I’ve decided to put together a quick guide along with a small checklist on how to promote domain controller in an existing Windows 2003 domain. The steps are pretty simple to follow and need to be done carefully to avoid any issues that one might encounter during a promotion of the domain controller. Let’s get on it!
- Domain Admin user account and password
- Static IP and DNS properly configured
- Successful network connectivity to the existing DC’s
- An i386 folder
First we need to make sure that the server we’re about to promote to a domain controller is properly configured with a static IP and DNS. To do so, perform the following.
1. Right click on Local Area Connection and select properties
4. Click on the DNS tab and verify the following is checked.
- Append primary and connection specific DNS suffixes
- Append parent suffixes of the primary DNS suffix
- Register this connection’s addresses in DNS
1. Click on Start -> Run and type dcpromo and you’ll be welcomed with a dcpromo wizard
8. Type in the Directory Services restore password and click next (Make sure you keep this password in a safe place in case you ever have to perform Active Directory recovery. This password is used to boot the domain controller in Directory Service restore mode)
After the server has been successfully promoted to a domain controller and you have rebooted the server, we should now check to make sure that everything is in order and that we have a healthy and fully operational domain controller.
The following steps should be verified to make sure everything is in order.
- Make sure the new domain controller is setup as a Global Catalog
- Check Sites and Services for the new domain controller. If the new domain controller is not local, make sure it is assigned to the proper site
- Verify NTDS and SYSVOL folders
- Check DNS for new SRV records that should be created when the server was promoted to a Domain Controller.