DCPromo – How to Install Active Directory
You can watch the video on DCPromo or read the article that appears below the video.
DCPromo is the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard, and it is an executable file which resides in the System32 folder in Windows. When you run DcPromo in the Windows “run” box, it will run this executable. This is the easiest way to install Active Directory on Windows servers. Active Directory Domain Services is installed when you run DcPromo, which enables a server to work as a domain controller. To run properly, Active Directory Domain Services requires a DNS server to be installed on the network. If DNS is not available for name resolution, you will be prompted to install a DNS server while running DcPromo.
Installing Active Directory using DcPromo will apply only to the Windows 2008 server family and legacy Microsoft servers like Windows Server 2003. DcPromo in Microsoft Windows Server 2012 is deprecated. If you run DcPromo under Microsoft Windows Server 2012 it will advise you to use Server Manager instead.
If you want to install Active Directory in Windows Server 2012, the best way is via Server Manager or Powershell commands.
This article will take you through the necessary steps to complete a basic installation of Active Directory. For more general information on Active Directory, try the Wikipedia page on the topic.
This demonstration I will install Active Directory on Microsoft Windows server 2008 R2, using the DcPromo executable.
Install Active Directory using DcPromo
First, locate and run DcPromo. You can search for DcPromo in the Start Menu, or you can directly run DcPromo in the Windows “run” box. Here we use Windows “run” to open DcPromo.exe.
Simply press the Windows key and R key together, type “dcpromo”, and hit enter.
DcPromo will begin to install Active Directory Domain Services and other required components.
Then the Wizard will appear. Just click Next to proceed.
You’ll be informed about enhanced security features and operating system compatibility. Just click Next.
In our example, we’re installing Active Directory services on the first domain controller in the environment. There is no existing forest in this network. We choose the “Create a new domain in a new forest” option.
Next, you’re asked to provide a name for this new root domain. This will be the fully qualified domain.
Then you need to set the forest functional level. The Wizard will display a description for each functional level, and this will help you to determine the correct level for your requirement. The higher the forest functional level, the more features available – So set it according to your network environment requirements. For example, if you select Windows 2000 Native as the forest functional level, all your domains must be Windows 2000 or above. In this demonstration, we select the Windows Server 2008 R2 functional level, and go ahead. Click Next.
It’s a good idea to have the DNS on the same server where the domain controller will be installed. The Wizard does this for you while completing this Active Directory Installation. Click Next.
If there is no Static IP already set up for the domain controller, you will be prompted to configure one. If necessary, you can ignore this request for now by selecting the option to gain an IP address from the DHCP server. Otherwise, go ahead with the recommended action and set an IP for the computer and click “Next”.
Delegation for the DNS server will be setup later while setting up DNS – so don’t worry about the following message. Just click Yes, and then click Next.
The next Wizard screen will prompt you to select the locations in which to save your Active Directory Database and Log files. In order to increase performance and recoverability, Microsoft recommends storing log files in a volume separate from where the database is stored.
You’ll now be prompted for a password. This password is for Directory Service Restore – it is not the Domain Administrator password. This password will be required should you need to remove Active Directory from a server using DcPromo.
Next you will be shown a summary of the Active Directory installation, and if needed you can export the settings to an answer file which can be used for command line Active Directory installation.
It will take some time to create a new Active Directory database and install the DNS server. Tick “Reboot on completion” to automatically reboot the PC after the Active Directory installation.
When it’s complete, you’ll receive the Active Directory Installation confirmation message – now click Finish.
If you didn’t tick “Reboot on completion”, you’ll be prompted to restart to complete the Active Directory Installation.
DCPromo and Installation of Active Directory Complete
That completes the installation. Active Directory Domain services are installed on the new server and ready for use.
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