Server 2012 – Build a Domain Controller (DC) using Server Manager

This post will consist of 3 parts:

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Installing Domain Controller using Server Manager
  3. Promote Domain Controller using Server Manager

The PowerShell version of this post can be found here: Server 2012 – Build a Domain Controller (DC) using Powershell


Be sure to have specified Server Name and a static IP. If this is the first Domain Controller in the domain, you also need to set IP of DNS server to itself. If you have another DNS server in the same domain, you point first DNS to the other Server and the secondary IP to loopback.

Renaming Server to “TDC01” using PowerShell with Automatic restart. Rename-Computer TDC01 -restart More info on Rename-Computer cmdlet on TechNet.

Configure IP using PowerShell

  • You can read more about Change the IP Address of a Server on TechNet.
  • If you are using an older server than 2012, you need to import the NetAdapter module. Import-Module NetAdapter 
  • The following script will do the following: Retrieve the network adapter that you want to configure.
    • Disable DHCP.
    • Configure the IP address and default gateway.
    • Configure the DNS client server IP addresses.
  • The script will look like:
    $ipv4adr ="";
    $ipv4gw ="";
    $prefix = "24";
    $netadapter = Get-NetAdapter -Name Ethernet;
    $netadapter | Set-NetIPInterface -DHCP Disabled;
    $netadapter | New-NetIPAddress -AddressFamily IPv4 `
    -IPAddress $ipv4adr ` -DefaultGateway $ipv4gw `
    -PrefixLength $prefix

Configure DNS using PowerShell – 2 examples:

The second line in each script requires a tad of explanation.
In order to set IPv6 to use DHCP instead of pointing to local loopback, we have to use the -ResetServerAddress. And why is that you might ask. Well, your dns resolving doesn’t return true unless we do this as it ‘catches’ the IPv6 before it gets to IPv4, so unless you specify your IPv6 you need to set this to DHCP.

  1. Configure 1 DNS server
    $ipv4dns1 = "";
    Get-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias Ethernet | Set-DnsClientServerAddress -ResetServerAddresses
    Set-DNSClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias Ethernet -ServerAddresses $ipv4dns1
  2. Configure 2 DNS servers
    $ipv4dns1 = "";
    $ipv4dns2 = "";
    Get-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias Ethernet | Set-DnsClientServerAddress -ResetServerAddresses
    Set-DNSClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias Ethernet -ServerAddresses ("$ipv4dns1","$ipv4dns2")


Installing Domain Controller Using Server Manager

  1. In Server Manager click on Manage and choose Add Roles and Features
  2. Next Role-based or feature-based installation. Select your server and click Next.
  3. Select the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
  4. You will be presented with a new window showing dependencies. Click Add Features and Next, Next, next
  5. Review your selection. Put a mark in Restart Automatically if you want it to do so automatically. If you set it to Restart Automatically you will be presented with this prompt. Click Yes to continue.
    Click Install.
  6. Now we have installed everything needed, and now need to Promote the server. You can click on both the link displayed. or on the same link when clicking the ! sign.
    When clicking ! Click Promote this server to domain controller
    . 09-Promote

Promote Domain Controller using Server Manager

  1. I’m making a new domain test.dmz which I type and click next. If you need to join an existing domain or forest, you choose the appropriate thing.
  2. If you are making a new domain, you need to ad DNS server. Select your DSRM password and click next.
  3. This warning about DNS is because neither the DNS or Domain is setup yet. Next and next at the NetBIOS name.
  4. I recommend to keep Paths at default locations. Some do move files to seperate volumes for added performance.
  5. Review your options and press Next. The View Script is used to get all your settings as PowerShell script, which is shown just below the image.
  6. The Powershell output
  7. #
    # Windows PowerShell script for AD DS Deployment
    Import-Module ADDSDeployment
    Install-ADDSForest `
    -CreateDnsDelegation:$false `
    -DatabasePath "C:\Windows\NTDS" `
    -DomainMode "Win2012" `
    -DomainName "test.dmz" `
    -DomainNetbiosName "TEST" `
    -ForestMode "Win2012" `
    -InstallDns:$true `
    -LogPath "C:\Windows\NTDS" `
    -NoRebootOnCompletion:$false `
    -SysvolPath "C:\Windows\SYSVOL" `
  8. Click Install. Once you click Install, Active Directory will configure the server to be a Domain Controller, perform initial replication if needed and then reboot automatically. After the reboot, you will have a fully functionall Domain Controller. 15-install
  9. Your Server Manager might stop responding, but fear not, just wait for it to respond.
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