When an SBS installation is migrated to SBS 2008, oftentimes users won’t show up in the SBS console. If you add users the “manual” way with Active Directory Users and Computers, these users won’t show up in the SBS console. This can cause problems administering SBS. The resolution is a simple, but very obscure, procedure in the SBS console itself.

Open the SBS console

If the SBS Console isn’t already open, click Start, enter “Windows SBS Console” and select “Windows SBS Console”.

Select Users and Groups

Select the users and groups tab. Click Change User Role For User Accounts.

Select the User Role and Add Permissions.

You must select Add User Permissions or Settings. This is very important. If you select Replace User Permissions, the existing permissions of the user will be gone! In almost all instances you will add permissions.

Click Next.

Add Users from Active Directory

Before you begin this step, note the checkbox at the bottom left: “Show All Users in Active Directory”. This is the key and the magic. Check this box. The left-hand list should show all your users in AD no matter what Organizational Unit they’re in.

Select the users you want to add and click Add for each of them. When you’re done, click Change User Role.

SBS will show another window confirming that the user roles have changed. Click OK.

The new users should now show up in the console.


The only area to go wrong in is Step 3, when you add the permissions. If you replaced permissions here, and your users run into problems, you’ll need to repeat this step. Just follow the steps again and select “Add New Permissions” and your users should be back to normal.

If you have custom groups, you may also need to modify them to show up in the SBS console. Microsoft has published a tool to find groups, where ever they are in the hierarchy, and add them to the SBS console. The link is in the references.

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