Progress over Perfection

Installing Active Directory on Windows Server and promoting it as Domain Controller

Once you have installed Windows Server 2012 R2, now to make it as Domain Controller we need to follow the 2 processes as given below –

  1. Install Active Directory: Add Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) role on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2
  2. Configure Active Directory: Configure Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) to make (promote) Windows Server 2012 R2 to as DC

Installing Active Directory

Refer the flow diagram for installing Active Directory over Windows server 2012 R2  –

Steps to Install the Active Directory –

1. Open the Server Manager from the task bar.

2. From the Server Manager Dashboard, select Add roles and features.

3. Select Role-based or features-based installation from the Installation Type screen and click Next.

Note: Roles are the major feature sets of the server, such as IIS, and features provide additional functionality for a given role.

4. The current server is selected by default. Click Next to proceed to the Server Roles tab.

5. From the Select Server Roles page select Active Directory Domain Services.

6. A notice will appear explaining additional roles services or features are also required to install domain services, click Add Features.

Note: There are other options including, Active Directory Certificate services, Active Directory  federation services, Active Directory lightweight directory services and Active Directory rights management. Active Directory Domain Services is the glue that holds this all together and needs to be installed prior to these other services.

7. Select features (optional) to install during the AD DS installation by selecting the check box next to any desired features, and then click Next.

8. Review the information on the AD DS tab and click Next.

9. On the Confirm installation selections screen, review the installation and then click Install.

10. The installation progress will be displayed on the screen.

11. Once installed, the AD DS role will be displayed on the ‘Server Manager’ home page.

Configure Active Directory 

[Promote a Windows Server to a Domain Controller]

Once the AD DS role is installed, Windows server need to be configured to make it as Domain Controller for your domain.  Flow diagram for this process is shown below.

Follow the steps to Configure AD-

1. Open the Server Manager from the task bar. After installing Active Directory , you get the Notifications icon ( ! mark in yellow triangle) which shows that the Active Directory is not configured .

2. On notification regarding configuring AD DS, click Promote this server to a domain controller.

3. From the Deployment Configuration tab select Add a new forest from the radio options menu. Insert your root domain name into the Root domain name field, and then click Next.

Note: You must provide a valid root domain name; the name cannot be single-labeled (for example, the name must be or similar and not just nks) and must use allowed DNS domain naming requirements.

4. Select a Domain and Forest functional level, and then input a password for the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) fields. The DSRM password is used when booting the Domain Controller into recovery mode.

Note: Domain and forest functional levels applies to Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2.

Functional levels determine the capabilities of available AD DS domain or forest . When you deploy AD DS, set the domain and forest functional levels to the highest value that your environment can support. This way, you can use as many AD DS features as possible.

For example, if you are sure that you will never add domain controllers that run Windows Server 2003 to the domain or forest, select the Windows Server 2008 functional level during the deployment process. However, if you add domain controllers that run Windows Server 2003, select the Windows Server 2003 functional level.

For more information: Click Here

5. Review the warning on the DNS Options tab and select Next.

6. Confirm or enter a NetBIOS name and click Next.

7. Specify the location of the Database, Log files, and SYSVOL folders and then click Next.

Note: The term SYSVOL (System Volume) refers to a set of files and folders that reside on the local hard disk of each domain controller in a domain .

8. Review the configuration options and click Next.

9. The system checks to ensure all necessary prerequisites are installed on the system prior to moving forward. If the system passes these checks, proceed by clicking Install.

Note: The server automatically reboots after the installation is complete. Now we have successfully configured Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Qus: Without DNS installation, can a server be promoted as Domain Controller.

Ans: For an Active Directory to be a Domain Controller Widows server needs Domain Name Server. DNS is the backbone of Active Directory and the primary name resolution mechanism in Windows based networks. In windows server 2012 R2 When you promote the Active Directory as DC, DNS is setup automatically. So you need not to install DNS service for promoting AD as DC.

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