Installing an Additional Domain Controller by Using the Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

The Windows interface provides two wizards that guide you through the installation process for Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). The first wizard is the Add Roles Wizard, which you can access in Server Manager. The second wizard is the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard, which you can access in the following ways:

  • When you complete the Add Roles Wizard, click the link to open the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard.

  • Click Start, click Run, type dcpromo.exe, and then click OK.

If you use the advanced options in the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard, you can control how AD DS is installed on the server, either by the install from media (IFM) method or by replication:

  • IFM: You can provide a location for installation media that you have created with Ntdsutil.exe or that you have restored from a backup of a similar domain controller in the same domain. If you create the installation media by using Ntdsutil, you have the option to create secure installation media for a read-only domain controller (RODC). In this case, Ntdsutil removes cached secrets, such as passwords, from the installation media. For more information, see Installing AD DS from Media.

  • Replication: You can specify a domain controller in the domain from which to replicate AD DS.

Administrative credentials

To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group in the domain in which the domain controller is being installed.

To install a domain controller in an existing domain by using the Windows interface

  1. Open Server Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.

  2. In Roles Summary, click Add Roles.

  3. If necessary, review the information on the Before You Begin page, and then click Next.

  4. On the Select Server Roles page, click the Active Directory Domain Services check box, and then click Next.


On a server that runs Windows Server 2008 R2, you might have to click Add Required Features to install .NET Framework 3.5.1 features before you can click Next.

  1. If necessary, review the information on the Active Directory Domain Services page, and then click Next.

  2. On the Confirm Installation Selections page, click Install.

  3. On the Installation Results page, click Close this wizard and launch the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard (dcpromo.exe).

  4. On the Welcome to the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, click Next.

    If you want to install from media, identify the source domain controller for AD DS replication, or specify the Password Replication Policy (PRP) for an RODC as part of the installation of the additional domain controller, select Use advanced mode installation.

  5. On the Operating System Compatibility page, review the warning about the default security settings for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers, and then click Next.

  6. On the Choose a Deployment Configuration page, click Existing forest, click Add a domain controller to an existing domain, and then click Next.

  7. On the Network Credentials page, type the name of any existing domain in the forest where you plan to install the additional domain controller. Under Specify the account credentials to use to perform the installation, click My current logged on credentials or click Alternate credentials, and then click Set. In the Windows Security dialog box, provide the user name and password for an account that can install the additional domain controller. To install an additional domain controller, you must be a member of the Enterprise Admins group or the Domain Admins group. When you are finished providing credentials, click Next.

  8. On the Select a Domain page, select the domain of the new domain controller, and then click Next.

  9. On the Select a Site page, select a site from the list or select the option to install the domain controller in the site that corresponds to its IP address, and then click Next.

  10. On the Additional Domain Controller Options page, make the following selections, and then click Next:

    • DNS server: This option is selected by default so that your domain controller can function as a Domain Name System (DNS) server. If you do not want the domain controller to be a DNS server, clear this option.

      If the DNS server role is not installed on the Primary Domain Controller (PDC) emulator in the forest root domain, then the option to install DNS server on an additional domain controller is not available. As a workaround in this situation, you can install the DNS server role before or after the AD DS installation.


If you select the option to install DNS server, you might receive a message that indicates that a DNS delegation for the DNS server could not be created and that you should manually create a DNS delegation to the DNS server to ensure reliable name resolution. If you are installing an additional domain controller in either the forest root domain or a tree root domain, you do not have to create the DNS delegation. In this case, click Yes and disregard the message.

  - **Global Catalog**: This option is selected by default. It adds the global catalog, read-only directory partitions to the domain controller, and it enables global catalog search functionality.  
  - **Read-only domain controller**. This option is not selected by default. It makes the additional domain controller read only; that is, it makes the domain controller an RODC.  

If you do not have static IPv4 and IPv6 addresses assigned to your network adapters, a warning message might appear advising you to set static addresses for both of these protocols before you can continue. If you have assigned a static IPv4 address to your network adapter and your organization does not use IPv6, you can ignore this message and click, **Yes, the computer will use a dynamically assigned IP address (not recommended).**


We recommend that you not disable the IPv6 protocol.

  1. If you selected Use advanced mode installation on the Welcome page, the Install from Media page appears. You can provide the location of installation media to be used to create the domain controller and configure AD DS, or you can have all the replication done over the network. Note that some data will be replicated over the network even if you install from media. For information about using this method to install the domain controller, see Installing AD DS from Media.

  2. If you selected Use advanced mode installation on the Welcome page, the Source Domain Controller page appears. Click Let the wizard choose an appropriate domain controller or click Use this specific domain controller to specify a domain controller that you want to provide as a source for replication to create the new domain controller, and then click Next. If you do not choose to install from media, all data will be replicated from this source domain controller.

  3. On the Location for Database, Log Files, and SYSVOL page, type or browse to the volume and folder locations for the database file, the directory service log files, and the system volume (SYSVOL) files, and then click Next.

    Windows Server Backup backs up the directory service by volume. For backup and recovery efficiency, store these files on separate volumes that do not contain applications or other nondirectory files.

  4. On the Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator Password page, type and confirm the restore mode password, and then click Next. This password must be used to start AD DS in Directory Service Restore Mode (DSRM) for tasks that must be performed offline.

  5. On the Summary page, review your selections. Click Back to change any selections, if necessary.

    To save the settings that you have selected to an answer file that you can use to automate subsequent AD DS operations, click Export settings. Type the name for your answer file, and then click Save.

    When you are sure that your selections are accurate, click Next to install AD DS.

  6. On the Completing the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, click Finish.

  7. You can either select the Reboot on completion check box to have the server restart automatically or you can restart the server to complete the AD DS installation when you are prompted to do so.