Looking for a free Active Directory simulation tool

Posted on 2009-04-29
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am a member of a support group which manages one Organizational Unit in our Active Directory domain. I want to propose a reorganization of our OU to our group at our Friday meeting. I want to be able to show a simulation of how the reorganization will look and I want us to be able to change this at the meeting if others in the group want to see it organized in a different way. I found a utility called Virtual AD at but there is only a 30 day trial and after that it is very expensive. I would like to be able to work on this for more than 30 days. One idea I had is that if there were a utility that could export all the items (users, computers, Security Groups etc.) into a file structure where each item was a file (say a text file with nothing in it which had the same name as the AD item) then we could just use Windows Explorer to reorganize it. Does anyone know of a free utility that can perform either of these scenarios?
Question by:donander
    LVL 57

    Accepted Solution

    There are various ways to export the info out of AD.  A csvde export is one way
    Other ways are adfind, powershell, vbscript, etc.
    I'm not sure those are what you need though because it is not really a "file structure" like you wanted.
    One thing that may help you is the AD Topology Diagrammer
    You can map out your OU structure in Visio...may help for Friday.
    You could also just use virtual server/virtual pc/vmware and build a test DC and build the OU structure there for the meeting.
    You could also promote a box in production to be a DC then take it offline to use for a replica in your lab(metadata cleanup the box in production).   However that is probably not something you will be able to do by Friday.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment

    try this one"

    This one appears to be a tool for editing the actual AD structure rather than a simulated copy. Anyway, it isn't freeware.

    Author Closing Comment

    While it is true that AD Topology Diagrammer requires Visio, which is not free, I recently purchased Visio so that won't cost me anything.

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