Windows Server 2012 series – Installing Active Directory Domain Services

This blog will explain how to enable and install the Active Directory Domain Services role on Windows Server 2012 to setup a Domain Controller. You can click on the pictures for a larger version of the picture.


(note: this blog was created with Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate but the screenshots will probably still be valid for the final version that is now available)


Assuming you have installed Windows 2012 you will start with the new Server Manager once the server has started.


The new Server Manager is a big improvement over the Windows 2008 R2 Server Manager, Microsoft did a good job on improving it.


To start with adding the Active Directory Domain Services role click on ‘Add roles and features’ in the Server Manager



Click on ‘Next’ on the ‘before you begin’ information page.



On the next screen you have to choose if you want to do a role-based and feature-based installation or a Remote Desktop services installation. For now choose the role-based and feature based installation, I will cover the Remote Desktop Services part in an upcoming blog that I am still working on.



Choose if you want to select a Server from the server pool or Select a virtual hard disk. For my test environment I selected the local server installation that I am using.



After that the list of selectable roles will appear. Select the ‘Active Directory Domain Services’ role and click ‘Next’



Next a list of features will be displayed that need to be included for installing the Active Directory Domain services role, click ‘Add features’ to continue



Click ‘Next’ to continue with installing the AD Domain Services.



Click next on the ‘Select Features’ screen.



Click ‘next’on the Active Directory Domain Services info screen.



Click ‘Install’ to start the actual installation. Optionally you can select to automatically reboot the server if required.



The installation process will start.



Click on ‘Close’ when the installation has finished.



There will be a notification in the Server Manager that ‘Configuration is required for Active Directory Domain Services’.



Select the AD DS role on the left part of the screen to view the status of the Active Directory Domain Services. In the action list click on ‘Promote this server to a domain controller’



The Active Directory Domain Services configuration wizard will appear.



I want to setup a new Forest so I select ‘Add a new forest’ and enter a root domain name for my forest (test.local for my test lab).



Next you can select the functional level for the new forest and root domain. It is interesting to see that the Server 2003 functional level is still available. Apparently Microsoft wants to enable the possibility to upgrade to Server 2012 from a Server 2003 functional domain level.



For my testlab I have selected the Windows Server 2012 RC forest and domain functional level. Enter a password for the Directory Services restore mode and click ‘next’ to continue.



Ignore the DNS warning if you do not have an authoritative parent zone and click ‘Next’



Enter the NetBIOS domain name and click ‘Next’



Provide the path for the database, logging and SYSVOL folder (I left them on default for my testlab) and click on ‘Next’



On overview of all the selected options will be displayed and the option to export all the selected configuration options to PowerShell with the ‘View script’ button. Click ‘Next’to continue.



The Prerequisites Check screen appear and some warning might be displayed there. Finally the install button is no longer greyed-out to you can select ‘Install’



The Active Directory Domain Services will now be configured and the management tools will be installed.


You may also like...