Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Active Directory is the backbone of most networks. It stores all the setting, user accounts, and computer information. The following guide will show you how to install it onto Windows Server 2008 R2.
Prerequisites There are a few prerequisites that you must first sort out, before starting the installation. - Windows must be running on an NTFS volume. - Have a NIC installed, and connected to the network. - Be logged on as the local administrator. - Have decided on a Domain Name to use. - Performed the basic server configuration, such as Server Name, etc. Once you have sorted out these requirements, you can move onto step 1.
Step 1 Unlike installing Active Directory on Windows Server 2003, you must start the installation from the Server Manager. This will install the required components required for the installation process, and key settings required. Begin by launching Server Manager, and navigating to Roles. You will now see a list of installed Roles on your sever. Click on Add Roles, this will launch the Wizard that allows you to installed the required roles. Check the Role called Active Directory Domain Services, you may be prompted to also install .NET Framework. Then click next, and next again, and finally install. Windows will now prepare for the installation of Active Directory. Once this has finished, close down Server Manager.
Step 2 Now we come to the main installation process. Start by typing DCPROMO at the run command. For those who are used to running this on Windows Server 2003, you will notice a new option called Advanced Mode. This will provide additional configuration options, that I wont discuss. Click next, and next again, you will now be asked if you want to create a new forest. Since this is the first Domain Controller, you must create a new forest. Then click next.
Step 3 You will now be asked to type the FQDN that you would like to use. This would normally be the domain name of you company. Once you’ve entered your FQDN, click next. Now you must choose you Forest Functional level, the different levels will provide additional features. But will require clients and servers to be running updated operating systems.
Step 4 The setup wizard will now exam your DNS configuration. In most cases you will install the DNS server onto your Domain Controllers. The wizard should automatically select this option for you, but requires confirmation that that you want this to happen. Click next to continue. You may be prompted that you are using a Dynamic IP Address, it is strongly advised that you set a Manual IP Address for your server. When assigning an Static IP Address, you must make sure that the DNS Server Address is pointing to your servers IP Address.
Step 5 You will now be asked where you want to store the Active Directory Database, and Log files. It’s recommended that you store them on different volume, but it works just fine using the default location on the System volume. Once again click next. Now you will need to enter a Restore Mode password, this is used when you need to boot up in AD restore mode. Then click next.
Step 6 At this point you will be presented with a summary screen, of all the setting you have chosen. Verify these are correct, if not go back and change them. When you are happy with everything, click next to begin the install. Once completed, you must reboot to finish the installation process. After the reboot, sign on. And you should see several new items under Administrate Tools, for managing your Domain. Start by opening Active Directory Users and Computers, this will allow you to manage the users in the Domain.