Jan 262008

Windows Server 2003 includes all the functionality customers expect from a mission critical Windows Server operating system, such as security, reliability, availability, and scalability. In addition, Microsoft has improved and extended the Windows server product family to enable organizations to experience the benefits of Microsoft .NET—a set of software for connecting information, people, systems, and devices.

This tutorial will explain how to create a first domain controller(DC) in your network or company includes DNS server setup in windows server 2003 .You have to install DNS server for DC without DNS the client computers wouldn’t know which one is DC.You can host DNS on a different server than DC.

Before Starting the DC installation process you need to make sure the following points

  • You have installed Basic windows server 2003 installation
  • Make sure you have assigned a static ip address to your server

Now start DC and DNS Setup process

First you need to go to Start–>All Programs–>Administrative Tools–>Manage Your Server

Here you need to select Add or remove a role

Verify the following steps click on Next

Select Server Role as Domain Controller option click on Next

Summary of Your Selections click on Next

Active Directory Installation Wizard click on Next

Click “Next” on the compatibility window

Next window select the default option of “Domain Controller for a new domain” and click “Next”

In this tutorial we will create a domain in a new forest, because it is the first DC, so keep that option selected

Now we have to think of a name for our domain. If you have a domain like windowsreference.com”, you can use it, but it isn’t suggested because computers nside of your domain may not be able to reach the company website. Active directory domains don’t need to be “real” domains like the one above – they can be anything you wish. So i will create “windowsreference.int”.

Now in order to keep things simple, we will use “windowsreferenc”, which is the default selection, as the NetBIOS name of the domain.

The next dialog suggests storing the AD database and log on separate hard disks and you can just leave the default settings.

The SYSVOL folder is a public share, where things like .MSI software packages can be kept when you will distribute packages and you can just leave the default settings or you can change the path.

Next Screen basically says that you will need a DNS server in order for everything to work the way we want it (i.e., our “windowsreference.int” to be reachable).we will install the DNS server on this machine or if you want you can installed else where select “Install and Configure…” and click next.

Here you need to select the permissions for win 2000 or win 2003 server if you have any NT4 select first option otherwise select second option and click next

The restore mode password is the single password that all administrators hope to never use, however they should also never forget it because this is the single password that might save a failed server.click next

Now we will see a summary of what will happen click next

Active directory installation process started this can take several minutes. It’s likely that you will be prompted for your Windows Server 2003 CD (for DNS) so have it handy.

Active directory Installation finish screen click Finish.

Now you need to select “Restart Now” option to reboot your server.

After rebooting you can see new option for logon

After logging in you can see similar to the following screen saying your server is now domain controller.

That’s it now your server is configured as domain controller and DNS server.

If you want Step by step guide how to install windows server 2003 check here

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  166 Responses to “Step By Step Guide for Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller and DNS Server Setup”

  1. Hi,

    I have installed OS MS windows 2003 and configured ActiveDirecotry . in this only one forest and also i want to create a new child domain with in this Activedirecotry

  2. Hi,

    I have an SBS 2003 server and I want to add a second windows 2003 server as a backup DC. Do you have a step by step guid for this please?


  3. Hi..

    how to create a public domain name at windows 2003 server without register using like godaddy.com? so at the wideworld user can access my domain using internet connection.

  4. Your site information on DCs was very helpful.


  5. thanks. very clear, concise and useful.

  6. Hi,

    My company runs on Windows Server 2003 standard edition, about 20 PCs / laptops are used it as File server and Application server. The PCs are configured with Static IP. What are the considerations if I were to promote the server to a D.C? And what about the DHCP/DNS services? Will DHCP or DNS complicate with the existing ADSL/Router?

  7. Promoting the server to DC and setting up the AD is the best way forward. Becomes more controlled organised environment.

    As for DNS and DHCP, I would suggest disable DHCP on your Router and set up DHCP on ur windows server and then 20 PC can be manually set to get IPs or script it once AD is setup.

    Remember, ur DC should be the DNS server for the domain clients and the gateway can be set to the ADSL router. The DNS on the router anyway would just forwarding only so shouldnt be a problem

  8. give me a complete guideline on windows 2003 server

  9. Hi,

    I have a scenario where DC and DNS are on different servers.
    How do I configure the DNS to work with DC in such a situation?

  10. Let me try this into our new server to be configured for Domain Controller. Hopefully this will help us in our installation.

    Thank you in advance.


  11. Hi,i need litle help.I have problem with internet conection sharing on WIN2003.There is 36 client PC,and no one can acces the internet.
    I configure Win2003 as a DHCP server,and i prefered NAT instead of ICS,i have a static IP adress for internet,and is fully functional on server,but not for clients.I’m verry sorry for my english.All i need is good advice,or guide how is the best way,to share internet conection(broadband)with 36 clients PC.

    Thank’s in advance,Adrian

  12. Best you realy the best thanks for helping the people in trouble

  13. Hi,

    I have installed OS MS windows 2003 and configured ActiveDirecotry . in this only one forest and also i want to create a new child domain with in this Activedirecotry

  14. After i upgrade to domain controller, can i switch back to workgroup? if can how to. coz my windows server 2003 is running on workgroup plan to upgrade it to domain. scared can not work then need to switch it back.

