Install Active Directory in 10 Easy Steps – Tips and Warnings
Author: Sharath Reddy
Active Directory installation is not as difficult as it sounds. Here is a brief and quick overview on how you can install active directory in just 10 easy steps. While you follow these steps to create the first domain and add the first domain controller to it, do keep in mind the important tips and warnings mentioned at the end of this article.
To begin with active directory installation, first make sure that you have the Windows Enterprise or Standard Edition already installed on your computer. Note that the Windows Web Edition will not help you in this case. Also, you must have an i386 folder or a Windows CD copied to your computer’s local hard drive and a namespace that you intend to use. Once you are ready with these 3 things, just follow the following 10 steps to install active directory:
1) Use console to locally login to the given box. Alternatively, you can login via RDP as well.
2) After login, click Start > Run. Then, type “dcpromo” in the Run window.
3) In the screen that appears, select the option, “Domain Controller for a new domain” and click ‘Next’
4) Among the given options, choose “Domain in a New Forest” and Click ‘Next’.
5) In this step, you need to enter the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) that you intend to use in the given space. Here, you can add either an existent namespace, such as Domain.Com, or a non-existent one, such as Domain.xyz or Domain.abc. At a later stage, you can set your NETBIOS name, which is usually the same as your FQDN, but without the.com/.xyz/.abc etc.
6) Place the service folders and the file repositories in the next 2 screens presented to you. Defaults can be accepted.
7) Now, if you are presented with a screen prompting you to configure DNS, just select the option “Install and Configure for me”. If the DNS does not get installed properly at this stage, you might have to first fix the DNS problems.
8) After the DNS is configured, you need to choose the permission type in the screen that appears next. Here, you will be presented with two options. If you have Windows 2003/XP or any newer version, go with the second given option. Otherwise, just select the first option and click ‘Next’
9) In this step, you are required to set a ‘Directory Services Restore’ password. Do remember or save this password for future reference.
10) In this last step, a summary page listing all the selected options is presented to you. Check if all the options are correct and click ‘Next’ to proceed further. Note that once you press ‘Next’, the system will begin to install active directory, and once the installation begins, you cannot stop it midway. To cancel the installation or make any changes, you will have to first uninstall the Active Directory and then repeat all the aforementioned steps to install it again. The installation usually takes around half an hour to complete. After it’s installed, just reboot your system.
If you follow the above steps carefully, active directory installation will hardly take a few minutes. But, there are a few tips that you must bear in mind before you proceed with the installation. First, it is advisable to get DNS installed before initiating the Active Directory installation. Second, before the AD install, it’s better to have an extra local administrator account. Third, avoid changing the NETBIOS name as it might lead to a lot of complications. Last, but not the least, it is advisable to reformat the system in case something goes wrong with the domain controller and you forget the Directory Services Restore password.
Thus, Active Directory installation is a very simple thing to do, but there are also a number of things that you must know before you Install Active Directory. Be prepared before you start!
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