70-240 in 15 minutes a week: Administration of Resources (Part 2) and Disk Management

by ServerWatch Staff

Welcome to the third article in my '70-240 in 15 minutes a week' series. This week's article covers the remainder of Administration of Resources (the majority of which was covered last week) as well as Implementing, Managing and Troubleshooting Disk Devices.

by Dan DiNicolo

Welcome to the third article in my '70-240 in 15 minutes a week' series. This week's article covers the remainder of Administration of Resources (the majority of which was covered last week) as well as Implementing, Managing and Troubleshooting Disk Devices. This includes a look at printing, web management, disk management, and quotas. This material again ties into the Windows 2000 Professional portion of the exam. As a reminder, the last page of each article now includes a link to the printer friendly version, including the first article in the series, which previously did not (thanks to all who reminded me). This week's article is a tiny bit longer than usual due to the extra screenshots I've included. 

The material that this article will cover includes:

- Managing Printers and Printing
- Managing Web Resources
- Implementing, Managing and Troubleshooting Disk Devices
- DVDs and Removable Media
- Disk Quotas

Managing Printers and Printing

Microsoft has their own version of printing terminology that you must be familiar with. To quickly revisit the important details:

- A Printer is considered 'software' or the interface between the OS and a print device. It has properties which can be configured, such as available times and output port information
- A Print Server is the physical system where individual printers are installed, and where jobs are spooled and queued.
- A Print Device is the physical box that spits out the paper. Simple!
- A Printer Port is the interface that a particular print job is directed to. This could be a local port (like LPT1) or an IP address (for a network-attached device)
- A Print Queue is logically where the jobs directed to a printer wait their turn.
- A Print Spooler is the service that receives, stores, schedules, processes, and ultimately distributes the jobs to the Print Device.

Setting up Printers in Windows 2000 is still accomplished via the Add Printer Wizard. When you start this wizard, you are asked whether you want to add a local or network printer. Note that what it is actually asking is whether you wish to connect to an existing printer (network), or install a whole new printer (local). You are also given the choice of having a local printer detected by Plug and Play, or selecting it manually. If you choose Local printer, things are pretty straightforward. You simply pick the port (this can be local like LPT1 or remote, like an IP address, for example), driver, and so forth, and then share it if you want it made available over the network. If you choose Network printer (connecting to an existing printer) then you're presented with the following:

These three options are different than in NT 4. The first allows you to search for a Printer in Active Directory based on things like its name, location, model or other more detailed capabilities (like whether it can print color) and advanced attributes. The second option expects either a UNC path or for you to browse for a printer. The last option allows you to connect to a Web Printer, using a URL (more on this in a bit). You can still use a net use command to connect to printers from the command prompt, as in NT 4.

Both printers and print servers have properties. To view the properties of a print server, you would simply choose File - Server Properties from the Printers Folder. Configurable elements here include 4 tabs: Forms, Ports, Drivers and Advanced. The Forms tab allows you to define paper sizes and types. Ports allows you to see a listing on all ports the server is responsible for, and the associated printer using that port. Drivers provides information on installed drivers (as well as options for adding, removing, or changing them). The Advanced tab hold properties relating to spooling, including the location of the Spool folder. One new feature here that you should be aware of is the ability to set notification (when jobs are printed), not only to a user (like before), but also a computer (new).

Printers also have properties, and some of the configurable elements are different. The Location tab contains information on model, location, and features. The Sharing Tab allows printer to be shared, but is also where you find the important Additional Drivers button. This allows you to install drivers for other operating systems such as 95, 98, NT (various versions) and so forth. The screen shot below outlines this:

The Ports tab specifies which port (network or local) the printer is directing output to (also set up printer pooling here). The Advanced tab allows you to specify settings such as time available, priority (99 still highest!), spooling, print processor, separator pages and so forth. The Security tab is where permissions are set for the printer, but things here have changed. Printer permissions now also the Allow / Deny format, and only three permissions exist, as outlined below:

As you can see, the available permissions are Print (allowing you to managing your own jobs), Manage Printers (what was formerly Full Control), and Manage Documents (which allows you to manage both your own jobs, as well as those of others). As with file and folder permissions, your effective permission is cumulative, and a Deny always overrides an Allow. The Everyone group still gets the Print permission by default. One new feature in Windows 2000 is the ability to use Internet Protocol Printing, or IPP. IPP allows you to set up a print server running IIS to enable both printing to URLs, as well as printer management via a web browser. As such, print jobs can be sent both over the corporate Intranet via HTTP, or via the Internet if required. In order to connect to a Web-based printer, you can either use the Add Printer Wizard (providing the URL) or via a Web browser. If using a web browser to manage printers, the URLs used should be:

http://print_server/printers (to see a list of all printers on the server) OR

http://print_server/printer_sharename (to view a particular queue).

