Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Setting Up an Additional Domain Controller With Windows Server 2008

To set up an Additional Domain Controller, I will use the dcpromo.exe command.

  1. To use the command, click on Start > Run > and then write dcpromo > Click OK

  2. The system will start checking if Active Directory Domain Services ( AD DS) binaries are installed, then will start installing them. The binaries could be installed if you had run the dcpromo command previously and then canceled the operation after the binaries were installed.

  3. The Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard will start, either enable the checkbox beside Use Advanced mode installation and Click Next , or keep it unselected and click on Next

    The following table lists the additional wizard pages that appear for each deployment configuration when you select the Use advanced mode

    1. The Operating System Compatibility page will be displayed, take a moment to read it and click Next

    2. On the Choose a Deployment Configuration page, click Existing forest, click Add a domain controller to an existing domain, and then click Next.

    3. On the Network Credentials page, type your domain name, my domain name is ( was set in the previous article ) , so I will type

    4. To set up an Additional Domain Controller, you will need an account that must be either a member of the Enterprise Admins group or the Domain Admins group. We have two options:
  4. My Current logged on credentials ( DomainName\Username or MachineName\Username)
  5. Alternate credentials

  6. If you have previously joined this server to the domain and you are currently logged in to it with an Enterprise Admin/Domain Admin user, then you can use the first option (My current logged on credentials) . As you can see this option is grayed here, and the reason for this is below it. It is because I'm currently logged in with a local user, the machine is not a domain member. I'm left out with the second option: Alternate credentials
  1. To enter the Alternate credentials, click Set. In the Windows Security dialog box, enter the user name and password for an account that must be either a member of the Enterprise Admins group or the Domain Admins group > then click Next.

    If you have entered a wrong username/password , you will receive the following error message

  2. On the Select a Domain page, select the domain of the Additional Domain Controller, and then click Next, as I already have only one domain, then it will be selected by default.

  3. On the Select a Site page, either enable the checkbox beside Use the site that corresponds to the IP address of this computer, this will install the domain controller in the site that corresponds to its IP address, or select a site from the list and then click Next. If you only have one domain controller and one site, then you will have the first option grayed and the site will be selected by default as shown in the following image

  4. On the Additional Domain Controller Options page, By default, the DNS Server and Global Catalog checkboxes are selected. You can also select your additional domain controller to be a Read-only Domain Controller (RODC) by selecting the checkbox beside it.

    My primary domain controller is a DNS Server is well, and this can be verified by reading the additional information written in the below image, that there is currently 1 DNS server that is registered as an authoritative name server for this domain. I do want my Additional DC to be a DNS server and a Global catalog, so I will keep the checkboxes selected. Click Next

  5. If you select the option to install DNS server in the previous step, then you will receive a message that indicates a DNS delegation for the DNS server could not be created and that you should manually create a DNS delegation to the DNS server to ensure reliable name resolution. If you are installing an additional domain controller in either the forest root domain (or a tree root domain) , you do not need to create the DNS delegation. In this case, you can safely ignore the message and click Yes.

  6. In the Install from Media page ( will be displayed if you have selected Use advanced mode installation on the Welcome page, if you didn't select it, then skip to step # 15), you can choose to either replicate data over the network from an existing domain controller, or specify the location of installation media to be used to create the domain controller and configure AD DS. I want to replicate data over the network, so I will choose the first option > click Next

  7. On the Source Domain Controller page of the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard, you can select which domain controller will be used as a source for data that must be replicated during installation, or you can have the wizard select which domain controller will be used as the source for this data. You have two options :

  • Let the wizard choose an appropriate domain controller

  • Use this specific domain controller

    If you want to choose from the list, any domain controller can be the installation partner. However, the following restrictions apply to the domain controllers that can be used as an installation partner in other situations:

    • A read-only domain controller (RODC) can never be an installation partner.
    • If you are installing an RODC, only a writable domain controller that runs Windows Server 2008 can be an installation partner.
    • If you are installing an additional domain controller for an existing domain, only a domain controller for that domain can be an installation partner.
  1. Now you will have to specify the location where the domain controller database, log files and SYSVOL are stored on the server.
    The database stores information about the users, computers and other objects on the network. the log files record activities that are related to AD DS, such information about an object being updated. SYSVOL stores Group Policy objects and scripts. By default, SYSVOL is part of the operating system files in the Windows directory

    Either type or browse to the volume and folder where you want to store each, or accept the defaults and click on Next

    Note :
    Windows Server Backup backs up the directory service by volume. For backup and recovery efficiency, store these files on separate volumes that do not contain applications or other nondirectory files.

  2. In the Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator Password (DSRM) page, write a password and confirm it. This password is used when the domain controller is started in Directory Services Restore Mode, which might be because Active Directory Domain Services is not running, or for tasks that must be performed offline.

    Make sure the password meet the password complexity requirements of the password policy, that is a password that contains a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. else you will receive the following message :

  3. Summary page will be displayed showing you all the setting that you have set . It gives you the option to export the setting you have setup into an answer file for use to automate subsequent AD DS operations, if you wish to have such file, click on the Export settings button and save the file. Then click Next to begin AD DS installation

  4. Active Directory Domain Services installation will be completed, click Finish, then click on Restart Now to restart your server for the changes to take effect.

  • Open Active Directory Users & Computers, and then click on the Domain Controllers Organizational Unit, and you will see your Additional Domain Controller along with your Primary Domain Controller.

Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 2008

Installing Active Directory Domain Services (AD-DS)

In Windows Server 2008, unlike previous server operating Systems, there is an additional step that needs to be taken before running DCPROMO to promote the server to Domain Controller and installing Active Directory on it. This step is the installation of Active Directory Domain Services (AD-DS) role on the server. In fact, the AD-DS role is what enables the server to act as a Domain Controller, but you will still need to run DCPROMO the regular way.

