Installing Active Directory on Server Core

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  • Post last modified:August 4, 2023
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Installing Active Directory on Server Core

This video looks at promoting a server running Windows Server 2008 R2 Core to a Domain Controller using the command line. This covers using an answer file and also using the command line only. The core edition of Windows Server is a scaled down version of Windows Server with very limited GUI options.

For a GUI interface for servers, check out Core Configurator,
This free open source product is great for quickly configuring Server Core and even supports promoting the server to a Domain Controller. Microsoft will not test you on this product so for the exam you should have an understanding of the command line tools demonstrated in this video. For the everyday administrator of Server Core, this product is a life saver.

The advantages of running Server Core are as follows:
Smaller attack surface due to less software running
Less CPU and memory used
Fewer updates required

The disadvantage of Server Core is it is harder to administer because it only comes with the command prompt. Server Core does support remote administrator tools. You can also use the core configurator listed above to give you access to some basic GUI admin tools to help initially configure Server Core.

Commands used in this video to configure the networking 02:04
echo %computername%
netdom renamecomputer localhost /NewName:dc2
netsh interface IPv4 show interfaces
netsh interface IPv4 set address name=21 source=static address= mask= gateway=
(The index of 21 listed above was obtained from the show interfaces command)
netsh interface IPv6 set address interface=21 address=fd00:0:0:1::2
netsh interface IPv4 add dnsserver name=21 address= index=1
netsh interface IPv4 add dnsserver name=21 address= index=2
oclist | more
start /w ocsetup DNS-Server-Core-Role
shutdown /r /t 0
ipconfig /all | more
Commands used to promote the server using an answer file 09:23
Net use * dc1it
copy z:dc1.txt c:dc2.txt
notepad c:dc2.txt
dcpromo /unattend:c:dc2.txt

Command line only 12:45
dcpromo /replicaOrnewDomain:replica /replicaDomainDNSName:ITFreeTraining.local /ConfirmGC:yes
/userdomain:ITFreeTraining.local /UserName=administrator /Password=P@ssw0rd

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