How To Install a Domain Controller

If you’re confused about the steps involved in installing a domain controller, be reassured that you are not alone. It can be quite daunting. If you’re in this situation, try this guide out for size. This was written to give you almost as close a dummy’s guide to walk you through the installation process.

Let’s say you’re installing a Windows Server 2008. You will need to configure your domain services, re-establish the domain setup, and Data Network Service (DNS) roles. Dive right in!

  1. From the menu, select the operating system you want to install; in this case, it’s Windows Server 2008. Click the button that reads “NEXT.”
  2. You will see a licensing agreement. Read through the fine print and once you’ve understood the terms, simply click on the box that reads, “I accept the license terms.” Then, proceed to click on “NEXT.”
  3. You are now on the Installation page. As is often the case when installing a new windows server domain on an empty hard disk, the upgrade mode is disabled so simply click on “CUSTOM (ADVANCED).”
  4. You will be asked next where you want to install your Windows. Select the disk drive of your choice, click “NEXT” and wait for the installation process to be completed.
  5. Your new windows installation has been completed and your next step would be to change your password. You will be asked to repeat your password – which has to match- and then you can proceed to click on “OK.”
  6. Now it’s time for you to configure the system. Do this by clicking on “UPDATE THIS SERVER.”
  7. Then you will be prompted to re-start your system for the update to take place.
  8. You will be asked to type in your username and password to gain entry.
  9. Return to the initial configuration window and click on “ADD ROLES” found under “CUSTOMIZE THIS SERVER.” The “ADD ROLES” wizard will launch after which you will be prompted to click “NEXT.”
  10. From the ROLES LIST, choose “ACTIVE DIRECTORY DOMAIN SERVICES” and then click “NEXT” and then “INSTALL” for this to be installed into your operating system.
  11. The “ACTIVE DIRECTORY DOMAIN SERVICES” is now installed. You may now close this window.
  12. You are now ready to launch the DOMAIN CONTROLLER PROMOTION WIZARD to configure your domain services. Open your dialogue box and type in the characters dcpromo -- this is case sensitive so pay attention to how you type these characters into your dialogue box. Now, click “OK.” The ACTIVE DIRECTORY DOMAIN SERVICES will now be launched. Click “NEXT” and you will be taken to a page discussing compatibility issues, just proceed to click on “NEXT” again.
  13. Now you are on the DEPLOYMENT CONFIGURATION CONFIGURATION page. Simply tick the box for “CREATING A NEW DOMAIN IN A NEW FOREST” then click on “NEXT.
  14. You are now on the FOREST ROOT DOMAIN page. Pick your domain name, “CherryPicker” for example and type it on the blank field. Then, click “NEXT.”
  15. You are now ready to set your FOREST FUNCTIONAL LEVEL by ticking your operational system and then proceed to click on “NEXT.”
  16. You will be sent to the ADDITIONAL DOMAIN CONTROLLER OPTIONS page where you will tick the box that reads “DNS server.” Then, click “NEXT.
  17. Continue clicking “NEXT” on the screens that will follow one after the other. These are your default settings pages until you reach the page containing the summary of results. Then click “FINISH.”

Immediately after completing this task, re-start your computer for all the updates to be installed. 


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