What is RSAT?
RSAT stands for Remote Server Administration Tools. RSAT allow administrators to remotely manage Users, GPOs, DHCP, DNS, and Servers from their Windows 10 PCs. RSAT remove the need to login to a server to complete administrative tasks. They’re a great way to keep people away from resources you want to limit access to (i.e servers or domain controllers), while letting your team utilize the functionality from those resources.
How have RSAT changed?
In the past, utilizing RSAT would mean downloading the install files from Microsoft’s site. Since the tools are version-specific, they’d get uninstalled twice a year when your machine downloaded a Feature Update and upgraded to the latest version of Windows 10.
But starting with Windows 10 v.1809 (and newer), Microsoft has introduced a new way to install Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT). They removed the need to manually download the RSAT files and made them available as a Feature on Demand.
How to install RSAT?
The below instructions explain three ways to install RSAT: through either the Graphical User Interface (GUI), Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM), or PowerShell. I’ve also provided a fix for an issue you may run into. This issue can occur because of the way Windows now handles the RSAT files. Previously, the install files were manually downloaded and installed. Since installing the RSAT tools now utilizes Features on Demand to download the required files, problems arise if this functionality is disabled or not configured in your environment.
Method 1: GUI
- Left-click or Right-click the Start menu and select Settings
- Click Apps and then click Manage Optional Features (the alternative is to search Manage Optional Features).
- Click Add a feature
- Scroll down to see the available features starting with RSAT. A few are shown below:
5. Select one of the features, and click Install
6. Now go back to Manage Optional Features, check to see that they’re properly installed, then verify them by checking the Administrative Tools folder in Control Panel.
7. If any of the RSAT features fails to install, please scroll down and read Error: 0x800f0954
Method 2: DISM
- Click Start, type CMD, right-click on the Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator
- Type the below command to view a list of Capabilities (Features) you can install. We’re only interested in ones that start with “Rsat.” DISM.exe /Online /Get-Capabilities
- Below are a few results:
4. Rather than installing all RSAT features one by one, as required by the GUI method, DISM allows you to install all—or all that you require—at once.
5. Choose the RSAT features (also called capability) you wish to run, then run the below command in an elevated command prompt:
DISM.exe /Online /add-capability /CapabilityName:Rsat.ActiveDirectory.DS-LDS.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0 /CapabilityName:Rsat.BitLocker.Recovery.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0 /CapabilityName:Rsat.DHCP.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0 /CapabilityName:Rsat.Dns.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0 /CapabilityName:Rsat.GroupPolicy.Management.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0 /CapabilityName:Rsat.LLDP.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0 /CapabilityName:Rsat.RemoteAccess.Management.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0 /CapabilityName:Rsat.ServerManager.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0 /CapabilityName:Rsat.WSUS.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0
6. The install may prompt for a reboot:
7. If the above command fails with “Error: 0x800f0954, DISM Failed. No operation was performed,” please review the error log located at C:\Windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log.
8. The error code received in the elevated command prompt is also present in the dism.log:
9. Please scroll down and read Error: 0x800f0954
Method 3: PowerShell
- Click Start, type “powershell”, right click on Windows PowerShell and choose Run as Administrator
- Run the below command, which displays all features (capabilities), but filters them down to those that begin with Rsat. The screenshot below shows a few:
Get-WindowsCapability -Online | ? Name -like *RSAT*
3. The below command will install all RSAT features (capabilities):
Get-WindowsCapability -Online | ? Name -like *RSAT* | Add-WindowsCapability -Online
4. During the install of each feature, PowerShell provides a status bar:
5. To install a specific RSAT feature, use the below PowerShell command:
Add-WindowsCapability –Online –Name “Rsat.ActiveDirectory.DS-LDS.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0”
6. If any of the RSAT features fails to install, please scroll down and read Error: 0x800f0954.
Your Corporate environment is most likely using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). The functionality required to allow Features on Demand might be disabled or not configured in your environment. This functionality is required to allow the download of “optional features.” The below steps will be performed on your local machine only, to allow these Features on Demand to be downloaded and installed. To make a more Global Change, you’ll need to speak to your AD & WSUS Administrator.
- Right-click on Start button and click Run.
- Type Gpedit.msc and hit Enter.
- Under Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, select System, and in the right pane, scroll down until you see “Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair.”
4. Double-click on the policy: “Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair,” then click Enabled. Also check the box: “Download repair content and optional features directly from Windows Update instead of Windows Serer Update Services (WSUS).” Click Apply and OK.
5. Scroll back up to your preferred method and attempt to install the RSAT features again. The install should now complete successfully.
6. If you check “Manage optional features” again, you should see them listed. Below are a few:
To learn more about related important Hybrid IT & Cloud topics, please take a look at these recent posts. And if you have any additional questions around RSAT—or any other aspects of Windows Server—please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help you out.