One quick note here. Although you can manage printers from any browser that supports frames, you can only connect to a printer (this is the same as installing the printer on a client machine) from a browser running IE 4.0 or higher.

Managing Web Resources

While Windows 2000 Server install IIS by default on a clean installation, Windows 2000 Professional only installs IIS (now called Internet Information Services in Professional as well) if Peer Web Services was previously installed on the machine (meaning an upgrade from 95, 98 or NT running PWS). However, if it was not installed by default, you can add it by using the Windows Components Wizard via Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel (incidentally, this is now where all Windows components are added, different from NT 4). Of course, you will need TCP/IP installed on the system prior to installing IIS. The tool to manage IIS is still called Internet Services Management (ISM), and is still an MMC snap-in. Installing IIS will create a directory called Inetpub, under which you will find the associated storage directories for the given services.  Examples of the services installed include a default Website (wwwroot), default FTP site (ftproot), and virtual SMTP server (mailroot). Components can be included or excluded as you see fit. You can also control the properties of each and create new virtual sites as you would in IIS. To control Master properties, or those that will be inherited by all sites, go to the properties of the computername in ISM, and choose to edit a service (like WWW Service), as shown below:

Implementing, Managing and Troubleshooting Disk Devices

Before getting into the bigger details, know that Windows 2000 supports the FAT, FAT32 and NTFS file systems. You can convert FAT or FAT32 to NTFS using the Convert.exe program. There is no utility provided to convert NTFS to either FAT or FAT32.

Disks Management is an area that has changed significantly from NT 4. First of all, there are now two types of hard disk storage configuration - Basic and Dynamic. The two differ in capabilities as well as terminology, so it is important to keep things straight. A Basic disk is the traditional disk type from NT 4 (as well as 95, 98, etc). A Basic disk is divided into partitions (3 primary + 1 extended containing logicals, or 4 primaries maximum), and can be accessed by other operating systems, using the information stored in the master boot record (MBR). In Windows 2000, a Basic disk can contain existing RAID 0, 1, or 5 sets created in NT 4 (or previous versions) as well as volumes sets. However, none of these can be newly created under Windows 2000 if you are using Basic disks - they may only exist if the system has been upgraded from NT (you can however repair a failed RAID set, even on a Basic disk).

A Dynamic disk is a new type of disk under Windows 2000. It does not use partitions, but instead volumes, and does not have a maximum number of volumes per disk. Volumes on dynamic disks can be extended on the fly, as well as support new instances of RAID 0, 1, or 5 that you might configure. In order to use Dynamic disks, you must first convert existing Basic disks, on a disk-by-disk basis. This is done using the Disk Management tool in Computer Management, as shown below:

In order to upgrade the disk to dynamic, it must have at least 1 MB of unallocated space available. While Windows 2000 will allow for this when you format a disk, other operating system-created partitions may not. Only Windows 2000 can access a Dynamic Disk locally, so if you have a dual boot, other OSes will not be able to read the disk. By default, Windows 2000 creates Basic Disks during an installation. Changing a Basic disk to Dynamic is a one-way operation. Note that there is also an option available called Revert to Basic Disk, but what this really involves is deleting all volumes, and then changing the disk back to Basic. If you upgrade a disk from Basic to Dynamic that contains the boot or system partition, or the active page file, you will need to reboot. A couple of additional quick notes on what happens when you upgrade from Basic to Dynamic Disks:

- Both types of disk support the FAT, FAT32 and NTFS file systems.
- All existing, regular partitions (including logical drives) become Simple volumes (areas on only one physical disk).
- A mirror set (RAID 1) becomes a Mirrored volume. (not available on Pro)
- A stripe set (RAID 0) becomes a Striped volume.
- A Stripe set with parity (RAID 5) becomes a RAID-5 volume (not available on Pro)
- A Volume set becomes a Spanned volume (areas on more than one physical disk).

Any Simple or Spanned volume formatted with NTFS can be extended, as long as it does not contain system or startup files, or the active paging file. The same rules apply for deleting a volume or partition.

