Using Device Manager Remotely

If you’ve got servers running the Server Core version of Windows Server, you’ll probably find yourself needing to look at what devices and drivers are installed at some point. You can do this with various command line tools, but, that’s a non-trivial exercise on a good day. Instead, with a bit of configuration work, you can just use Device Manager remotely.

To do this, you’ll need to configure a Group Policy setting for the affected servers:

Computer Configuration \ Policies \ Administrative Templates \ System \ Device Installation \ "Allow remote access to the Plug and Play interface”

Set the value to enabled:

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If you don’t do this, you’ll get an error similar to the following:

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Device Manager
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Unable to access the computer SERVER01
Make sure that this computer is on the network, has remote administration enabled, and is running the "Plug and Play" and "Remote registry" services.

The error was: Access is denied.

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OK  
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Once you’ve got things in place and the policy is effective, you can use Computer Management to target a remote machine and use the Device Manager snap-in:

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Device Manager
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Device Manager is running in read-only mode because you are running it on a remote computer. To uninstall devices or to change device properties or drivers, you must run Device Manager on the computer where you wish to make changes.
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OK  
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You won’t be able to make changes, but, you’ll certainly be able to view all of the relevant details.

Posted Friday, March 16 2012 3:19 PM by | Comments
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