Install Active Directory on Windows Server 2012 R2

In this guide we will setup the basis of all Enterprise Infrastructure – Active Directory.

Active Directory allows us to control and manage our Users and Environment, setup corporate policies and enforce them. And many many other things 🙂

Step 1: Installing Active Directory Services.


  • Then, we want to go to Local Server and change name of the Computer and set Static IP Address.


  • Click the Ethernet link, then right click on your Adapter and select Properties


  • Now select Internet Protocol Version 4 and click Properties. (Personally i like to uncheck IPv6, but its up to you if you have the infrastructure to use it)
  • Input your IP information. If this is a totally new network you are creating you can choose your IP & Subnet at this step.
  • If you don’t enter DNS information here, you will get an error at prerequisites step of promoting server to Domain Controller.


  • Then we have to change the name of your server to something that looks like a Domain Controller, i’m going to name mine “dc01“. Click “Change” on System Properties.


  • Back in Server Manager, click Manage -> Add Roles & Features


  • Click Next on Welcome Screen,  then select “Role-based or feature-based installation“. Click Next, our server should be pre-selected on next screen so click Next again.


  • On Server Roles screen, select “Active Directory Domain Services” and accept additional features.


  • Press Next on Features screen, as we aren’t adding any now,  then Next on AD DS screen, and finally click “Install” on confirmation page.


  • Wait for install to finish.

Step 2: Promote server to Domain Controller.

  • Once the Installation has finished, you can click the link that says “Promote this server to a domain controller


  • Since we are creating a fresh environment, we don’t have any existing domain to join to, so we are going to select “Add a new forest“. Microsoft suggests, and i also encourage, to have internal DNS domain name differ from external domain that you are going to use. For example let’s say our domain name is ““, if we create the same domain on our internal network, it would make conflicts with public DNS. What we can do is use a subdomain for internal domain name, or a different root domain, for example “.local“(my-it-world.local). In my example I’m going to be using a subdomain ““, since i think its the best choice.


  • Leave Forest & Domain functional level at Windows Server 2012 R2 and Input your password for Directory Services Restore Mode. Save this password as you might need it to restore Active Directory from a backup.


  • Click Next on DNS Options screen.


  • Next, we are going to select our Short Domain Name, or NetBIOS domain name. It is the domain name you enter before the username in form of “Domain\Username“. I’m going to use “MYIT” for my configuration, so the users will have to input “MYIT\User” for their login.


  • Leave the AD Database paths as default and click Next


  • Review our configuration options once again and click Next


  • On next screen Prerequisites will be checked before final installation. Since this is a fresh install, everything should be fine here.


  • Wait for Install to finish, and our server will automatically reboot and become a Domain Controller. You will be welcomed with a new login in form of “Domain\Administrator“. Enter the same password that you used for local Administrator account, and thats it!

Installing Windows Server 2012 R2

This is a very basic guide to installing Windows Server 2012 R2. It is too basic, but I’ve decided to include it anyway since its the basis for any Install :

  • After booting form Installation DVD we are greeted by the Installer:


  • Press “Install Now


  • In my guides i will be using Standard Edition with GUI:


  • Accept the license:


  • Select “Custom” since we are doing a fresh install:


  • Select our disk  to install to(Note that if you don’t see the disk listed here you might need to use “Load Driver” to install driver for your particular Controller):


  • Now wait for Install to Finish:


  • Input local Administrator account password:


  • And our setup is  complete! 🙂