AD-DS can be installed in one of 3 methods:

Method 1 – Server Manager/Initial Configuration Tasks

Roles can and should be added from Server Manager (but they can also be initiated from the Initial Configuration Tasks wizard that auto-opens the first time you log on to the server).

  1. Open Server Manager by clicking the icon in the Quick Launch toolbar, or from the Administrative Tools folder.
  2. Wait till it finishes loading, then click on Roles > Add Roles link.
  3. In the Before you begin window, click Next.
  4. In the Select Server Roles window, click to select Active Directory Domain Services, and then click Next.
  5. In the Active Directory Domain Services window read the provided information if you want to, and then click Next.
  6. In the Confirm Installation Selections, read the provided information if you want to, and then click Next.
  7. Wait till the process completes.
  8. When it ends, click Close.
  9. Going back to Server Manager, click on the Active Directory Domain Services link, and note that there's no information linked to it, because the DCPROMO command has not been run yet.
  10. Now you can click on the DCPROMO link, or read on.
    1. To run DCPROMO, enter the command in the Run command, or click on the DCPROMO link from Server Manager > Roles > Active Directory Domain Services.
    2. Depending upon the question if AD-DS was previously installed or not, the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard will appear immediately or after a short while. Click Next.
    3. Note: The Advanced features of DCPROMO will be discussed in a future article.

      1. In the Operating System Compatibility window, read the provided information and click Next.
      2. In the Choosing Deployment Configuration window, click on "Create a new domain in a new forest" and click Next.
      3. Enter an appropriate name for the new domain. Make sure you pick the right domain name, as renaming domains is a task you will not wish to perform on a daily basis. Click Next.
      4. Note: Do NOT use single label domain names such as "mydomain" or similar. You MUST pick a full domain name such as "mydomain.local" or "" and so on.

        The wizard will perform checks to see if the domain name is not already in use on the local network.

      5. Pick the right forest function level. Windows 2000 mode is the default, and it allows the addition of Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Domain Controllers to the forest you're creating. Read my "Understanding Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain and Forest Functional Levels" article for more information on that.
      6. Pick the right domain function level. Windows 2000 Native mode is the default, and it allows the addition of Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Domain Controllers to the domain you're creating.
      7. Note: If you select "Windows Server 2008" for the forest function level, you will Not be prompted to pick a domain function level. Read more about domain and forest function levels on my "Understanding Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain and Forest Functional Levels" article.

      8. The wizard will perform checks to see if DNS is properly configured on the local network. In this case, no DNS server has been configured, therefore, the wizard will offer to automatically install DNS on this server.
      9. Note: The first DCs must also be a Global Catalog. Also, the first DCs in a forest cannot be a Read Only Domain controller.

      10. It's most likely that you'll get a warning telling you that the server has one or more dynamic IP Addresses. Running IPCONFIG /all will show that this is not the case, because as you can clearly see, I have given the server a static IP Address. So, where did this come from? The answer is IPv6. I did not manually configure the IPv6 Address, hence the warning. In a network where IPv6 is not used, you can safely ignore this warning.
      11. You'll probably get a warning about DNS delegation. Since no DNS has been configured yet, you can ignore the message and click Yes.
      12. Next, change the paths for the AD database, log files and SYSVOL folder. For large deployments, carefully plan your DC configuration to get the maximum performance. When satisfied, click Next.
      13. Enter the password for the Active Directory Recovery Mode. This password must be kept confidential, and because it stays constant while regular domain user passwords expire (based upon the password policy configured for the domain, the default is 42 days), it does not. This password should be complex and at least 7 characters long. I strongly suggest that you do NOT use the regular administrator's password, and that you write it down and securely store it. Click Next.
      14. In the Summary window review your selections, and if required, save them to an unattend answer file. When satisfied, click Next.
      15. The wizard will begin creating the Active Directory domain, and when finished, you will need to press Finish and reboot your computer.
      16. Note: You can automate the rebooting process by checking the Reboot on Completion checkbox.

        To automate domain controller installations, you can use an answer file or you can specify unattended installation parameters at the command line. More on that in my "Creating an Unattend Installation File for DCPROMO in Windows Server 2008" article.

        Note: As written in my "Installing Active Directory on Windows 2008 Server Core" article, configuring a Windows Server 2008 Server Core machine REQUIRES you to perform an automated installation of Active Directory on that server, as there is NOT DCPROMO GUI on Server Core.

        Your server now acts as a Domain Controller. Make sure you properly back it up. You can test functionality by using AD management tools such as Active Directory Users and Computers, examine the Event Logs, services and folders and shares that have been created.


        AD DS Installation and Removal Step-by-Step Guide

    Method 2 – Servermanagercmd.exe

    Servermanagercmd.exe is the command prompt equivalent of the Add Roles and Add Features wizards in Server Manager. Through the use of various command line options, you can quickly and easily add or remove features and roles to or from your server, including the AD-DS role.

    To install AD-DS by using Servermanagercmd.exe, simply enter the following command in the Command Prompt window:

    Servermanagercmd.exe –I ADDS-Domain-Controller

    Let the command run and when it finishes, AD-DS will be installed on the server.

    Method 3 – Letting DCPROMO do the job

    Oh yes. If you forget to install AD-DS or simply want to skip clicking on some windows, you can run DCPROMO from the Run command and before it is executed, the server will check to see if the AD-DS binaries are installed. Since they are not, they will auto-install.

    After you complete the Add Roles Wizard, either click the link to start the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard, or close Server Manager and manually run DCPROMO from the Run command.