If you want to locate Active Directory objects quickly, you can use the Active Directory Administrative Center query-building search and filtering mechanism. When the Active Directory objects that you target are returned as the results of a search or a filter query, you can perform the necessary administrative tasks.

You can also save the queries that you build and use them again at a later time. Each saved query consists of the query criteria that you select, as well as the customized sorting and column information that you specify.

Searching for Active Directory objects

To search for Active Directory objects in Active Directory Administrative Center, you can use Global Search to specify a scope for your search query.

There is no minimum group membership required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83477.

To search for Active Directory objects using Global Search
  1. To open Active Directory Administrative Center, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Administrative Center.

    Note

    Another way to open Active Directory Administrative Center is to click Start, click Run, and then type dsac.exe.

  2. In the Active Directory Administrative Center navigation pane, click Global Search.

    Note

    You can also use the Global Search tile on the Active Directory Administrative Center Overview page.

  3. You can build a Global Search query using keywords and the available search criteria or by using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) query mode.

    • To build a query using keywords and search criteria, click Normal.

      Note

      To add search criteria to your query, click Add Criteria.

    • To search for Active Directory Data by using the LDAP query mode, click Convert to LDAP.

  4. To adjust the scope of your search query, click Scope.

    The default Global Search scope is set to the local domain, that is, the domain that you are currently logged on to. You can also set Global Search scope to Global Catalog Search for any forest that you are managing in the selected instance of Active Directory Administrative Center or to one or more nodes that are currently added to your navigation pane.

    If you set the scope of your query to Global Catalog Search for a particular forest that you are managing in Active Directory Administrative Center, the query returns a subset of the Active Directory objects that are stored across all the partitions of the selected forest, including domain partitions, configuration partitions, schema partitions, and all other user-defined partitions.

    If you set the scope of your query to one or more nodes that are currently added to your navigation pane, the query returns a subset of the Active Directory objects that are stored in the containers that the selected navigation nodes represent, including all the children containers of the selected parent containers.

  5. To run your query, click Search.

Notes
  • By default, Active Directory Administrative Center is installed on your Windows Server 2008 R2 computer with the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell and the Active Directory Web Services (ADWS) service. The Active Directory module must be installed on your Windows Server 2008 R2 computer for Active Directory Administrative Center on this computer to function correctly. The ADWS service must be installed on at least one domain controller in the Active Directory domain so that you can use Active Directory Administrative Center to manage this domain.
  • The Active Directory module imposes a two-minute operations time-out (when it attempts to connect to the ADWS service), which is different from the operations time-out that is monitored and controlled by the ADWS service that is running on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server. When you are running a Global Search query in Active Directory Administrative Center, if you are experiencing a slow network connection or if the results of your Global Search query are not returned within the two minutes of the Active Directory module time-out, you might see the following error message: “The operation was aborted because the client side timeout limit was exceeded.”

Filtering through the Active Directory data of selected organizational units

If an organizational unit (OU) contains a particularly large data set, you can narrow it down by building a query and filtering through the Active Directory data of that specific OU.

There is no minimum group membership required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83477.

To filter through the Active Directory data of a selected OU
  1. To open Active Directory Administrative Center, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Administrative Center.

    Note

    Another way to open Active Directory Administrative Center is to click Start, click Run, and then type dsac.exe.

  2. Navigate to the desired OU by using either the Active Directory Administrative Center navigation pane or management list.

    Important

    The scope of filtering through the Active Directory data of a specific OU is always set to that particular OU. It cannot be adjusted. This scope does not include any children OUs of the selected parent OU. To include the children OUs of the selected parent OU in the scope, in the Tasks pane, click Search under this node.

  3. In Filter, type keywords for your query, or to add criteria, click Add criteria.

Important

If you build a query to filter through the Active Directory data of a specific OU, your query is applied only to the objects that are displayed in the Active Directory Administrative Center management list for this OU. In other words, this query will return a subset of the objects that are displayed in the Active Directory Administrative Center management list for this OU, not a subset of all objects that this OU contains. To specify the maximum number of objects that are displayed, per container (or OU), in the Active Directory Administrative Center management list, on the View menu, click Management List Options.

Additional references


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