Active Directory Domain Controller is a critical part of Microsoft Server infrastructure. Active Directory is a directory which stores all the information about resources of a domain in a database. The Active Directory database is NTDS.dit and is stored in server with Active Directory Domain Services server role installed. Resources can be objects like users, computers, groups, printers and so on. Active Directory allows you to manage users, computers, and resources from central location. Before you install Active Directory Domain Controller in your network, it is better to know about logical structure of Active Directory in Server 2008. This article shows steps to install Active Directory Domain Controller in Windows Server 2008 R2.
Install Active Directory Domain Controller in Windows Server 2008 R2
The diagram below shows an example of network with domain controller. MBG-DC01 will be Active Directory Domain Controller once the role is installed. PC1 and PC2 will be joined to domain.
After installing Windows Server 2008, the very first thing you should do is rename the Server name and assign static IP address. Open Server Manager.
Select Roles and click Add Roles button as shown above. Click Next on before you begin page.
On Select Server Roles page, check Active Directory Domain Services role from the list. This role requires .Net Framework 3.5.1 so click Add Required Feature. Click Next. Introduction to Active Directory page is displayed. Read the introduction and click Next.
Click Install. The installation will now begin.
After installation is complete, click the dcpromo link.
AD DS installation wizard will open. Check use advanced mode installation option. Click Next.
Read the OS compatibility page. Older operating systems like Windows NT that do no support new stronger cryptography algorithms may not be able to connect to Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2. Click Next.
Choose option, create a new domain in a new forest. Click Next.
Type the root domain name. Here the root domain name is, mustbegeek.com. Click Next.
NetBIOS name is automatically selected as shown above. Click Next.
Choose forest functional level. Since this server is the forest root domain I will choose Server 2008 R2 as forest functional level. Click Next.
DCpromo tries to find the DNS server, if it doesn’t find it will prompt you to setup DNS server. It is good idea to make Active Directory as DNS server too. DNS is required for many components of Windows Server to work properly. So check DNS server. This will create AD integrated DNS zone. Click Next.
You now have option to specify installation location for Database, Log and Sysvol folders. Database folder is where the NTDS.DIT database file will be stored. Log folder is where the logs of the database are stored. SYSVOL is the folder where all the replication information are stored. I will leave the default installation location and click Next.
Type the directory services restore mode administrator password and click Next. This password comes in handy while restoring the Active Directory should the server fail for some reason.
Review the summary page and click Next.
The installation will now start.
Click Finish to complete the installation. The server will now reboot to complete the installation. After server reboots, you can open Active Directory Users and Computers to verify the installation of domain controller. You can now create user accounts and join hosts to the domain. You can manage Active Directory using various tools like, Active Directory Users and Computer, Active Directory Sites and Services and Active Directory Domains and Trusts.