How To Create, Setup Windows Server 2008 Domain & Things To Consider

In this post  I will tell you how to create Windows server 2008 domain and what things you should consider while setting up your Domain controller. The below post shows a step by step guide for creating aDomain in a new forest. In this article I am using Windows Server 2008 R2 to create a domain, the same configurations apply for the 32-bit version.

Windows Server 2008 R2

To get started, go to Run or open Command Prompt , type dcpromo and hit Enter.

Dcpromo

This will open the installation wizard, hit Next to continue. Make sure the Use advanced mode installation option is unchecked.

Domain Wizard

A message will show up, explaining operating system compatibility details with a link at the bottom of the wizard to get more information about the topic. Click on Next to continue.

System Compatibility

When making a domain you will be given the option to add a domain in an existing forest or creating a new domain within a new forest. You can also use this wizard to add a domain controller to an existing domain (a domain tree). In this procedure we are creating a new Domain so select Create a new domain in a new forest option and hit Next.

Create a new domain

A tree is made up of many domains and multiple trees merge under the realm of a forest.  The name of the first Domain created within a forest (forest root Domain) also becomes the name of the forest.

To move forward, enter a FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name), e.g. wmlcloud.com. The wizard will proceed further after checking the NetBIOS name to determine if there is no domain already present with the same name.

FQDN

Select the forest functional level by choosing a Windows Server version. Choosing a newer version will give you more functionality options, however, you can select older levels as well.

Select Server Version

The DNS Server checkbox is checked by default so that the DNS can be installed.

DNS

While attempting to proceed further you may be prompted to assign a static IP if it is set to obtain (IP) automatically. It is not advised to use a dynamic IP from the DHCP server for a domain as the dynamically assigned IPs change after a set period of time due to which client operating system will disconnect when the IP changes.

Assign IP

To assign a static IP to the adapter, go to the Network and Sharing Center and click on Change Adapter Settings. From here select TCP/IPv4 and set a static IP e.g. 192.168.1.2. Also set a Default Gateway, which is normally the IP of a router. In the Proffered DNS section you can simply enter the Domain IP (which in this case is 192.18.1.254) or add a loopback IP (127.0.0.1) so that the domain automatically send itself the DNS queries. This will be helpful if you ever change the Domain IP, as the DNS will not have to be adjusted. You can also use an alternative DNS in the Alternative DNS Server section. To move forward click on “No, I will assign static IP addresses to all physical adapters”.

IP

In the next step, you will have the choice to save the Database, Log and SYSVOL files to the same or separate locations. Some administrators prefer saving them separately to balance the load or to conserve hard disk space, whereas others save them at the same location. This is not much of an issue nowadays, especially in the wake of a better disaster recovery mechanism.

database

Moving forward, select a Restore Mode Password (which is separate from the Domain Administrator’s account). This password is used when the Domain Controller is started in Directory Services Restore Mode.

Restore Mode

In the last step, you can check the summary of the configurations in the Review Your Selections box and create your Domain by clicking on Finish.

Finish

You will be asked to restart your computer after which the Domain will be created.

Restart

You will be able to start working on your Domain and will be able to login with your former local user’s account credentials.

Login

To view more instructions for further setting up and maintaining your Domain, see more guide at the below link:

See More Windows Server 2008 Setup And Maintenance Instructions Here.