Setting up a domain controller in a brand new environment provides a great opportunity to learn and build the foundation for many years to come.
After setting up a domain a few times, it’s really a lot more simple than you might expect. There are some fundamental steps to follow to help setup the foundation for your environment.
Lets jump right in and configure a domain controller on Windows Server 2012.
How to setup a domain controller: Windows Server 2012
You have a fresh install of Windows Server 2012 and you want to set it up to be a domain controller.
You figure out that you need to install the AD DS (Active Directory Domain Services role).
Let’s Get Started
Add the AD DS role
Open Server Manager and click on Add roles and features.
The wizard should open and if it’s the first time you are launching the Add Roles and Features Wizard, you will be presented with a Before you begin page. Click Next.
F0r Installation Type, select the default option Role-based or featured-based installation, and click Next.
For the Server Selection, leave the default selected and click Next.
This is actually pretty cool. If you are setting up multiple Windows Server 2012 machines and want to setup the same roles on all of them, you can select all of the servers here and install the roles all at once.
Now we need to select the role(s) we want to install.
For this tutorial, we are only concerned with Active Directory Domain Services. Select the role, and click Next.
When you select the role, you will see the following dialog window. Leave the defaults, and click the Add Features button. You will then be back at the Features window. Select Next.
The next window displays information about the role(s) you are installing. Click Next.
You should now be at the Confirmation window. If you are satisfied with the summary, Click Install.
When the install completes, click Close on the confirmation window to close the wizard.
Promote Server to Domain Controller
So far, we have only installed the role. We haven’t promoted the server to become a domain controller yet. Lets do this now.
If you are back at the Dashboard of your Server Manager, click on the red AD DS title bar.
In the Server Manager -> AD DS section, click on More… in the upper right corner.
In the All Servers Task Details window, click on Promote this server to a domain…
Next, select Add a new forest, type in a domain name, then click Next.
For this example, I chose to use NOTCREATIVE.internal for the domain name.
In the Domain Controller Options window, leave the defaults and type in a password to use for the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM). This password will also be used to initially log into the server as the domain administrator account.
The next window wants you to Specify DNS delegation options. Nothing to do here, press Next.
For the NetBIOS domain name window, leave the default and press Next.
Leave the Paths windows with the default settings and press Next.
Review Options and if you are satisfied with the settings, press Next.
Prerequisites Check will display anything that might need to be done before installing the role(s). For this tutorial, we will continue on by pressing Install.
When the install is complete, restart the server (the server will auto-restart if you do not do anything).
The initial log in will produce a warning: Your password has expired and must be changed.
Press OK and type in a new password twice and press Enter.
Congratulations, you now have a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller with DNS.
Stay tuned for more videos walking you through the process of setting up an enterprise environment from the ground-up.
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