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Windows Server 2012 : Deploying domain controllers using Server Manager (part 1) - Preparing for domain-controller deployment, Installing the AD DS role

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1/10/2014 12:55:46 AM

1. Preparing for domain-controller deployment

The steps for preparing to deploy Windows Server 2012 domain controllers using Server Manager differ depending on whether you are deploying the first domain controller in a new forest, deploying additional domain controllers in the new forest, or deploying domain controllers in an existing forest whose domain controllers are running an earlier version of Windows Server.

Preparing for deploying the first domain controller in a new forest

To deploy the first Windows Server 2012 domain controller in a new forest, you should either log on locally to the server or connect to it using Remote Desktop. No other preparation is needed for this scenario.

Preparing for deploying additional domain controllers in the new forest

After you create a new forest by deploying your first Windows Server 2012 domain controller, you can use Server Manager to deploy additional domain controllers in an existing domain, create new child domains, or create new tree domains. These tasks can be performed remotely by using Server Manager on any Windows Server 2012 domain controller or member server, or on a Windows 8 client computer that has the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installed.

The recommended steps for preparing to use Server Manager to deploy additional domain controllers are as follows:

  1. Make sure you have the appropriate credentials for the task you are going to perform. For example, if you are going to add additional domain controllers to an existing domain, make sure you have Domain Admin credentials for that domain. If you are going to create a new child domain, make sure you have Enterprise Admin credentials.

  2. Add the remote servers you’ll be promoting to domain controllers to the server pool so that you can manage them remotely using Server Manager.

  3. Create a new server group for the remote servers you’ll be promoting to domain controllers, and add the servers to the server group. Doing this makes it easier to promote multiple remote servers to domain controllers simultaneously.

Preparing for deploying domain controllers in an existing forest

Adding Windows Server 2012 domain controllers to an existing forest or domain running an earlier version of Windows Server first requires that the existing Active Directory schema be extended. In previous versions of Windows Server, Adprep.exe was used for extending the schema.Adprep is a command-line tool that was available in the \support\adprep folder of Windows Server 2008 R2 installation media or in the \sources\adprep folder of Windows Server 2008 installation media. The Adprep command uses parameters such as /forestprep and /domainprep to prepare an existing forest for the introduction of a domain controller running a newer version of Windows Server.

Beginning with Windows Server 2012, however, Adprep is now run automatically as needed when you deploy a new Windows Server 2012 domain controller in an existing forest or domain running an earlier version of Windows Server. This change simplifies the task of adding Windows Server 2012 domain controllers to an existing forest or domain running an earlier version of Windows Server because you no longer need to manually run Adprep before introducing the new domain controllers into your forest.

Adprep is also available as a standalone command-line tool in the \support\adprep folder of Windows Server 2012 installation media. The standalone version of Adprep is required for certain scenarios, such as performing an in-place upgrade of your first Windows Server 2012 domain controller, where you must run Adprep manually to prepare your forest and its domains before you begin upgrading your existing domain controllers to Windows Server 2012.

Note

Adprep syntax

To display the syntax and usage examples for Adprep, type <drive>\support\adprep\adprep at a command prompt where drive is the letter for the drive where your Windows Server 2012 installation media can be found.

The Windows Server 2012 version of Adprep can be used to extend the schema of an existing forest whose domain controllers are running any of the following versions of Windows Server:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Windows Server 2008

  • Windows Server 2003 R2

  • Windows Server 2003

However, the following considerations apply when running the Windows Server 2012 version of Adprep:

  • You must have the credentials of a member of the Enterprise Admins group to run the Adprep /forestprep command.

  • Adprep can be run only on any server (domain controller, member server or standalone server) that is running a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 or later. You cannot run Adprep on a server running Windows Server 2003 or a 32-bit version of Windows Server 2008.

  • The server you run Adprep on must have network connectivity to the schema master of the existing forest.

  • The server you run Adprep on must have network connectivity to the infrastructure master of the existing domain where you want to add a new Windows Server 2012 domain controller.

Note

REAL WORLD Verifying Adprep

The Dsquery.exe command-line tool can be used to verify whether Adprep has extended your forest’s schema.For example, let’s say your existing forest has domain controllers running Windows Server 2008 R2. To determine the current schema level of your forest, open a command prompt on one of your domain controllers and run the following command:

dsquery * cn=schema,cn=configuration,dc=fabrikam,dc=com -scope base
-attr objectVersion

The output from this command looks like this:

objectVersion
47

Now take a server running Windows Server 2012, join it to a domain in your forest, and use Server Manager to promote the server to a domain controller. After you finish introducing the new domain controller into your forest, re-run the preceding dsquery command on the domain controller you previously ran it on. The output from the command looks like this:

objectVersion
56

The version number 56 indicates that the schema of your forest has been extended to include domain controllers running Windows Server 2012.

Quick check

  • When deploying additional domain controllers in a forest using Server Manager, why should you create a server group using Server Manager for the remote servers you’ll be promoting to domain controllers?

Quick check answer

  • So that you can more easily promote them remotely as domain controllers and manage them.

2. Installing the AD DS role

Before you can promote a server to domain controller, you must first install the Active Directory Domain Services role on the server. To do this using Server Manager, select Add Roles And Features from the Manage menu to launch the Add Roles And Features Wizard. On the Select Server Roles page of the wizard, select the Active Directory Domain Services role and confirm the installation of the tools for managing AD DS as shown in Figure 1.

Installing the AD DS role together with the role-management tools.
Figure 1. Installing the AD DS role together with the role-management tools.
 
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