Promoting the Server to Domain Controller (Lab Practice Only)

Promoting the Server to Domain Controller



-Setting up the Windows Server


-Server Manager

-Changing the Computer Name

-Disabling the Firewall

-Q & A -How to find the IP address of this computer?

-Q&A – Is an address static or dynamic?

-Promoting the Server to a Domain Controller


So far, within a virtual environment (i.e., VMware), we created two machines:

  • Windows Server
  • Windows 10 client

In this training, we will:

    • Promote our server to be a Domain Controller.
    • Install Active Directory.

Setting up the Windows Server

Launch VMware.

From the VMware screen, select your server (“DCxx”) by clicking on it.

NOTE: “DC” stands for Domain Controller, the other two letters stand for the student’s initials.

Power on the server, if necessary.

NOTE: the screen captures are from JobSkillShare live training videos and may show different names for the devices, depending on who is presenting.

Click Console
(Drop down menu displays)

Click Open Browser Console
(Server desktop displays.)

Click Actions/Guest OS/Send keys / Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

(sends action to server to bring up log in screen)

NOTE: User ID displays as “Administrator” and you will be prompted to enter a password. Use the same password throughout the lab exercises.

NOTE: In our class scenario, you will be given admin rights to the server.

Enter your password to log in.

Complete the Windows server setup, as different screens come up. Example below:

At the Networks screen, click Yes.
(This makes the machine “discoverable” on the network.)


A “snapshot” allows you to take a “backup” of your system at any point. If needed, you can return to this point.

Let’s take a snapshot of the machine before adding your domain settings.

Right click the server name, click Snapshots/ Take Snapshot.
(“Take Snapshot for…”dialog box displays)

Uncheck “Snapshot the virtual machine’s memory”.

Name the snapshot (e.g, “Fresh Install”) and click Take Snapshot.
(Snapshot of the system at this point is recorded.)

Server Manager

Server Manager manages the server and the domain infrastructure.

Server Manager opens up automatically. It can also be launched by clicking the Start menu – it displays as a tile, and also shows in the search list.

Changing the Computer Name

Question: What is the name of the server? How can you find it?

Answer: When we create a server, Microsoft automatically generates a long machine name.

To find the server name,

  • Click File Explorer
  • Right-click This PC
  • Click Properties.
    (“System” screen displays).

Click Change Settings
(“System Properties” dialog box displays)

Notice that the current Full computer name is a long, hard to remember name.

Click Change.
(Computer Name/ Domain Changes dialog box displays).

In the Computer name field, enter the desired name.

NOTE: For class, change the name of the server to “DC[your initials]”. .
Do not be confused by the VMware server name. This is the way that VMware identifies this server, but the actual server machine name can only be changed as per the steps listed here.

Click OK.
(Server name is changed).
Also, a prompt displays saying that the server must re-start to effect the change.
Click OK to this, and then another prompt displays saying you can re-start later, as needed.

Disabling the Firewall

For the lab, we must disable the firewall. This would typically not be done in a work environment.

Search for “Firewall”
(“Windows Defender Firewall” app displays)

Click to launch the Firewall app.
(“Windows Defender Firewall” screen displays).

Click “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.”
(“Customize Settings” dialog box displays)

Check both “Turn off…” settings.

Click OK.
(“Windows Defender Firewall” is turned off).

Restart the server by clicking Start/Power/ Restart.
(Windows server machine is re-started)

Q & A -How to find the IP address of this computer?

Question: How to find the IP address of this computer?

Answer: Use the “ipconfig” command, below are the steps:

In the Search field, enter CMD.
(Command prompt displays).

Type “ipconfig” and press Enter.
( a variety of information, including the machine’s IP address, displays).

This machine’s IPv4 address is

The network address is 192.168.10

The host address is .20kill

Q&A – Is an address static or dynamic?

Question: is the above IP address static or dynamic?

Answer: Dynamic
The DHCP server has the same address as the gateway (router ) – (In the real-world we use static IP for servers)

NOTE: More information on addresses comes up in Phase 2 of the training.

Promoting the Server to a Domain Controller

Launch Server Manager.

From the Server Manager dashboard, click Add roles and features.
(“Add Roles and Features” Wizard displays).

Click Next.
(“Select installation type” dialog box displays)

Role-based or feature based installation is selected by default.

Click Next.
(“Select Destination server” dialog box displays)

Note: The server machine displays with a “short name”-“DCxx”- since we changed it. Otherwise, it would have that long, hard to remember name.

Click Next.
(“Select server roles” dialog box displays).

Check “Active Directory Domain Services”.
(“Add features that are required for Active Directory…?” dialog box displays).

Click Add Features.
(Additional Features to be added to the install display)

Click Next.
(“Select features” dialog box displays)

Additional services to be added are checked automatically.

Click Next.
(“Active Directory Domain Services” screen displays)

Click Next.
(“Confirm Installation Selections” dialog box displays)

Click Install.
(Installation process begins)

As the install proceeds, a yellow icon should display in the Title bar.

Click the yellow icon.
(prompt displays)

Click “Promote this server to a domain controller”.
(“Deployment Configuration” dialog box displays)

Click Add a new Forest.
(Root domain name needs to be added now)

Enter “DC[xx]”.

Note: In general, we don’t use capital letters in naming devices.

Click Next.
(“Domain Controller Options” dialog box displays)

Enter the password for Directory Services Restore Mode.

NOTE: For the training, use the same password as for other devices.

Click Next.
(“DNS Options” screen displays).

NOTE: Every Domain Controller needs its own DNS. Right now, we are using a DNS that is part of the router that’s already running in this lab. More explanation on this later.

Click Next.
(A DNS connection gets created automatically.)

(“Additional Options” dialog box displays).

Enter the NetBIOS domain name.

Click Next
(“Paths” screen displays).

Click Next.
(“Review Options” screen displays)

Click Next.
(“Prerequisites Check” screen displays)

In this case, we can ignore the listed errors.

Click Install.
(“Installation” screen displays).

You will be prompted to re-start the machine.
Server machine now has Active Directory and is a Domain Controller (DC).


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