Disk status is also listed for disks and volumes. The settings you will find are listed below:

- Healthy (volumes) and Online (disk) require no action. If the disk is dynamic and marked Missing or Offline, right click and choose Reactivate Disk.
- Failed: Incomplete Volume requires that additional disks in set (such as volume or stripe set) must be added.
- Foreign. If you see this, it means that you have added a disk from another system to the machine. You must right click and choose Import Foreign Disk in order to make the disk accessible. (only exists for dynamic disks)
- Failed Redundancy means that a volume in a Mirrored or RAID 5 volume has failed and needs to be replaced. 

If you do replace a disk, choose the Rescan Disks option to have the system register the disk.

Another thing that has changed from NT 4 is how drive letters and paths are managed. First off, the system will not change drive letters when you create new volumes, and will even edit the Boot.ini file for you (thank goodness). You are no longer constrained by local drive letters either. Windows 2000 supports mounting local drives to an empty folder instead of a letter, similar to Unix. Only local mounts are supported. Drive letters can be changed to mount points and vice versa using Disk Management. One last note about the Disk Management program is that it also supports the remote management of disks, by focusing the tool on other machines instead of the local system. Only Administrators or Server operators can use this functionality, and it still cannot be used to remotely delete a volume/partition containing boot or system files, or the active page file.

DVDs and Removable media

Windows 2000 supports a variety of DVD drives from a variety of different vendors. These devices (as with all hardware) should appear on the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) in order to guarantee support. DVD drives and their properties are configured from Device Manager under DVD/CD-ROM devices. If the device is not automatically configured via Plug and Play, you can use the Add / Remove Hardware wizard to manually install the device. 

Windows 2000 also supports removable media, such as tape devices. Again, these should appear on the HCL and will be detected and configured automatically if Plug and Play compliant. If not, again use the Add / Remove Hardware wizard to install manually. Note that unlike NT 4, the Backup program in Windows 2000 supports backing up to different media such as disk, CDR/W, Zip drives, and so forth, with the ability to span media.
Disk Quotas

Another new feature in Windows 2000 is the ability to use disk quotas. Disk quotas allow an Administrator to be able to track how much disk space a particular user is using, and decide on an appropriate course of action. The important stuff about disk quotas:

- Can only be set up on NTFS partitions / volumes. 
- Configured on a partition-by-partition basis. That is, you could have quotas configured on drive C, and not D, for example. 
- Quotas do not use NTFS compression in calculations - space is calculated based on uncompressed size of files.
- Quotas report only the amount of disk space available to user to programs.
- Quotas can be used for tracking space usage and/or denying space usage to those who go over the configured limit

When quotas are configured, they are configured for everyone saving files to that volume. If you wanted to configure special settings for a given user or users on that volume, you could use a Quota Entry, which would specify settings for that particular user. Note that quota entries can only be configured for users, and not groups. As such, you couldnt set up an entry for the entire Sales group. If you needed special settings for this group, each user would need to be configured individually. For this reason, it is recommended that you try and have all users will similar needs save their files to the same partition. That way, you can configure all quota settings at once, and avoid quota entries for all but special cases. The screen shots below show both the Quota tab for a partition, as well as a quota entry for a particular user.

In last week's article I mentioned that when you copy or move a file from NTFS to FAT (such a floppy disk), all compression settings are lost. This is true. However, you should also be aware that on the Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit there is a command-line tool called Compress.exe, which you could use to copy compressed files from NTFS to FAT. The reason I bring this up is because someone asked me about Compact.exe. Compact.exe does compress files from the command line, but only on an NTFS partition. As such, it could not be used to compress a file to a FAT partition.

Looks like we've hit the end of another one. We're actually moving along at a good clip if you ask me. Next week we'll continue with a look at Hardware and Device Driver configuration in Windows 2000 Professional. Just a couple of side notes this week. Many of you have contacted me thanking me for the series. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate it your kind words, and hope that you'll stick with it. For those of you who do find the series useful, I would appreciate it if you could let others know about it as well (the more the merrier!). Also, please be sure to visit my website and check out my free Windows 2000 exam questions. I have also been asked to provide a way to let people know when these articles are released in case they forget to visit. At the bottom of this page you'll find a link where you can provide an email address to be notified. As always, please be sure to contact me with any feedback or ideas you may have - I look forward to hearing from you!


This article was originally published on Tuesday Mar 20th 2001
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