I recently found a need to have Operating System and Service Pack information displayed dynamically in Active Directory Users and Computers rather than have it hardcoded into the Description attribute of the computer object.
I remembered that many moons ago, I had seen Dean Wells demonstrate this ability, so I dug out my notes and thought I would share (but Kudos to Dean).
If you open Active Directory Users and Computers, navigate to an OU and then select View Add/Remove Columns, we can see that the information about the Operating System is not available to add as a column.
But if we right click on a computer object we can see that the Active Directory knows about the computers Operating System and Service Pack information.
If you view the computers attributes, we can see how these attributes are stored in Active Directory
The attributes I am interested in displaying in Active Directory Users and Computers are:
operatingSystem and operatingSystemServicePack
To add them to the Add/Remove columns tab, logon to the Active Directory with Schema Admin privileges, and start ADSIEDIT.MSC.
Navigate to the Configuration Partition and then DisplaySpecifiers and then select the code page for your language. For me this is 409.
navigate to CN=organizationalUnit-Display double click and navigate to extraColumns
Double Click extraColumns and add the following two values.
These values equate to:
<ldapDisplayName>,<Column Title>,<Displayed by default>,<Column Width>,<unused>
Once the values are added, navigate your way out of ADSIEDIT.MSC and open Active Directory Users and Computers. Once again navigate to an OU and then select View Add/Remove Columns we can now see two additional columns
Select Add to make then available in the displayed columns.
We now have Operating System and Service Pack information available at a glance, but many of the other attributes can be added in exactly the same way.