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In this lesson we are going to promote SADC01 to a domain controller.

Promote this server to a Domain controller

Step 1. Open Server Manager

Open Server Manager by clicking the Windows button and clicking Server Manager or by searching for Server Manager.

Step 2. Launch DC promotion wizard from Notification Flag

Select the notification flag, then Promote this server to a domain controller:

Step 3. Select the Deployment Operation

The next screen will ask you to specify if you want to join an existing domain, add a new domain to an existing forest or add a new forest. Since we are installing the first domain controller in our network, we will need to choose the last option.

Click Add a new forest. Enter your desired domain name (mine will be and click Next:

Step 4. Configure Domain Controller Options

Domain and Forest Functional Level

Select the desired forest and domain functional level. The default options will work fine in our scenario. 

If this is a new domain you should select the highest available option. You should only choose older options if you have older domain controllers in your domain or forest.

Specify Domain Controller Capabilities

The default opens for your first domain controller are DNS and GC (Global Catalog). This are required for the first domain controller installation in your domain unless you have a separate DNS server installed.

We do not, so we are going to go with those settings.

Specify the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password

The DSRM password is used when you launch the domain controller into DSRM mode. One example of when you will do this is when you need to restore a system state backup of the server.

For my lab environments I always use the same passwords so I am going to enter that here. You should use a secure password that you save somewhere in case of a critical failure of your server.

Click Next:

Step 5. Configure the DNS Options

On the DNS options page you will most likely see a warning for DNS Delegation not being created. This error means that the server cannot create a DNS delegation for the DNS zone “above you”.

In our case, it’s trying to create a DNS delegation in for The DNS for is handled by CloudFlare, a non-windows DNS server that my server has no permissions for.

This is why we see this warning message. We can safely ignore it because we don’t need the public DNS to work with our local active directory domain.

Click Next:

Step 6. Additional Options

This page simply shows the NetBIOS domain name. This is a 16-byte name that is a more friendlier way of identifying the domain and computers on the domain than the FQDN (fully qualified domain name,

No changes are needed, so click Next:

Step 7. Paths

The next screen allows you to modify the Paths for your domain controller. I will briefly explain what each folder is:

Database Folder

This is where your Active Directory database (ntds.dit) is stored.

Log files Folder

Just like it sounds - your Active Directory logs will also be stored here.

Sysvol Folder

This is a repository for your active directory files like Group Policy files, domain security info, logon scripts and more. When you have multiple domain controllers, this is the folder that replicates your active directory data between your DCs.

You don’t need to modify any of these settings unless you prefer to place them on separate disks for performance. In our lab environment this is not needed. Click Next:

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Course Introduction

• 1min

0 / 1 lessons complete

Getting Started with Active Directory Domain Services

• 52min

0 / 6 lessons complete

Introduction to Active Directory Users & Computers

• 1hr 23min

0 / 10 lessons complete

Adding a Second Domain Controller

• 1hr 30min

0 / 7 lessons complete

Active Directory Backups

• 1hr 24min

0 / 5 lessons complete

How to Administrate Active Directory with Windows PowerShell

• 1hr 58min

0 / 7 lessons complete

Administrating AD SS (Active Directory Sites and Services)

• 1hr 3min

0 / 5 lessons complete

Active Directory Trusts

• 54min

0 / 5 lessons complete

Modifying the Active Directory Schema

• 43min

0 / 3 lessons complete

Course Conclusion

• 1min

0 / 1 lessons complete