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Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 2016

Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 2016

This post contains a demo installation of Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2016. It follows a previous post for a series of test lab configuration posts.

Microsoft docs on installing AD on Windows Server can be found here: Install Active Directory Domain Services

Configuring a Windows Server 2016 on a local Hyper-V can be done by following my previous post: Installing Windows Server 2016 with Hyper-V

The following steps will get your test Windows Server environment set up to run Active Directory:
# Create a Hyper-V Private Network.
# Configure Windows TCP/IP Settings.
# Rename the Windows Server Host.
# Install Active Directory.
# Promote the Server to a Domain Controller.
Once the above has been achieved, you can create a new VM in Hyper-V (or other Hypervisor) and join your Domain, as I’ve done for some tests.

Create a Hyper-V Private Network

1. Right-click the Hyper-V host and select Virtual Switch Manager.

Hyper V Virtual Switch Manager

2. Select Private and Create Virtual Switch.

Hyper-V VSwitch Manager New Private Switch

3. Enter a name for the network and click okay.

HyperV vSwitch Manager

4. Right-click the VM in Hyper-V and click Settings.

HyperV VM Settings

5. Add a new Network Adapter.

HyperV Add New Network Adapter

6. Select Private vSwitch as named above and click OK.

HyperV Add New Network Adapter

Configure Windows TCP/IP Settings

1. When the above has been set-up, Windows Server will show network settings as Identifying…

Windows Server Identifying Network

2. Right-click the network icon and click Open Network and Sharing Center.

Windows Network and Sharing Center

3. Click the highlighted active Ethernet connection.

Windows Server Network and Sharing Center

4. Open Properties.

Windows Ethernet Adapter

5. Open Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties.

Ethernet Adapter IPv4 Properties

6. Enter IP and subnet addresses.

Windows Ethernet Adapter IPv4 Address

Rename the Windows Server Host

1. Open Server Manager and click the highlighted Computer Name.

Windows Server Manager Host Info

2. Click Change…

Windows System Properties

3. Enter new Computer Name and click OK.

Windows Server Computer Rename

The host will require a reboot once done.

Installing Active Directory

1. Within Server Manager, click Manage > Add Roles and Features.

Windows Server Manager Add Roles and Features

2. Before you begin, read the before you begin.

Server Manager Add Roles and Features

3. Select Role or Feature-based installation.

Server Manager Add Roles and Features Installation Type

4. Select the destination server.  

Server Manager Add Roles and Features Destination Server

5. Tick the Active Directory Domain Services checkbox.

Server Manager Add Roles

6. The following will appear – click to add the additional tools.

Server Manager Add Roles Active Directory

7. No features are being added at this time – click to continue.

Server Manager Add Features

8. ADDS page is worth a read – nothing to change here.

Server Manager AD DS

9. Review and click to install.

Server Manager Roles and Features Installation

10. Leave it a few minutes and we’re then able to promote this server as a new Domain Controller.

Server Manager Active Directory Installation

Promote the Server to a Domain Controller

1. Once done with the above, there won’t be a finish point within the wizard. Click the flag on Server Manager to Promote the server to a Domain Controller.

Active Directory Promote to DC

2. This is a new test environment, so I need to Add a new forest.

Active Directory Domain Services Config Wizard

3. A new Forest means Functional Levels can be the latest edition available, Windows Server 2016. This is also the place to enter an important password that is required if recovering a failing AD.

Active Directory Domain Controller Options on Install

4. The following error is listed within the known issues for installing and removing AD DS. It’s expected if create a new forest as I’m doing.

Active Directory Domain DNS Options

5. Enter a preferred NetBIOS name.

Active Directory Configuration Additional Options

6. Locations can stay as defaults of course.

Active Directory Installation Paths

7. Time for us to review wizard selections.

Active Directory Installation Review

8. As you’ll see in the image above, we can click to view the PowerShell script that is about to run with the wizard selections included.

Active Directory Installation Script

9. A prerequisites check will run as we hit next from above. 

Active Directory Installation Prerequisites

10. Click to install…

Active Directory Installation Progress

11. An automatic reboot will be initiated at the end.

Windows Reboot

12. When back up and running, we can log in to the new domain.

Windows Server Domain Login

13. And have a look at our Active Directory Users & Computers, just for the fun demo of course.

Active Directory Users and Computers


  1. […] This post contains a demo of joining a Windows Server onto a test Domain, which I created in my previous post (Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 2016). […]

  2. […] guide you will have a new Windows Server ready for configuration. You should read my other post to Install Active Directory (AD) on the […]