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How to install Active Directory on Windows Server 2003?

Elvis Elvis

What is Active Directory?

This service works with verification and authorization. The information of all network objects must be stored somewhere on the network, otherwise verification and authorization isn’t possible and the network security doesn’t work.

In a Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 network this information is stored in the file NTDS.DIT. The file NTDS.DIT is called Active Directory (AD). AD came up by the introduction of Windows 2000 Server. A Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 server where AD is installed on is called a Domain Controller.

How to install Active Directory on Windows Server 2003?

Active Directory NTDS.DIT is a database file. The file will be edited with a database program which is build in the Windows-versions as spoken above and this is called ‘directories’.

The database program and Active Directory together are called ‘Directory Service’.

AD needs also a Domain Name Service (DNS) to function. DNS takes care that a computer in the network can be looked up by its computer name. Therefore it is necessary that every computer has a unique name in the network.

How to install Active Directory on Windows Server 2003?

If you installed Windows Server 2003 on a machine, the server is still in a workgroup. If you have more servers in your network they communicate with each other using the same workgroup. This is called a peer-to-peer network. They are no member of a domain and they have nothing to do with AD. Such servers are called Standalone servers. The functionality of a Windows Server 2003 Standalone server goes not much further then the functionality of Windows XP Professional. In both situations the properties of users and groups are stored locally in the SAM in the register.

SAM means Security Accounts Manager.

This is not what we want because we don’t want that the user and groups properties are stored locally but we want them to be stored central on a server, on a Domain Controller.

So we have to make one standalone server a Domain Controller with Active Directory.

 

How to install Active Directory on Windows Server 2003?

We do that by following the next steps.

Step 1:
You must be logged on as Administrator on the Windows Server 2003 machine.
Click Start -> Run and type ‘dcpromo.exe’.
A wizard will start and the next screen is shown.

Step 2:
Click ‘Next’.
The next screen is shown.

Step 3:
Here you can see that for example older systems like Windows 95 can not work with AD, so you have to be sure that such systems are not in your network.
Click ‘Next’ and the next screen is shown.

Step 4:
We want to create a Domain Controller for a new domain so we select the first option and click ‘Next’.
The next screen is shown.

Step 5:
Because we don’t have a tree yet in our network the second and third option are senseless.
Select ‘Domain in a new forest’ and click ‘Next’.
The next screen is shown.

Step 6:
In this screen you must give your new domain a DNS name.
Enter a name for your domain. For example: .com.
Click ‘Next’.The installation program first searches it this name already exists or not. Then the next screen is shown.

Step 7:
In this screen the NetBIOS name is the name you entered in the previous screen without ‘.com’, you can leave it this way.
Click ‘Next’ and the next screen is shown.

Step 8:
Here you can select the place where the AD parts must be stored. You will need about 250 MB of free disk space to install Active Directory. I will use only one hard disk so I leave the locations as shown in the screen.
Click ‘Next’.
The next screen is shown.

Step 9:
In the folder SYSVOL the files are being stored which are available for every user. The folder SYSVOL must be stored on a NTFS volume.
Here you can enter the location where this must be stored. You can leave the proposed location.
Click ‘Next’.
The next screen is shown.

Step 10:
Here in the permissions screen you must select if there are pre Windows 2000 server are in the network, like Windows NT servers. In most cases this is not so, then you select the option ‘Permissions compatible only with Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 operating systems’.
Click ‘Next’.
The next screen is shown.

Step 11:
In this screen you must enter a administrator password for the Directory Services Restore Mode. You can enter another password instead of the password for the Windows Server 2003 login but this isn’t necessary and also not recommended.
Enter the Restore Mode password twice and click ‘Next’.
The next screen is shown.

Step 12:
The wizard is now almost at his end and here is a summary given of the options you chose during the wizard. Check if everything is right and then you click ‘Next’.
If you click next the installation and configuration of Active Directory will start.
This will take a wile.
During this installation you will be asked for the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM which you have to insert and then the installation will continue.

If Active Directory is installed, a screen is shown which says that Active Directory is installed successfully and here you click ‘Finish’ to complete the wizard.

Now you will be prompted to restart your server. Remove the Windows Server 2003 CD from your server and click ‘Restart Now’.

When the server is restarted you can login by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete and entering the user name and password. If you click on the button ‘Options >>>’ you can see that now you are going to login to the domain you chose during the installation.

Active Directory is installed successfully and your server is now in a domain