This article describes how to install and configure a new
Active Directory installation in a laboratory environment that includes Windows
Server 2003 and Active Directory. Note that you will need two networked servers
that are running Windows Server 2003 for this purpose in a laboratory
Creating the Active Directory
After you have installed Windows Server 2003 on a stand-alone
server, run the Active Directory Wizard to create the new Active Directory
forest or domain, and then convert the Windows Server 2003 computer into the
first domain controller in the forest. To convert a Windows Server 2003
computer into the first domain controller in the forest, follow these steps:
Insert the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM into your computer's
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
Click Start, click Run, and then type dcpromo.
Click OK to start the Active Directory Installation
Wizard, and then click Next.
Click Domain controller for a new domain,
and then click Next.
Click Domain in a new forest, and then
Specify the full DNS name for the new domain. Note that
because this procedure is for a laboratory environment and you are not
integrating this environment into your existing DNS infrastructure, you can use
something generic, such as mycompany.local, for this
setting. Click Next.
Accept the default domain NetBIOS name (this is "mycompany"
if you used the suggestion in step 6). Click Next.
Set the database and log file location to the default
setting of the c:\winnt\ntds folder, and then click Next.
Set the Sysvol folder location to the default setting of
the c:\winnt\sysvol folder, and then click Next.
Click Install and configure the DNS server on this
computer, and then click Next.
Click Permissions compatible only with Windows 2000
or Windows Server 2003 servers or operating systems, and then click Next.
Because this is a laboratory environment, leave the
password for the Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator blank. Note that
in a full production environment, this password is set by using a secure
password format. Click Next.
Review and confirm the options that you selected, and then
The installation of Active Directory proceeds. Note that
this operation may take several minutes.
When you are prompted, restart the computer. After the
computer restarts, confirm that the Domain Name System (DNS) service location
records for the new domain controller have been created. To confirm that the
DNS service location records have been created, follow these steps:
Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DNS to start the DNS Administrator Console.
Expand the server name, expand Forward Lookup Zones, and then expand the domain.
Verify that the _msdcs, _sites, _tcp, and _udp folders
are present. These folders and the service location records they contain are
critical to Active Directory and Windows Server 2003 operations.
Adding Users and Computers to the Active Directory Domain
After the new Active Directory domain is established, create a
user account in that domain to use as an administrative account. When that user
is added to the appropriate security groups, use that account to add computers
to the domain.
To create a new user, follow these steps:
Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and
Computers to start the Active Directory Users and Computers
Click the domain name that you created, and then expand
Right-click Users, point to New, and then click User.
Type the first name, last name, and user logon name of
the new user, and then click Next.
Type a new password, confirm the password, and then
click to select one of the following check boxes:
Users must change password at next logon
(recommended for most users)
User cannot change password
Password never expires
Account is disabled
Review the information that you provided, and if
everything is correct, click Finish.
After you create the new user, give this user account
membership in a group that permits that user to perform administrative tasks.
Because this is a laboratory environment that you are in control of, you can
give this user account full administrative access by making it a member of the
Schema, Enterprise, and Domain administrators groups. To add the account to the
Schema, Enterprise, and Domain administrators groups, follow these steps:
On the Active Directory Users and Computers console,
right-click the new account that you created, and then click Properties.
Click the Member Of tab, and then click Add.
In the Select Groups dialog box, specify a group, and then click OK to add the groups that you want to the list.
Repeat the selection process for each group in which
the user needs account membership.
Click OK to finish.
The final step in this process is to add a member server to
the domain. This process also applies to workstations. To add a computer to the
domain, follow these steps:
Log on to the computer that you want to add to the
Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
Click the Computer Name tab, and then click Change.
In the Computer Name Changes dialog box, click Domain under Member Of, and then type the domain name. Click OK.
When you are prompted, type the user name and password
of the account that you previously created, and then click OK.
A message that welcomes you to the domain is
Click OK to return to the Computer Name tab, and then click OK to finish.
Restart the computer if you are prompted to do
You Cannot Open the Active Directory Snap-ins
After you have completed the installation of Active Directory,
you may not be able to start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in,
and you may receive an error message that indicates that no authority can be
contacted for authentication. This can occur if DNS is not correctly
configured. To resolve this issue, verify that the zones on your DNS server are
configured correctly and that your DNS server has authority for the zone that
contains the Active Directory domain name. If the zones appear to be correct
and the server has authority for the domain, try to start the Active Directory
Users and Computers snap-in again. If you receive the same error message, use
the DCPROMO utility to remove Active Directory, restart the computer, and then
reinstall Active Directory.
For additional information about
configuring DNS on Windows Server 2003, click the following article numbers to
view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: