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. DCpromo does not exist in 64 bit WS2008R2 and the 32 bit does not run.

  2. Good for beginners…..

  3. Hi i have 2 virtual machines 1 vista 1 server 2008 its connected throught bridged networking im using my home router to use internet connectivity on the virtual machines i have a dns set up as well but im not sure about creating a reverse lookupzone and the other thing is that i cant join my domain. when i installed dns shortley after the DC installation it automatically gave me an IP of im thinkin becasue im connected to my home router do i use that dns ip of my router for the dns ip?


  4. yes, use your dns ip..which will be something like

  5. how to configure dns server in windows server2008 step by step

  6. Excellently put together. What a masterpiece. Thank you very much

  7. how to configur ISA server 2006 in server 2008 step by step

  8. The guides are great. Can one use the Routers DHCP server and still find the DNS server. I have setup a Windows 2008 server and followed the instructions for the DNS but none of the workstations can find the Server. The DHCP is currently handled by a router. is that the problem?

  9. how to add user after installation of DNS.
    Plz help, tell me step by step.

  10. Thanx for such information,but after following all these steps,if I try to create new user,an error occurs with the message “Windows cannot set the password for because: The password does not meet the password policy requirements. Check the minimum password length, password complexity and password history requirements”.So i checked from Group Policy about password policy,all the buttons to change the password size,limit ,age etc are deactivated,I am not able to change anything.Can you help me to resolve this problem..
    thanx in advance :(

  11. wew great, please allow me to copy paste link step by step image from your website to my website..thanks..

  12. Thanks for this good step by step instruction

  13. Ralph-

    Go to Active Directory User and Computers, expand the tree next to your domain until you see the users folder. Right click on the users folder and under task select Add User. Follow the onscreen wizard and you will successfully create your new user.


    The default password policy requires you have at least 1 capital letter in your password and typically 1 numeric value. I think it has to be 6-8 characters long as well. I’d stick with this and not change the default password policy.

  14. it’s very helpfull

  15. Thanks for guide me Step by step

  16. Nice Description!!!!

  17. Useless an stupid: … click next, next next etc. (If you need this “guide”, you should not be allowed to set up a domain controller!)
    And where is the “guide for dns server setup” !!! … you should call this “guide” “Guide to reboot on completion” …
    It should be prohibited to fill the internet with useless tthings like this … realy … If you need to look at this, you will get NOWHERE in server 2008 … instead you should read a little, say atleast a cople of hundred pages of serious litterature … What at stupid waste of peoples time to announce “Step By Step Guide for Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller and DNS Server Setup” and then give them a couple of screendumps about how to promote a stand allone server 2008 to a domain controller!!! … where is the setup? … and where is the DNS setup … stupid!

  18. Well one thing is clear, most of you lot shoulnt be let near a server! Stick to what you know or take the time to learn before you start messing with servers.

    From 2k onwards networks pretty nuch will not function unless dns is correctly configured. And contrary to what a couple of plonkers have stated here just installing dns via dcpromo is not sufficient. Go and learn about dns all of you!!!!!!!!

    Just shows that certification is no substitute for experience!!!!!

  19. can u tell the procedure to add 2nd domain to existing forest or to new one using server 2008
    how can it is possible and what is the procedure
    i am w8ing

  20. i am getting problem to connect to computer in new domain plz help me…

  21. Realy needfule document

  22. Tim and Michelle, thanks for taking the time to donate your constructive two-cents worth.

  23. got this msg

    The server did not finish checking the license compliance. If the server is joined to a domain, make sure that the server can connect to a domain controller. If the license compliant check cannot be completed, the server will automatically shut down in 0 hour(s) 30 minute(s).

    im pretty new to this so i dont know what im supposed to do… any ideas?

  24. can u tell the procedure to add 2nd domain to existing forest or to new one using server 2008
    how can it is possible and what is the procedure
    i am w8ing

  25. really good for beginers

  26. thanks u can help me.

  27. Some few posts ago there was a link to another blog or whatever that mentioned that the Server 2008 requires FORWARDERS to be set up in order to have the clients PCs to join the AD. I did have several servers from 2000, 2003 and now the stupid 2008. I hate Microsoft automation to the point of brainlessness. I think I am going to go back to 2003 since it was the easiest one to set up manually. FYI I recently updated firmware on my DIR-655 to the latest one and this one does DNS (ISP) forwarding in the router and now the 2008 is going nuts on me, and I had the 2008 working fine. Why did I thinker with the 2008 server when it worked in the first place??!?!?!?!?!?! Oh, well back to the drawing board I am getting Minasi’s book “Mastering MS Server 2008 R2” I am not selling anything just acknowledging the fact that the guy can write Windows books.

