April 12, 2011

Installing a Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller

I have been installing Windows Server 2008 R2 and AD so many times in a test lab that I finally decided to make use of it and make a quick how-to and share it with others (no fuss, mainly defaults to be used in a test environment for other purposes that make use of Active Directory).  

This is not meant to be a guide on Microsoft's best practices, just a walk-through of the screens that you will encounter while going through the process.

You do not need broad experience in the field but I would expect that you have a copy of Windows Server 2008 R2 installed on some virtualization solution (I personally like VMware). I might make another quick guide on installing W2K8 R2 at some point but I'll skip this part now as it's as simple as installing any version of Windows.

On a fresh installation of W2K8 R2 you mainly need to configure the following before starting:
  • Proper time zone
  • Static IP address
  • Computer name
 You can choose to start in either the Initial Configuration Tasks window that pops up on every new W2K8 R2 installation or in Server Manager. In this case I started with the Initial Configuration Tasks window as it was already open on my screen ;)

1. Click on Add roles

2. Click Next on the informational page, then select Active Directory Domain Services in the list of roles

A dialog will appear asking you to approve the installation of required features, confirm the installation (.NET Framework). This is what you will see after the confirmation:

3. Introduction to Active Directory Domain Services will show you a few useful links which could come in handy so take your time and have a look (under "Additional Information)

4. Confirm installation

Don't worry about the Windows Update warning if you have previously patched your system.

5. Once this is complete, you'll need to run dcpromo from a command line or from the start menu

6. Once the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard starts up choose "Use advanced mode installation" and click Next

 7. Take notice of the operating system compatibility nad click Next

8. Select "Create a new domain in a new forest" and click Next

9. Enter the FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) for your new forest root domain

10. Choose the NetBIOS name for your domain

11. Select the forest functional level of your choice

12. Select additional options. I will be installing a DNS server role as well. Confirm the warning message

13. I changed the default values for DB, Log files and SYSVOL location although it is suggested to separate only DB and logs from SYSVOL. But still, this is only for lab use so I will do as I please ;)

14. Choose your Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator Password

15. You can choose to export your settings to a file which you can later on use for unattended installations

16. The Wizard will continue it's installation

17. Wizard completes the installation tasks

18. You will now need to restart your computer/VM in order to finalize ADDS installation

19. After rebooting you will be able to authenticate with your Domain Administrator password

20. Go ahead and type dsa.msc in your Start Menu -> Run or simply go to your Start Menu -> Administrative Tools -> Active Directory Users and Computers and check the Domain Controllers OU to see that your computer has been added as a GC Domain Controller.

21. Open dnsmgmt.msc from Start Menu -> Run or go to Start Menu -> Administrative Tools -> DNS and see if you can spot your DC DNS records

22. After joining other machines to your domain you should also be able to spot the LOGONSERVER=\\DPTAKDC01 line after typing the set command in your command prompt such as below

Done! :)