The Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Administration Tools Pack provides server management tools that allow administrators to remotely manage computers running Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 family operating systems, while newer Windows Server 2003 R2 AdminPack provides utilities that allow system admins to remotely manage features specific to Windows Server 2003 R2 on computers running Windows Server 2003 R2 family of operating systems. The adminpak (as it’s generally called due to earlier setup file was named adminpak.msi) is designed to run on Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. To install and run Win2003 Admin Tools Pack on Windows Vista, a little tweak needs to be done, as Vista is not supported by default.

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Administration Tools Pack and Windows Server 2003 R2 Administration Tools Pack can be installed without error on Windows Vista. However, the following error message will appear whenever attempting to load Active Directory Users and Computers, Active Directory Domains and Trusts, etc:

MMC could not create the snap-in.

The issue occurred because Windows Vista requires elevated user rights when a .dll file is registered for enhanced security, and the Administration Tools Pack is not installed by a user who has administrative user rights. Microsoft KB930056 provides a simple solution and workaround for this error:

  1. Open a command prompt with administrative privileges (instructions here).
  2. Copy and paste the following commands into the elevated command prompt, or you can save the commands into a batch file, and then execute the batch script:

    regsvr32 /s adprop.dll
    regsvr32 /s azroles.dll
    regsvr32 /s azroleui.dll
    regsvr32 /s ccfg95.dll
    regsvr32 /s certadm.dll
    regsvr32 /s certmmc.dll
    regsvr32 /s certpdef.dll
    regsvr32 /s certtmpl.dll
    regsvr32 /s certxds.dll
    regsvr32 /s cladmwiz.dll
    regsvr32 /s clcfgsrv.dll
    regsvr32 /s clnetrex.dll
    regsvr32 /s cluadmex.dll
    regsvr32 /s cluadmmc.dll
    regsvr32 /s cmproxy.dll
    regsvr32 /s cmroute.dll
    regsvr32 /s cmutoa.dll
    regsvr32 /s cnet16.dll
    regsvr32 /s debugex.dll
    regsvr32 /s dfscore.dll
    regsvr32 /s dfsgui.dll
    regsvr32 /s dhcpsnap.dll
    regsvr32 /s dnsmgr.dll
    regsvr32 /s domadmin.dll
    regsvr32 /s dsadmin.dll
    regsvr32 /s dsuiwiz.dll
    regsvr32 /s imadmui.dll
    regsvr32 /s lrwizdll.dll
    regsvr32 /s mprsnap.dll
    regsvr32 /s msclus.dll
    regsvr32 /s mstsmhst.dll
    regsvr32 /s mstsmmc.dll
    regsvr32 /s nntpadm.dll
    regsvr32 /s nntpapi.dll
    regsvr32 /s nntpsnap.dll
    regsvr32 /s ntdsbsrv.dll
    regsvr32 /s ntfrsapi.dll
    regsvr32 /s rasuser.dll
    regsvr32 /s rigpsnap.dll
    regsvr32 /s rsadmin.dll
    regsvr32 /s rscommon.dll
    regsvr32 /s rsconn.dll
    regsvr32 /s rsengps.dll
    regsvr32 /s rsjob.dll
    regsvr32 /s rsservps.dll
    regsvr32 /s rsshell.dll
    regsvr32 /s rssubps.dll
    regsvr32 /s rtrfiltr.dll
    regsvr32 /s schmmgmt.dll
    regsvr32 /s tapisnap.dll
    regsvr32 /s tsuserex.dll
    regsvr32 /s uddi.mmc.dll
    regsvr32 /s vsstskex.dll
    regsvr32 /s w95inf16.dll
    regsvr32 /s w95inf32.dll
    regsvr32 /s winsevnt.dll
    regsvr32 /s winsmon.dll
    regsvr32 /s winsrpc.dll
    regsvr32 /s winssnap.dll
    regsvr32 /s ws03res.dll

    This step will register the Windows 2003 management tools DLLs properly on Windows Vista.

Beside, Microsoft has also released Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update (KB932246) that improves support and compatibility of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Administration Tools Pack in Windows Vista.

Update: Microsoft has released Microsoft Remote Server Administrative Tools (RSAT) package for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, which can replace Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack, and is the recommended solution. Remote Server Administrative Tools (RSAT) package is a collection of command-line admin tools and graphical user interface (GUI) admin tools for Windows Vista and Windows 7 clients to remotely manage server roles in Windows Server 2008, in Windows Server 2008 R2, and in some Windows Server 2003 target computers cases. RSAT is a replacement for AdminPack and Support Tools in the Windows 2000 operating system and in the Windows Server 2003 operating system.