How to Install Active Directory on Server 2003

How to Install Active Directory on Windows Server 2003 (Win-2k3) Step By Step

First make sure you read and understand Active Directory Installation Requirements. If you don't comply with all the Requirements of that article you will not be able to set up your AD (for example: you don't have a NIC or you're using a computer that's not connected to a LAN). Here is a quick list of what you must have:
  • An NTFS partition with enough free space.
  • An Administrator's username and password.
  • The correct operating system version (Windows server 2003 any version-web, standard, enterprises, datacenter).
  • A NIC.
  • Properly configured TCP/IP (IP address, subnet mask and - optional - default gateway, DNS).
  • A network connection (to a hub or to another computer via a crossover cable).
  • An operational DNS server (which can be installed on the DC itself) and proper configure or may be later.
  • A Domain name that you want to use.
  • The Windows Server 2003 CD media (or at least the i386 folder).
  • Brains (recommended, not required...).
[Note: -This article is only good for understanding how to install the FIRST DC in a NEW AD Domain, in a NEW TREE, in a NEW FOREST. Meaning - don't do it for any other scenario, such as a new replica DC in an existing domain. In order to install a Windows Server 2003 DC in an EXISTING Windows 2000 Domain follows the Windows 2003 AD Prep tip.]
1. Click Start, point to Run and type "dcpromo".
2. The wizard windows will appear. Click Next.
3. In the Operating System Compatibility windows read the requirements for the domain's clients and if you like what you see -press next.
4. If you already configure TCP/IP then DC installation wizard is going on, otherwise see instruction of configuring TCP/IP, then configure properly and run DCPROMO again.   
5. Choose Domain Controller for a new domain when this server will become the first domain controller in the new domain and click next.
[Note:-If you have already a domain controller in your network environment and you want to create ADC -Additional domain controller then can select second option "Additional domain controller for an existing domain"
When you select this computer ask user name and password of domain controller]
6. Choose and create a new Domain in a new forest and click next.
7. Enter the full DNS name of the new domain, for example - - this must be the same as the DNS zone you will create, and the same as the computer name suffix you've created in Installation time and then click next.
This step might take some time because the computer is searching for the DNS server and checking to see if any naming conflicts exist.
8. Accept the down-level NetBIOS domain name, in this case it's NETWORKINGSTUDY, Click Next
9. Accept the Database and Log file location dialog box (unless you want to change them of course). Click Next
The location of the files is by default %systemroot%\NTDS (windows Folder\NTDS), and you should not change it unless you have performance issues in mind.
10. Accept the Sysvol folder location dialog box (unless you want to change it of course). Click Next.
The location of the files is by default %systemroot%SYSVOL (Windows Folder/SYSVOL) and you should not change it unless you have performance issues in mind. This folder must be on an NTFS v5.0 partition. This folder will hold all the GPO and scripts you'll create, and will be replicated to all other Domain Controllers.
[Note: -The SYSVOL folder stores the server's copy of the domain's public files. The contents of the folder are replicated to all domain controllers in the domain.]
11. If your DNS server, zone and/or computer name suffix were not configured correctly you will get the following warning:This means the Dcpromo wizard could not contact the DNS server, or it did contact it but could not find a zone with the name of the future domain.
  • If you want, Dcpromo can install the DNS service, create the appropriate zone, configure it to accept dynamic updates, and configure the TCP/IP settings for the DNS server IP address.To let Dcpromo do the work for you, Then select "Install and configure the DNS server..." (Best for first Time)
  • If you want install and configure DNS later after install AD then select "I will correct the problem………." Otherwise, you can accept the default choice and then quit Dcpromo and Install DNS first. Click Next.

12. Accept the Permissions compatible only with Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 settings, unless you have Legacy apps running on Pre-W2K servers. Click Next
[Note: -If you have only pre-Windows 2000 clients then select first option "Permissions compatible with pre-windows 2000 server OS"
If you have only windows 200, 2003, XP or latest client then selects second option "Permissions compatible only with windows 2000 or windows server 2003 operating systems"]
13. Enter the Restore Mode administrator's password. In Windows Server 2003 this password can be later changed via NTDSUTIL. Click Next.
14. Review your settings and if you like what you see - Click Next.
15. See the wizard going through the various stages of installing AD. Whatever you do - NEVER click Cancel!!! You'll
Wreck your computer if you do. If you see you made a mistake and want to undo it, you'd better let the wizard finish and then run it again to undo the AD.
16. If all went well you'll see the final confirmation window. Click Finish.
17. You must reboot in order for the AD to function properly. Click "Restart Now"