Step-by-step procedure to install active directory in windows server 2003

After installation and testing of a DNS server, we can install Active directory smoothly without having any problems. We install active directory in a server computer to promote it’s role to a Domain controller. Domain controller controls every member which is configured to use it. We have add each computer in a domain to be able to controlled by a domain controller. This type of Domain environment helps an administrator in administering a computer network. All the resources will be stored in a centralized directory of a domain controller. We can convert only computers with server operating system as domain controller and we can not promote a computer with client operating system like windows xp, windows 2000 professional, windows vista and windows 7, as domain domain controller. These client operating systems can become a domain members in a domain environment. The total network with domain controller and domain members is called a windows domain environment.

Installation and testing of a domain controller is very easy test if we follow the steps carefully. There are some prerequisites that must be met prior to install Active directory. They are…

  • One volume on the windows server 2000 / 2003 or 2008 must be formatted using NTFS
  • Better to install and configure DNS prior to installing Active directory. DNS automatically installs and configured while installation of Active directory if we don’t install it prior.
  • We need to consider best configuration of a computer on which we plan to install active directory. This may depends upon size of the network.

Steps to install active directory in a windows server 2003 computer

  • We can start active directory installation in two ways, they are using dcpromo command and configure your server wizard.
  • Click start – programs – administrative tools – click configure your server wizard.
  • Click next in the configure your server wizard welcome screen.
  • Click next in the preliminary steps screen.
  • Select the server role “Domain Controller (Active Directory)” and click next.
  • Click next in the Summary of selections screen. You can see the list of selections we have made in previous steps in this screen.
  • Click next in the “Welcome to the Active Directory Installation wizard” screen. This is the screen we get directly when we install Active Directory using “dcpromo” command.
  • Click next in the operating system compatibility. Some of the operating systems like Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 SP3 or earlier and some non windows clients like Apple Mac OS X and SAMBA clients will not support to connect to windows server 2003 domain controller because of it’s more secure settings
  • Select the option “Domain controller for a new domain” and Click next in the “Domain Controller type” screen.
  • Select the “Domain in a new forest” option and click next in the “Create New Domain” screen
  • Type Full DNS name for new domain and click in the “New Domain Name” screen. Example:
  • After clicking in the above step, the NETBIOS name automatically generated by eliminating .com from above example for compatibility with earlier windows operating systems and click next in the “NETBIOS Domain Name” screen
  • Next screen gives the database folder and log folder path automatically. We can change this path to store database and log folders in separate hard disks for best performance and recoverability. Click next in the “Database and Log Folders” screen after selecting database and log folder paths.
  • Enter a location for the SYSVOL folder. The SYSVOL folder stores the server’s copy of the domain’s public files. The contents of the SYSVOL folder are replicated to all domain controllers in the domain. Click next in the “Shared System Volume” screen after selecting SYSVOL folder location.
  • In this stage installation wizard tries to contact DNS server for name resolution and will display the summary of the selected options in the previous steps.
  • Click next in the “Active Directory Installation Wizard”
  • Active Directory Installation will perform and will complete in one or two minutes.
  • Click Finish and Restart Now to complete the Active Directory Installation.
  • Now the server becomes a Domain Controller

I think you understood the concept of installing Active directory to promote a member server to a Domain Controller. I will explain this topic online by showing real installation of Active Directory in a Windows server 2003. You can understand better in my interactive online class. You can clear all of your Active Directory installation doubts by asking questions to me online during the class. Please take an appointment to attend this class online by writing in comments section of this post.

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