Install Active Directory on Windows Server 2012

  • Last updated on: 2016-06-30
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

This article will walk you through setting up the Active Directory Role on a Windows Server 2012. This article is intended to be used for those without an existing Active Directory Forest, it will not cover configuring a server to act as a Domain Controller for an existing Active Directory Forest.

Note: For information on setting up the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 64-bit (W2K8), see Install Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 64-bit.

Install Active Directory

  1. Open the Server Manager from the task bar.

  2. From the Server Manager Dashboard, select Add roles and features.

    This will launch the Roles and Features Wizard allowing for modifications to be performed on the Windows Server 2012 instance.

  3. Select Role-based or features-based installation from the Installation Type screen and click Next.

    Note: Roles are the major feature sets of the server, such as IIS, and features provide additional functionality for a given role.

  4. The current server is selected by default. Click Next to proceed to the Server Roles tab.

  5. From the Server Roles page place a check mark in the check box next to Active Directory Domain Services. A notice will appear explaining additional roles services or features are also required to install domain services, click Add Features.

    Note: There are other options including, Certificate services, federation services, lightweight directory services and rights management. Domain Services is the glue that holds this all together and needs to be installed prior to these other services.

  6. Review and select optional features to install during the AD DS installation by placing a check in the box next to any desired features, and then click Next.

  7. Review the information on the AD DS tab and click Next.

  8. On the Confirm installation selections screen, review the installation and then click Install.

    Note: The installation progress will be displayed on the screen. Once installed, the AD DS role will be displayed on the ‘Server Manager’ landing page.

Start remote registry service

Before promoting the server to domain controller, the remote registry service must be started.

  1. Click Start > Control Panel.

  2. Under Services, right-click Remote Registry and open the Properties menu.

  3. From the *Startup type:** drop-down menu, select Automatic.

  4. Under Service Status, select Start.

The remote registry service will start.

Configure Active Directory

Once the AD DS role is installed the server will need to be configured for your domain.

  1. If you have not done so already, Open the Server Manager from the task bar.

  2. Open the Notifications Pane by selecting the Notifications icon from the top of the Server Manager. From the notification regarding configuring AD DS, click Promote this server to a domain controller.

  3. From the Deployment Configuration tab select Add a new forest from the radial options menu. Insert your root domain name into the Root domain name field, and then click Next.

  4. Select a Domain and Forest functional level, and then input a password for the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) in the provided password fields.

    The DSRM password is used when booting the Domain Controller into recovery mode.

    Note: The selection made here will have lasting effects to features and server domain controller eligibility. For further information on Domain/Forest functional levels, see official Microsoft documentation.

  5. Review the warning on the DNS Options tab and select Next.

  6. Confirm or enter a NetBIOS name and click Next.

  7. Specify the location of the Database, Log files, and SYSVOL folders and then click Next.

  8. Review the configuration options and click Next.

  9. The system checks to ensure all necessary prerequisites are installed on the system prior to moving forward. If the system passes these checks, proceed by clicking Install.

    Note: The server automatically reboots after the installation is complete.

After the server reboots, reconnect to it via RDP. Congratulations on successfully installing and configuring a Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2012.

Continue the conversation in the Rackspace Community.