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Things you get asked at presentations - the custom MMC

I do quite a few presentations, in public and to small groups in private. After each one you always ask if they have any questions. Never asked the same questions twice, some want to know about OWA, others about Powershell or the management console.

At a recent presentation, the only thing they wanted to know about was this:

Exchange 2007 Custom MMC

When I build my demonstration environments, I always create a custom MMC console with the Exchange tools included. As I was demonstrating Exchange 2007 SP1, it included the main Exchange Management Console, as well as public folder management and the queue viewer. I then finish it off with some a few other settings to make it look professional. I then drop the finished item on to my desktop for easy access.

This is nothing new for me, I have been doing it for years. With Exchange 2003 I would have a custom MMC that had both ESM and ADUC in the same window.

So here is a quick guide on what I do.

  1. Click Start, Run and type mmc. This starts a new blank mmc console. Choose File, Add/Remove snap in and select the snap-ins that you want to add. Don't worry about the Public Folders snap in stating it is not connected to a server, that will correct itself when you start using it.

    Add/Remove Snap-in, with the Exchange 2007 snap ins included.
  2. After pressing OK, you will be returned to the main mmc interface which should include the snap-ins that you have just added.

    MMC with the Exchange 2007 snap-ins in place.
  3. Now to customise the look and feel.
    Choose File, then Options to be presented with the screen below.
    Change the name to something more appropriate - I have used Exchange Tools.
    I have also changed the console mode to "User Mode - Full Access" and enabled the option to "Do not save changes to this console". That gets rid of the annoying "Do you want to save changes" prompt that you get every time that you close a custom console. If you need to change it in the future, right click on the MSC file and choose Author.

    MMC options showing the default icon, custom name and other settings" title="MMC options showing the default icon, custom name and other settings
  4. To change the icon, click the "Change Icon" button. The file that you want to get the icon I have used is ExSetupUi.exe which is found (in a default installation path) in "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Bin\". Select the file and then you can choose the icon. Press OK.

    Select the path for the icon you wish to use."

  5. After pressing OK you will be shown the completed options screen as below.

    MMC options showing the icon, custom name and other settings

  6. Finally, after pressing OK, right click on "Console Root" and choose rename. You can then enter a more appropriate name.
  7. Don't forget to turn the Action Pane on. This is done by clicking on the button at the top of the MMC console - highlighted with the red box in the screenshot below:

    Custom Exchange 2007 Console with Action Pane enabled

  8. Choose File, Save As and save the file somewhere, with the extension of msc. I usually suggest on a network share. Then create a shortcut to the file.

The above technique also works for perfmon - so if you create a custom set of counters and wish to save it and not have the save prompt when you are finished, change the Console Mode. 

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