To promote a server to an Active Directory Domain Controller (DC), you will need to provide the following network credentials:
- Domain Name: The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the Active Directory domain that you want to join.
- Domain Admin Account: The username and password of a user account that has permission to promote a server to a domain controller.
- DNS Server Address: The IP address of a DNS server that is able to resolve the FQDN of the Active Directory domain. This is typically the IP address of an existing domain controller in the domain.
- NetBIOS Domain Name: A shorter version of the domain name that is used for compatibility with older systems. It is typically the first part of the FQDN, up to 15 characters in length.
- Site Name: The Active Directory site to which the domain controller will belong. Sites are used to group domain controllers in the same physical location for replication and authentication purposes.
- Forest and Domain Functional Levels: The functional levels of the Active Directory forest and domain, which determine the features that are available and the types of domain controllers that can be added to the forest or domain.
You will need to enter these credentials during the Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard,
which is run during the promotion process.
Once you click Install, Active Directory
- configure the server to be a domain controller,
- perform initial replication, and
- then reboot automatically.
After the server reboots, you will have a fully functional domain controller.
If you are promoting a domain controller
that is running a version of Windows prior to Windows Server 2012, the Server Manager and PowerShell approaches we have discussed so far will not apply.
Prior versions of Windows (dating back to Windows 2000) use a tool called dcpromo to install Active Directory. You can launch dcpromo by going to
- Run and
- typing in dcpromo.
One tip we can offer for dcpromo is that in some versions of Windows, options for things like Install from Media are hidden unless you run dcpromo in advanced mode.
To do that, run dcpromo /adv.