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Deploying Active Directory & DNS Services on Windows Server 2022 & Elevating it to Domain Controller Role

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intro windows server 2022 ad dnsThis article provides a comprehensive guide to deploying Active Directory and DNS Services on Windows Server 2022, encompassing the Essential, Standard, and Datacenter editions. Our guide also includes step-by-step instructions for promoting the Windows server to a Domain Controller (DC). To enhance user experience, we've included plenty of helpful screenshots, ensuring a smooth and uncomplicated installation process.

 

Key Topics

Explore our dedicated section on Windows Servers for a rich collection of articles providing in-depth coverage and insights into various aspects of Windows Server functionality.

Installation of Active Directory and DNS Services

To begin, in Server Manager, select Dashboard from the left pane, then Add roles and features from the right pane:

Windows Server 2022 - Server Manager Dashboard

This will initiate the Add Roles and Features Wizard. Select the Role-based or feature-based installation should be selected by default. Click Next to continue:

Windows Server 2022 - Selecting Role-based or feature-based installation

At the Server Selection section, ensure the Select a server from the server pool is select, then click to select the correct target server. In our environment, Voyager is target server. When ready, click on Next:

Windows Server 2022 - Selecting the destination server Selecting the destination server for our AD and DNS service installationSelecting the destination server for our AD and DNS service installation

Next, a selection of Roles will appear. Select the Active Directory Domain Services box. A new popup window will appear advising of additional role services and features that are a prerequisite for Active Directory. Ensure the Include management tools option is selected, then click on the Add Features button:

Windows Server 2022 - Addtional features required for Active Directory Domain Services installationAddtional features required for Active Directory Domain Services installation

At the Server Roles selection window, locate and click on DNS Server box. At the popup window (Add features that are required for DNS Server?), ensure Include management tools is selected, then click on Add Features:

Windows Server 2022 - Addtional features required for DNS Services installationAddtional features required for DNS Services installation

You should now have Active Directory Domain Services and DNS Server roles selected as shown below. When ready, click Next to continue:

Windows Server 2022 - Active Directory and DNS Server roles selected for installationActive Directory and DNS Server roles selected for installation

The next two steps provide information on Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and Domain Name System (DNS) services:

Windows Server 2022 - Active Directory overviewActive Directory overview

 

Windows Server 2022 - DNS Server overviewDNS Server overview

When ready, click Next to continue to the Confirm installation selections step where you can optionally select to Restart the destination server automatically if required (it will need to restart at a later point). When ready, click on Install to being the installation process:
 
Windows Server 2022 - Final confirmation of installation selectionsFinal confirmation of installation selections

The installation process will require 5-15 minutes to complete, but this will highly depending on your server's speed:

Windows Server 2022 - Viewing the installation progressViewing the installation progress

Once the installation has been completed, the server will provide the option to promote it to a domain controller. To proceed with this, click on the Promote this server to a domain controller:

Windows Server 2022 - AD & DNS Installation successfully completedAD & DNS Installation successfully completed

The next section covers all steps required to promote the server to a Domain Controller.

Promoting Windows Server to a Domain Controller

Continuing our installation, and after clicking on Promote this server to a domain controller, we are required to select the deployment operation. Since this is a new AD installation we selected the Add a new forest option and used the Root domain name firewall.local’. When ready, click on Next:

Windows Server 2022 - Configuring AD and Promoting Server to a Domain ControllerConfiguring AD and Promoting Server to a Domain Controller

Promoting the server within an existing AD is beyond the scope of this article.

The Domain Controller Options window allows the selection of the Forest and Domain functional level (Windows Server 2016) and domain controller capabilities that include Domain Name System (DNS) server and Global Catalog (GC) server:

Windows Server 2022 - Configuring Domain Controller OptionsConfiguring Domain Controller Options

Ensure to select the DNS and Global Catalog capabilities and enter the desired Directory Service Restore Mode (DRSM) password.

The newer Windows Server release used for the Forest and Domain functional level, the more secure your AD services will be.

The next step is a warning message that can be safely ignored because the DNS server and service has not yet been configured:

Windows Server 2022 - DNS Option warningsDNS Option warnings

At the next window, enter your server’s NetBIOS domain name then click on Next:

Windows Server 2022 - Configuring AD NetBIOS domain nameConfiguring AD NetBIOS domain name

Optionally specify the location of the AD DS database, log files and Sysvol. Specify the paths to be used or accept the default values. When ready, click on Next:

Windows Server 2022 - Configuring AD DS database locationsConfiguring AD DS database locations

The Review Options window provides an overview of all settings selected for the installation. It’s a final chance to make any changes before the installation begins. When ready, click on Next to begin the installation:

Windows Server 2022 - Reviewing AD & DNS configured optionsReviewing AD & DNS configured options

The system will now perform a prerequisite check, after which we can start the installation by clicking on the Install button:

Windows Server 2022 - AD Domain Controller Prerequisites check before installationAD Domain Controller Prerequisites check before installation

The installation will now begin and updates are provided until the installation is complete. The server will then automatically reboot, if this option was previously selected:

Windows Server 2022 - AD Configuration & Domain Controllor installation in progressAD Configuration & Domain Controllor installation in progress

Our server was able to complete the installation without any errors. After rebooting, we were able to view our newly installed Active Directory:

Windows Server 2022 - AD installation and configuration successfully completedAD installation and configuration successfully completed!

Summary

This article has systematically addressed the configuration and installation procedures for Windows Active Directory and DNS services on a Windows 2022 server, including how to promote a Windows server to a Domain Controller in a new Active Directory installation. It has meticulously outlined all essential steps and provided comprehensive configuration information to guarantee a successful installation, complemented by invaluable tips and tricks. For further exploration of Windows Server technologies, we invite you to visit our dedicated Windows Server section, where a wealth of additional articles awaits.

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