Active Directory Setup under Windows 2012 R2 Server Datacenter Edition - Forest

In this article we are going to show you how to setup Active Directory Forest Domain, Additional Domain and Read Only Domain controllers. We have performed following AD DS steps under test LAB environment, Alternate or different method may be adopted for real environment. This step-by-step guide is very simple and straight to the point.

·         Physical or Virtual Machine
·         Windows 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition
·         Static IP Address for each domain

LAB Environment:

I assume you have already installed Windows 2012 Datacenter edition and have configured Static IP Addresses on all machines you planned to promote as a domain controller.

Install Forest Domain Controller

STEP1 - Add Roles and Features

Click Start > Server Manager

Click Manage > Add Roles and Features

Select [Role-based or feature-based installation] Click [Next]

[Select a server from the server pool] already selected, Click [Next]

Select [Active Directory Domain Services] then select [DNS Server] Click [Next]

Select [Active Directory Domain Services] then select [DNS Server] Click [Next]

Click [Add Features]

Select [DNS]

Click [Add Features]

We have selected AD DS and DNS Roles to install. Click [Next] to proceed

Click [Next]

Click [Next]

Click [Next]

Click [Install]

Roles and Feature installation completed.

STEP2 – Promote server to a Forest Domain Controller

Go to [Server Manager] Click [Notification Flag] then Click [Promote this server as a domain controller

Click [Add a new forest] under Root domain name box, provide your domain name and Click [Next]

Set your forest and domain functional level according to your requirement. In our case we are going with default selection.

Enter DSRM password and confirm password then click [Next]

Just click [Next]

Verify the NetBIOS domain name and Click [Next]

Keep default selection of database, log and SYSVOL. Click [Next]

Click [Next] 

This is the prerequisites check of AD DS; if everything goes fine then this check will pass the requirements. As you can see, all prerequisites checks passed successfully. Just click [Install] to start AD DS installation.


Active Directory installation started. Your server will be rebooted automatically and will come up as a domain controller.

Active Directory installation completed; Now we have setup our first domain controller. lets perform remaining tasks.

STEP3 - DNS Server Configuration

Go to Start > Server Manager > Tools > DNS. Right-Click on Reverse Lookup Zones > Click New Zone

Click [Next]

Keep the default selection as show in image below. Click [Next]

Click [Next]

Select [IPv4 Reverse Lookup Zone] click [Next]

We are creating reverse lookup zone for subnet. Enter the network ID of your subnet. Click [Next]

Click [Finish]

Click [Finish]

Under newly created reverse lookup zone, in the right side blank space. Right-Click > Click New Pointer (PTR)

Click [Browse] to select appropriate PTR and [Host IP Address] will be automatically updated.

Select HOST (A) as shown in image below.
 Click [OK]

Follow the above to create second record as shown in image below.

Lets check nslookup status

Perfect result.

STEP4 - Configure Site-and-Services

Go to Start > Server Manager > Tools > Active Directory Site and Services. 

Rename [Default-First-Site-Name]

Create New Site

This is our branch office where we will install additional domain controller. Click OK

Click Ok

This is another branch office where we will install RODC. Click OK to create it

As you can see, we have created three sites (KHI, ISB and Phoenix)

Lets define subnet for these sites.

Right-Click on Subnets > Click New Subnet

Enter your subnet address in Prefix box; in our case we have for KHI site. for Phoenix site for ISB site

As you can see we have created three different subnet for each site


This is our KHI-ISB link. Remove Phoenix from this link

This is our KHI-Phoenix link

This is our ISB-Phoenix link

As you can see we have created three Site Links.

We have completed Forest Domain Controller Setup. Now lets move to Additional Domain Controller Installation
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