Active Directory  «Prev  Next»
Lesson 1

Active Directory DC Promo

Can Active Directory "Domain Controller Promo" only be used with Windows Server Operating Systems? Question: Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is a feature of Windows Server operating systems, and the process of promoting a server to a domain controller is known as "Domain Controller Promotion" (DCPROMO). It is essential to note that DCPROMO can only be utilized with Windows Server operating systems, as it is an integral component of these systems designed to facilitate the management of users, computers, and other resources within a network domain.
AD DS provides a hierarchical structure and a central store for organizing, managing, and securing network resources within a domain environment. To create a new domain or add a domain controller to an existing domain, you must install the AD DS role on a server running a supported Windows Server operating system, such as Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, or Windows Server 2022.
The DCPROMO process involves installing the AD DS role, promoting the server to a domain controller, configuring the server as either a new domain controller in an existing domain or the first domain controller in a new domain, and configuring additional domain controller settings. This process is crucial for maintaining a robust and secure Active Directory infrastructure. In summary, Active Directory Domain Controller Promotion is exclusively designed for and can only be used with Windows Server operating systems. Utilizing DCPROMO ensures a streamlined and secure management of network resources within a domain environment.

SEMrush Software1

Active Directory Domain Controller Promo

When you install the Windows Server operating system, you cannot make the server a domain controller during installation as you can with NT. Instead, you must run the DCPROMO utility. You can do this immediately or at any time after installation. DCPROMO invokes the Installation Wizard, which allows you to choose the role of the domain controller and installs Active Directory on the computer. The Configure Your Server utility that displays immediately after installation contains instructions on using DCPROMO.
In the next lesson, you'll begin to learn this installation process with an overview of the Installation Wizard.


Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 domain controllers may not gracefully demote by using the Active Directory Installation Wizard (Dcpromo.exe).
  1. Cause: This behavior may occur if a required dependency or operation fails. These include network connectivity, name resolution, authentication, Active Directory directory service replication, or the location of a critical object in Active Directory.
  2. To resolve this behavior, determine what is preventing the graceful demotion of the Windows 2000 or the Windows Server 2003 domain controller, and then try to demote the domain controller by using the Active Directory Installation Wizard again.
    Note For Windows Server 2008, the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) is unchanged from Windows Server 2003 with one exception. In Windows Server 2008, you can run the dcpromo/forceremoval command to forcibly remove AD DS from a domain controller that is started in DSRM, just as you can in the AD DS stopped state. A domain controller must still be started in DSRM to restore system state data from a backup.
Ad Active Directory Administration