  28. Thank you.

  29. thank alot for this work

  30. Thanks ,its very useful

  31. Attempted to change password due to not meeting requirements in attempt to set up was unsuccessful. Any other suggestions..
    Thank you.

  32. Please help I m still having a problem with this error even I already done suggested by najla (July 9, 2009 @ 1:52 pm):
    “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…”

    I change password many times which met the requirement I created this as sample “@dminS3tyo or P@ssw0rd” but still I face this annoying error?? Please any one can help me….?

    This the error is :
    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



  33. that is what i am looking for thanks mate

    cheers :)

  34. wow thank you, my stupid teacher wont help me with it.

  35. Michael Hansen & akash : your dicks! some of us are learning from this, and we all start somewhere, stupid would be to think we could run a production server from a 10 min guide, yes. maybe you could at least suggest where we may find ‘ say at least a cople of hundred pages of serious litterature ! ‘ i think you mean literature, but hay im stupid what do i know?

    thanks for the guide, im starting to get somewhere, i think…. :)

  36. I was in class i dint know what to do, till i used google and brought me this wonderful staff. Thanks

  37. desr sir how are you i have install windows server 2008 he is a Good working but then install isa server 2006 its is install but not showing to All Policy Please Infrim To me how To install Isa server 2006 On windows server 2008 Thankxx Pleae sir E mail me

    Thanking You

  38. You know… I can see where you are coming from with all your aggression (akash) however I am struggling to understand why you were here reading it to begin with. You see I have a hard time believing you just so happened to be not searching how to promote a server yourself. Once you realized that it was so simple you decided to rant about it.

    These guys are trying to help the people that are curious, and if you would take a second to understand the questions they are setting up home lab environments not production servers. They are not stating they will produce said results. All they are looking for are information in regards to what they wish to test. Why would you get all defensive on DNS services? The tutorial covers promotion of server 08 to a domain controller.

  39. I am sorry the above comment was directed to (Michael Hansen)


  40. This articale as far as it goes is great, and there are many other similar articles out there equally as good. The problem is thast they all fall short as testified by some of the comments above. None of these articles help people understand how to have other computers in their proposed networks connect and interact with the DNS server. Some information on IPs, and configuration with typical home and small business network routers, switches and clinets would be very helpful. Without thast information your newly setup server with AD and DNS is just another useless pile of junk.

  41. Thanks, this was very helpful. I spent almost an hour looking for a wizard in Server Management until I found this page through Google. Thanks again.

  42. Wow man…really awasome documnet…hard to find anywhere in the workld…but you are the person who is the great person to who we can say as person & as a nice person you are person but always person is person & there is nothing in person it feild without person…what a great person..!

  43. Hi All,

    Thanks for provifing such a nice document..and really helpful for me to check the installation steps of windows 2008 server.
    However, I am having one query in applying group policy settings for DNS server name setting.

    I have applied the policy on windows 2008 AD group policy & it is working fine on all windows 2008 server, however the same is not working in my all Windows 2003 servers.

    I have tried to check RSOP, gpresult & on both it is applied successfully on either server.

    Not able to find, why it is not working for 2003 system only.

    Can anyone from our team, can help me to fix this issue.

    Please contact me on incase of any query.

    Thanks in advance for reading this document & speding time, will really appriciate if someone can give me suggesition.

    Waiting for reply……..!

  44. Thanks for your “narration” to the wizard……
    Really lame.

  45. 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 the solution for this issue on how to go about it or a detailed explaination/guide on this.

  46. Hello..
    I have one problem in Windows server 2008 R2. i am create one new Groups & user in active directory for student use in other workstation. But when i create that time user folder are not create in server drive. and give the error. name not found. when i am first time create this user in server 2008 R2. So friend Please help me…..Give me answer with step by step.

  47. Mille Merci

  48. very good. i want more example

  49. pretty much useful for everyone who are novice to this field, step-by-step procedure with screen shots, very useful.

    thanks !!

  50. Awesome work step by step installation of DNS and AD it’s really work.

    I m announcing from this plate form that any one need HELP regarding NETWORK OR NETWORK SECURITY can contact to me on my e-mail. I m really feel happy to HELP YOU GUYS

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