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  • How to install Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in Windows Server 2012 – Adding a replica Domain Controller to an existing AD DS Domain

    In this blog we will explore adding a replica domain controller to and existing Windows Server 2012 AD DS domain.  

    To review the previous blog visit:
    Establishing an AD DS Forest

    The Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) design team has finished the design phase for your new AD DS environment and now it is time to add a new replica Domain Controller to the environment.   Using Microsoft’s best practices the Domain Name System (DNS) has been configured to support our domain.   The following steps have been accomplished:

    • DNS has been installed
    • A static IP Address was configured with the DNS entry pointing to the corporate DNS server.
    • The server has been renamed and joined to the domain.
    • Verify the first DC has registered the Service Records for the new Domain. (see diagram below)


    To install AD DS complete the following steps:

    Use Server Manager to add the Active Directory Domain Services Role to install the Binaries to support this server becoming a Domain Controller.

    1. Launch Server Manager, select Add roles and features.

    1. Review the Before You Begin page, Click Next. 
    2. On the Select installation type page ensure Role-based or feature-based installation radial button is selected, click Next.

    1. On the Select destination server page Select the desired server from the Server Pool.

            Note:  The 2012 Server Manager allows roles and features to be installed remotely.

    1. Click on the Active Directory Domain Services box.

    1. The Add features that are required for Active Directory Domain Service dialog box pops up, select Add Features, click Next.

    1. Do not add any features on the Select features page, click Next.
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    1. Review the Active Directory Domain Services information page, click next.

    1. On the Confirm installation selections page, check the Restart the destination server automatically if required box, click Yes on the confirm dialog box, click Install.

          10. The AD DS Binaries are now being installed, click Close to close the Installation progress dialog box.

         11. If you close the above window you can click on the notification flag to check on installation status.


    Note: The Binaries are now installed on the server to support this server becoming a Domain Controller. Use DCPROMO to promote this computer to a Domain Controller.

    Using Server Manager to make this server a Domain Controller and install the replica domain controller.

    1. In previous versions of Windows Server you used DCPROMO to create the first Domain Controller. On Window Server 2012 running DCPROMO will result in the following dialog box. DCPROMO is still supported for unattended installations.

    1. In Server Manager Title bar click on the yellow triangle to perform post-deployment configuration of promote the server to a Domain Controller.

    1. Click on Promote this server to a domain controller to start the promotion wizard.

    1. On the Deployment Configuration page, select the Add a domain controller to an existing domain radial button, fill in the Domain name box with your desired AD DS Domain Name, verify the credentials change if needed, click Next.

    1. On the Domain Controller Options page De-select DNS or GC during this installation, Enter a desired DSRM Password, click Next.

    Note:  If the domain controller were located in a different site, the site name would have been pre-selected for that site if defined in AD DS.

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    1. On the Additional Options page, if installing from backup media check Install from media. If you have a desired DC to Replicate from select it from the drop down menu. Click Next

    1. On the Paths page verify the desired locations of the Database, Log files and SYSVOL folders, change the locations is required, click Next.

    1. On the Review Options page, click Next.

    Note: If a Unattended PowerShell installation script is desired, click view script and then save from the file drop down menu.

    1. The AD DS Configuration Wizard will perform and Prerequisite check before the installation can continue. After the check is completed successfully click Install

          10. The server will restart once the configuration has completed, the server is now a domain controller for the newly formed domain.

    Verifying the installation of AD DS

    1. Logon to the Domain Controller using the Administrator account credentials.
    2. Launch the DNS console and verify the creation of Service Records for the newly established domain controller. 

    AD DS is now installed.   In the next part we will examine creating a replica domain controller using the Install from Media (IFM) method.  Until then, RIDE SAFE!

    Rick Trader
    Windows Server Instructor – Interface Technical Training
    Phoenix, AZ