Preparing Windows Server 2008 R2 for AD DS Installation


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About Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Installation

When Windows Server 2008 R2 is installed, initially it works as a normal client operating system and does not provide any server specific services to other computers in the network. Moreover, right after the installation, Windows Server 2008 R2 can be added to the network only as a workgroup client with no additional features installed. In such cases, administrators cannot have centrally managed network, thus they must manage each computer in the network individually. Therefore, in order to centrally manage the LAN setup, they must install AD DS on Windows Server 2008 R2 which then promotes the network operating system to the domain controller.

Preparation for Active Directory Domain Services Installation

Before installing Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2008 R2, the operating system must be prepared accordingly. Preparation of Windows Server 2008 R2 includes:

  • Assigning a static IP address to the computer.
  • Renaming the computer to something more specific and self-explanatory name.
  • Verifying that the computer has correct time zone configured in it.
  • Specifying appropriate IP address of any existing DNS server in the network.

Note: Loopback address (127.0.0.1) can be used in case no DNS server is present in the network, and administrators plan to install the DNS server role on the domain controller itself during AD DS installation.

  • Checking if the computer is connected to the network and the entire network is running properly.
  • Verifying that the computer has latest security patches and updates installed in it.
  • Verifying if the computer has sufficient amount of free disk space to hold appropriate services and features along with all the required applications.
  • Verifying that the physical security of the computer is strong and impeccable.

Prepare Windows Server 2008 R2 for Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Installation

As discussed above, after verifying the physical prerequisites and network connection of Windows Server 2008 R2, administrators must follow the steps given below to set time zone, assign a static IP address, specify DNS server address, and rename the computer in order to prepare the system for AD DS installation:

  1. Log on to Windows Server 2008 R2 computer with the local administrator account.
  2. On Initial Configuration Tasks window, under Provide computer Information section, click Set time zone.

    Initial Configuration Tasks Window

  3. On Date and Time box, click Change time zone.
  4. On Time Zone Settings box, from Time zone drop-down list, choose the time zone for the computer as per the location.

    Change Time Zone

  5. Once set, click OK and back on Date and Time box, click OK.
  6. Back on Initial Configuration Tasks window, under Provide Computer Information section, click Configure networking.
  7. On the Network Connections window, right-click the network adapter on which IP address is to be configured.
  8. On network adapter’s properties box, from the This connection uses the following items list, click to select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.
  9. On Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties box, make sure that General tab is selected.
  10. Click to select Use the following IP address radio button.
  11. Populate the enabled IP address and Subnet mask fields with correct values.

    Configure IP Address

  12. On the same interface, make sure that Use the following DNS server addresses radio button is selected.
  13. In the Preferred DNS server field, type the name of an existing DNS server. 127.0.0.1  loopback address can also be typed in the field in case the same computer is to be used as DNS server.
  14. Once specified, click OK to save the modified settings.
  15. Back on the network adapter’s properties box, click Close.
  16. Close Network Connections window when done.
  17. Back on Initial Configuration Tasks window, under Provide Computer Information section, click Provide computer name and domain.
  18. On System Properties box, make sure that Computer Name tab is selected.
  19. On the selected tab, click Change.
  20. On Computer Name/Domain Changes box, in the Computer name field, specify the desired name for the computer and click OK.

    Change Computer Name

  21. On the displayed box, click OK.
  22. Back on the System Properties box, click Close.
  23. On the displayed box, click Restart Now to restart the computer in order to allow the changes to take effect.
  24. After the computer is restarted, Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) installation process can be initiated using local administrator account.

Vivek Nayyar

Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platforms. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations. Technical Writer and Author.
Vivek Nayyar

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