Building a Windows 2008 Server Core Domain Controller Step by Step

Below are the steps of configuring a Windows 2008 Server Core from scratch to a secondary Domain Controller

  • To set the server with a static IP address
    1. At a command prompt, type the following:
    netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces
    2. Look at the number in the “Idx”  column. Take note of the Idx number of the NIC that needed to be setup with the IP address
    3. netsh interface ipv4 set address name=”<ID>” source=static address=<IPAdress> mask=<SubnetMask> gateway=<Default GW>
    <ID> = The Idx number noted in step 2.
    <IPAddress> = The static IP address that needed to be assigned to the server
    <SubnetMask> = The subnet mask for the IP address
    <Default GW> = Default gateway’s IP address
  • To set the DNS server’s IP address
    1. netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=”<ID>” address=<DNSServerIP> index=1
    <ID> = Idx number noted previously
    <DNSServerIP> = IP address of the DNS Server
    2. Repeat step 1 for each DNS server that needs to be added, incrementing index= by 1 each time3
  • To set hostname of the server:
    1. At a command prompt type:
    Notice the name of the machine is randomly generated during the install
    2. To rename type:
    netdom renamecomputer %computername% /NewName <NewComputerName>
    3. Reboot the machine:
    Shutdown -r -t 0
    4. Verify new name is set by repeating step 1
  • Joining the server to a domain:
    1. netdom join %computername% /domain:<DomainName> /userd:<UserName> /passwordd:*
    2. Reboot the server:
    Shutdown -r -t 0
  • Configuring firewall for RDP
    1. netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”Remote Desktop” new enable=yes
  • Configuring RDP
    1. cscript c:\windows\system32\SCregEdit.wsf /ar /v
    2. Note the number presented. 1 = RDP disabled, 0 = enabled
    3. To enable RDP:
    cscript c:\windows\system32\SCregEdit.wsf /ar 0
    4. Test RDP to the server from a different machine
  • Configuring WinRM (Windows Remote Management) for remote management via WinRS (Windows Remote Shell)
    1. WinRM qc  or WinRM quickconfig
  • Verifying WinRM is configured:
    1. winrm e winrm/config/listener
  • Configuring Automatic Updates:
    1. cscript c:\windows\system32\SCregEdit.wsf /au 4
  • Promoting to Domain Controller:
    1. Creating an unattended installation file:
    At the command prompt type:
    Enter the following:
    ;dcpromo.exe /unattend:c:\additionalDC.txt
    ;You may need to fill in password fields for true unattended installation
    ;If you leave the values for “Password” as *
    ;then you will be promted for credentials
    Save file as c:\additionalDC.txt. For reference on creating unattended installation file go to:
    2. dcpromo /unattend:c:\AdditionalDC.txt
    3. If there are no error, reboot the machine:
    shutdown -r -t 0
  • To activate the server:
    1. slmgr.vbs -ato
    Note: to change the product key:
    start /w slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
    start /w slmgr.vbs -ato
    2. Verifying activation completed:
    start /w slmgr.vbs -dli
  • Configuring Error reporting:
    1. serverWerOptin /disable
    Options: disable, detailed, summary, query
  • Confirm regional settings:
    1. control timedate.cpl
    2. control intl.cpl
  • Log off the server:
    1. Logoff


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