Mar 092008

This tutorial will explain how to setup Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller and DNS

Click on Start > Run

Now type dcpromo > Click OK

The system will start checking if Active Directory Domain Services ( AD DS) binaries are installed, then will start installing them. The binaries could be installed if you had run the dcpromo command previously and then canceled the operation after the binaries were installed.

The Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard will start, either enable the checkbox beside Use Advanced mode installation and Click Next , or keep it unselected and click on Next

The Operating System Compatibility page will be displayed, take a moment to read it and click Next

Choose Create a new domain in a new forest, Click Next

Enter the Fully Qualified Domain Name of the forest root domain inside the textbox, click Next

If you selected Use advanced mode installation on the Welcome page, the Domain NetBIOS Name page appears. On this page, type the NetBIOS name of the domain if necessary or accept the default name and then click Next.

Select the Forest Functional Level, choose the level you desire and click on Next.

Make sure to read the description of each functional level to understand the difference between each one.

In the previous step, If you have selected any Forest Functional Level other than windows Server 2008 and clicked on Next , you would then get a page to select the domain Functional Level. Select it and then click on Next

In the Additional Domain Controller Options page, you can select to install the domain Name Service to your server. Note that the First domain controller in a forest must be a Global Catalog that’s why the checkbox beside Global Catalog is selected and it cannot be cleared. The checkbox is also selected by default when you install an additional domain controller in an existing domain, however you can clear this checkbox if you do not want the additional domain controller to be a global catalog server. The first domain controller in a new forest or in a new domain can not be a Read Only Domain Controller (RODC), you can later add a RODC but you must have at least one Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller.

I want to set my DC as a DNS Server as well, so I will keep the checkbox beside DNS server selected and click on Next

If you don’t have static ip assigned to your server you will see similar to the following screen now you need to assign static ip and start the above process.

If the wizard cannot create a delegation for the DNS server, it displays a message to indicate that you can create the delegation manually. To continue, click Yes

Now you will have the location where the domain controller database, log files and SYSVOL are stored on the server.

The database stores information about the users, computers and other objects on the network. the log files record activities that are related to AD DS, such information about an object being updated. SYSVOL stores Group Policy objects and scripts. By default, SYSVOL is part of the operating system files in the Windows directory either type or browse to the volume and folder where you want to store each, or accept the defaults and click on Next

In the Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator Password (DSRM) page, write a password and confirm it. This password is used when the domain controller is started in Directory Services Restore Mode, which might be because Active Directory Domain services is not running, or for tasks that must be performed offline.Make sure that you memorize this password when you need it.

Summary page will be displayed showing you all the setting that you have set . It gives you the option to export the setting you have setup into an answer file for use with other unattended operations, if you wish to have such file, click on the Export settings button and save the file.

DNS Installation will start

Followed by installing Group Policy Management Console, the system will check first if it is installed or not.

Configuring the local computer to host active directory Domain Services and other operations will take place setting up this server as a Domain Controller active Directory Domain Services installation will be completed, click Finish.

Click on Restart Now to restart your server for the changes to take effect.

Once the server is booted and you logon to it, click on Start > Administrative Tools
you will notice that following have been installed :
Active Directory Domains and Trusts
Active Directory Sites and Services
Active Directory Users and Computers
Group Policy Management

That’s it now your new win server 2008 domain controller with dns server setup was completed.

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  129 Responses to “Step By Step Guide for Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller and DNS Server Setup”

  1. good article at least good for basic understanding….

  2. There is a whole Step-by-Sep video series about Windows Server 2008 AD DS installation which demonstrates different scenarios (including IFM, RODC, Core server DC etc). Here is an example:





  5. Excellent!!!!!


  6. This is exactly what I needed, thanks

  7. Thanks for the walk-through. I followed these steps and all worked as described… but…

    Still no joy getting other workstations/servers to see the server or one another.

    I’ve got a home-lab network I’m trying to set up for testing Hyper-V, DPM, etc. We’ve had Comcast and now have Verizon FiOS, so I’m used to using the broadband router as the DHCP server and DNS address provider, with a little workgroup networking among peers.

    Where do I go to learn what settings I need to change in each of these newly configured items?

    How do I set up the new DNS Server to pick up DNS addresses from FiOS and provide them to its clients?

    How do I get the AD Server to provide rights and directory services to its clients?

    I basically want the simplest, most wide-open LAN I can set up – really I’m trying to get as close to a home-networking workgroup as I can… but for some things (like DPM) I need a domain controller.


  8. after i rebooted the server with completed your above setting instruction, now i cannot login even with my administrator password! can anyone help?

  9. Awesume!!! Worked Great!!!

  10. “after i rebooted the server with completed your above setting instruction, now i cannot login even with my administrator password! can anyone help?”

    You need to log in to your newly created domain account as administrator…not to your local computer account.

  11. very helpful, Thanks.


  12. Thank You…………..

  13. Hey Paul, from the sounds of it your problem is Verizon. They don’t allow inbound traffic on standard internet and is very restrictive regarding home networks. Comcast doesn’t restrict inbound traffic. You would probably need to go to Verizons business class to get what you want.

    Thanks for the walk through!

