Here is a list of all of the RSAT Tools with their proper PowerShell names.
|Active Directory Domain Services and Lightweight Directory Services Tools||Rsat.ActiveDirectory.DS-LDS.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|BitLocker Drive Encryption Administration Utilities||Rsat.BitLocker.Recovery.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Active Directory Certificate Services||Rsat.CertificateServices.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|DHCP Server Tools||Rsat.DHCP.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|DNS Server Tools||Rsat.Dns.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Failover Clustering Tools||Rsat.FailoverCluster.Management.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|File Services Tools||Rsat.FileServices.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Group Policy Management Tools||Rsat.GroupPolicy.Management.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|IP Address Management (IPAM) Client||Rsat.IPAM.Client.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Data Center Bridging LLDP Tools||Rsat.LLDP.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Network Controller Management Tools||Rsat.NetworkController.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Network Load Balancing Tools||Rsat.NetworkLoadBalancing.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Remote Access Management Tools||Rsat.RemoteAccess.Management.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Remote Desktop Services Tools||Rsat.RemoteDesktop.Services.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Shielded VM Tools||Rsat.Shielded.VM.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Storage Migration Service Management Tools||Rsat.StorageMigrationService.Management.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Storage Replica Module for Windows PowerShell||Rsat.StorageReplica.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|System Insights Module for Windows PowerShell||Rsat.SystemInsights.Management.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Volume Activation Tools||Rsat.VolumeActivation.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
|Windows Server Update Services Tools||Rsat.WSUS.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0|
For example, if you wanted to install Remote Desktop Service Tools, you would run this command:
Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name "Rsat.RemoteDesktop.Services.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0"
If you don't got no time to be installing features one at a time, then this is the command for you:
Get-WindowsCapability -Name RSAT* -Online | Add-WindowsCapability -Online
If you have the Optional features window open after running the command, you'll see each feature as it's installed.
If you have a severe case of Metathesiophobia and you fight change with every ounce of strength you can muster, then this section is for you. While systems running Windows 10 Oct. 2018 update and newer include RSAT features by default, older systems require you to download and install the feature pack. Microsoft has already axed the RSAT download pages for Windows Vista, 7, and 8. However, Windows 8.1 and older versions of Windows 10 are still available for download.
Windows 8.1 RSAT Download Page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39296
Windows 10 RSAT Download Page:
To install these RSAT packages, download the appropriate version for your OS, run the installer, and that's it. All features are enabled by default. If you want to disable certain features, you can select individual tools to disable by going into Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off. In the Windows Features dialog box, expand Remote Server Administration Tools, and then expand either Role Administration Tools or Feature Administration Tools. Clear the check boxes for any tools that you want to turn off.
Remote Server Administration Tools are a great way to alleviate server usage congestion. If you've got a co-worker that never fails to log into the server just before taking a 3-hour lunch break, thus locking you out of the server, RSAT may be the solution you're looking for. That, or try switching their keyboard to the DVORAK layout when they aren't looking. That should keep them busy for a little while so you can get logged in before they do.
If you're looking for other tools to enhance your work life, then download our free trial of PDQ Deploy and PDQ Inventory. Sit back and relax while this power combo keeps your network environment up to date with the latest applications and patches. Got an audit coming up? We can help with that! Need to create a baseline package for your images? We can help with that! Have a smart appliance that has gained consciousness and gone rogue? Maybe try calling these guys?