  15. How about step by step for mail server ? Any?

  16. Hi,

    I have a scenario where two DC and DNS are on different Places conected via VPN.
    I want to connect from each site to the other with AD authentication.How do I configure the DNS (forwarding ?)to work with DC in such a situation?

  17. good plz send me

  18. nice read, usefull 1 keep up :)

  19. Hello, i’m having problems. I set up the DC and DNS as you state above (which was perfectly outlined, thank you) and ever since then, the computer hangs at “Applying computer settings”. I understand this is generally a DNS issue but I can’t seem to figure out where the issue is coming from. Please help?


  20. very nice

  21. i appreciate your toturial,but i will really like to be inform about more.

  22. Your toturial has helped me so much, Iam now having confidence in handling other issues concerning windows 2003 server.

    Go a step further and add more toturials on USER PERMISSIONS, GROUPS, ORGANIZATION and SECURITY etc

    Thank you
    B k Phiri

  23. found this article Very Helpfull. thanks……….

  24. Thanks for the info. The problem I’m having is applying the GPOs on OUs that I have created in the AD. Just can’t seem to get those to apply to user accounts on the newly created Domain. grrr

  25. its very easy step and understanding the installation of DNS.so i am very thanks to the creater for giving very good notes

  26. sir,

    I need complete windows 2003 server installation & configuring with clients

  27. I need a step by step guide to setting up and configuring windows server 2003.
    Thank you.

  28. What if i want to configure a virtualised windows server 2003 standard r2 running inside windows xp. Since virtualization will read it just as another PC, the server should work normally and other compauter can thus be added to that server. Is it possible.

  29. hi everyone..

    i m install win 2003 server my desktop systesm ……. now i m create domain.. now i m create user id but dont create but so ..pls help me how to create user Policies & poassword Policies and secquritey Policies than i will do

  30. Thank you brother… It’s great.. I’m going to work on this now…

    Thanks alot to put it

  31. Your guides are very useful to unknown computer operators. it is very simple and accept by all of the peoples.

    Tahnks for your help

  32. Thanks a lot ! you are doing a great work.the tutorial has really helped me with winserver 2003 configurations.God bless you.

  33. I have a Microtik Router Firewall. I installed 2003 server as dhcp, dns and Domai Controller. I put router address as gateway to domain. and Dc Ip adress as dns to domain clients. I am getting internet on clients, pinging from server to client and vice versa. But When I tried to join client (xp prof with sp2) to 2003 server (sp2) after taking credentials (uname, pwd of dc) i am getting error message “Speified network is no longer available” while connecting to domain xyz.com…
    plz help me

  34. I found this article Very Helpfull. thanks you………. *****

  35. Hey Guys :

    Here’s my scenario, on the server I have 2 network cards, 1 is directly connected to my client PC with IP :, and the other is connected to a wireless switch/router with IP :

    I set up the domain controller using this guide. Now I dunno which IP the domain controller is going to use, and when I try to join the client pc to the domain I get this :

    The following error occurred when DNS was queried for the service location (SRV) resource record used to locate an Active Directory Domain Controller for domain thedarkside.com:

    The error was: “DNS name does not exist.”
    (error code 0x0000232B RCODE_NAME_ERROR)

    The query was for the SRV record for _ldap._tcp.dc._msdcs.thedarkside.com

    Common causes of this error include the following:

    - The DNS SRV records required to locate a AD DC for the domain are not registered in DNS. These records are registered with a DNS server automatically when a AD DC is added to a domain. They are updated by the AD DC at set intervals. This computer is configured to use DNS servers with the following IP addresses:

    - One or more of the following zones do not include delegation to its child zone:

    . (the root zone)

    P.S : Client PC has Vista Ultimate x64bit SP2, whereas the SERVER is a 32bit Windows 2003 Enterprise Server SP2 R2 !

    What am I doing wrong ? Be gentle I am a n00b @ this !!!

    Thanks a bunch :D

  36. Followed this and the Self-Paced Training Kit (70-290) instructions and have installed server several times. My question is why does the Self-Paced (70-290) picture show the (Assign DNS Forwarder: but the static ip address for the NIC is is this due to the book not letting you know they are using 2 NICs (network interface cards…? While my computer has the following out come:
    ip address:
    subnet mask:
    DNS Server:

    where is the coming from???
    question 2. if my router is using DHCP with the network being 10.20.30.XX how will this work in my network? and should i make the router use the range?

    and yes i am a newb and dont have the time or luxury of going to a server 2003 class or i would, thank you Kenny.

  37. Don’t worry about the previous comment ill try using 2 NIC’s, if that doesnt work, ill try something……

  38. Really this information is very much helpful.

  39. Thanks for the article. Setting up a DC is pretty easy and straightforward. I wonder if setting up a secondary DC is the same thing?

  40. big thanks..very big help for me..you have some guidelines or topic.. i want learn more..More Power..

  41. that was so helpful.

  42. that was very helpful.

  43. it was very help full. keep posting

  44. Thank you I am very visual and I love demos

  45. i have success for this steps but client system is not configure for domain controller please give me for this steps

  46. Dear, sri

    i have a one domain controller i need installing other one windows 2003 server how to configured the my domain


  47. Thanks for the comprehensive guide. Is there a guide on how to promote a secondary domain controller to the primary? My scenario the DC runs the DNS as well. Thanks!

  48. Good One thanks for giving this information.

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