  14. I’m looking for a solution with permitions to home directory, I have a server 2008 standard 32 bits, and I created the users in the DC Active Directory, specified U drive as home directory, it creates de folder but users can’t save or delete anything from their home directory, they get an Access Denied message. Can you help?

  15. Excellent support…. Thank You Very Much…..

  16. very helpful walk through, thank you very much

  17. we are having Dell server with windows 2008 server OS

    i found while creating the domain that

    the local administrator account becomes the domain aadministrator account when you creat a new domain. the new domain connot be created because the local administrator account password does not meet requirements.
    currently, a password is not required for local administrator account. we recommend that you use the net user commond-line tool with /passwordreq:yes option to require a password for this account before you creat the new domain; otherwise , a password will not be required for the domain adiministrator account.
    i need trhe solution for this issue

  18. We faced a problem that when we reach the step of create a new domain in a new forest and click next, an error message appear:
    The message is the local administrator account becomes the domain administrator account when you create a new domain. The new domain can not be created because the local administrator account password does not meet requirements

  19. arunkumar, you have to go right click Computer, click Manage, expand Configuration node, expand Local Users and Groups, and look for the Administrator account, then right click on it and Set Password…

    Password must meet complexity requirements described here:

  20. Great Job! Very Useful

  21. Very good, excellent job and very well documented. Microsoft could learn something from your tutorial.

  22. user password should include alphanumeric + at least a capital alphabet+ a symbol on keyboard.
    example : Password#890123

  23. now how do i add a computer to this domian now

  24. Thanks, followed your guide and intalled via Remote Desktop, rebooted and I’m now no longer able to connect to the server, great!

  25. i want know .how to add domain under pcs
    then how to make mail server

  26. This process was well documented. Well Done!

  27. Dude! Great job! Thanks for the tutorial. Very simple, very clear.

  28. I did the same steps BUT..

    when server rebooted, I can’t login to it!!!

    please help I tried my previous local admin password and the password I have set for the domian (in Directory Services Restore Mode step)

  29. I did the same but after rebooting, couldn’t login to the server.

    And NOW i’m really in trouble

  30. Good for beginners…..


  31. !!! when I login to VS using my local user account it’s fine. But when I login using my domian account it’s not?!

    Any idea why??

  32. Good enough!!

  33. after assigning static IP to server it still giving the two options of assigning IP.

    Plz help!!!

  34. Very usefull information!! appreciate it.

  35. hey that is very useful link for new users at windows server 2008

  36. Good article. I noticed from your screenshot that you have the same issue I have. I promoted a member server to domain controller. Everything seems to work fine, but where a member server has a local security policy snap in under admin tools, a DC should have Domain Controller Security Policy listed. Your screen shot does not and my DC does not. I can not make any changes to the local security policy do to any Domain level changes are greyed out because they are supposed to be handled at the DC level. How do I get the domain controller security policy installed?

  37. i went and did all that what is mentioned above but i couldnt connect my xp computer to join the domin.When i change my computers domain i am prompted a user name and a password i did that an error message came up.i Forgot what the error message is.i am going to go home and look for that and will tell you.if you have any idea please tell me.

  38. I have added a Windows XP machine as a member server to this domain (Windows 2008 Data Center). However, while logging into the XP machine, it gives an error stating that the domain is unavailable. Can someone please help?

  39. I had the same issue as Bob above when I was creating a Demo domain for SQL Server Community event demonstrations and labs. The way to resolve it was found here:

    It was a case of configuring the FORWARDERS under the DNS server properties in the DNS management console. (see comment 9 in the forum).

    Thanks Meinolf Weber!

  40. Hi, thanks for your tutorial. But after the reboot, i only have a black screen with the mouse arrow. Suggestion?


  41. That’s it. Thank you very much………….

  42. Excellent support!thanks much!

  43. this is very useful thank you.

  44. Its impressive.

  45. I found it very useful. Thanks a lot….

  46. I was able to create a AD with my 08 Server R2 but I am having problems getting my computers to connect or get my Verizion Fios to talk to the server. If anyone can help with the following I would be very grateful.

    -Settings and Steps to have Verizon Fios Modem feed internet to the Server 2008. then have server feed out IPs and network information to client computers (about 5)
    -Join client computers to AD as well as add computers easily
    to home network.

    So basically get Fios to Server then computers to access files and network from server

    Thanks if you can help.

  47. I followed the steps successfully through Remote Desktop Connection to my Windows 2008 server, I rebooted and now I am not able to login with my administrator password.

    is there anything I need to do?

  48. Work fine for me but now i am unable to login localy
    using “servername”\administrator
    I have sen some mention of using help\administrator
    but whn i try this i get incorrect user name or password

    I noticed this emidiaty but gave it little thought untill
    I installed certificate authority services and now I can’t login with my domain administrator account(apart from in safe mode) so now I’m totaly stuck

    SO two questions
    1, should I be able to login localy using “servername”\administrator
    2, whats the deal with help\administrator
    and three how can I undo the certificate authority services so i can login to the domain


  49. Windows server 2008 have A very liker And So much But think so that away good securities and good feature i like it…

  50. hi i have set up Active directory, but i carnt get any of my XP machines to connect, an error message keeps coming up saying: a domain controller for the domain could not be contacted. ‘’ name of my network. could you help me thnx :)

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