How to Configure Active Directory on Windows Server 2012 R2

This step by step tutorial will guide you to set up active directory on your Windows Server 2012 R2 machine. The article has been divided into following two parts:

1. Installing active directory on a machine

2. Promoting that machine to act as a domain controller


To follow this tutorial, you need to ensure that:

  1. Administrator account has strong password
  2. Static IP is configured
  3. Latest windows updates are installed
  4. Firewall is turned off

Installing Active Directory

Step 1: Open Server Manager from task bar

Step 2: From Server Manager Dashboard, click on Add Roles and Features

Open the Server Manager on Windows

Step 3: Before you continue, make sure you have a strong administrator password, static IP is configured and security updates are installed on your machine. Click Next

Before you begin

Step 4: Choose Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next

Chose installation type

Step 5: Select the destination server on which you want to configure active directory from server pool. In our case, it is local server which is selected by default so click Next

Select the Destination Server

Step 6: Choose Active Directory Domain Services from server roles page. Once you have chosen ADDS role, a window will appear showing you additional required features. Click Add Features and then click Next

Choe Active Directory Domain services

Step 7: Keep Group Policy Management as default on feature selection window and click Next

Keep the Group Policy Manager

Step 8: Read the important notes about Active Directory Domain Services and click Next

Active Directory Domain Services

Step 9: Review the installation and then click Install

Install Active Directory Domain Services

Step 10: When an installation completes, click Close

Finish the installation of the Active Directory

Configuring Active Directory

Step 1: Open Server Manager from task bar and click on Notifications

Configuring Active Directory

Step 2: In notifications window, click on Promote this server to a domain controller

Promote this server to a domain controller

Step 3: Choose Add a new forest from deployment operation choices and enter Root domain name. Click Next

Add a new forest

Step 4: In domain controller options windowleave Windows Server 2012 R2 as the default selection in forest and domain functional level. Keep Domain Name System (DNS) server checked and provide Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password. Click Next

provide Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password

Step 5: Ignore warnings in DNS optionswindow and click Next

Ignore warnings in DNS options

Step 6: In additional optionswindow, verify NetBIOS name of domain and click Next

verify NetBIOS name of domain

Step 7: Note down the Database, Log files and SYSVOL folder paths and click Next

Note down the Database, Log files and SYSVOL folder paths

Step 8: In review options window, review your choices including domain name, NetBIOS name, and Global catalog etcClick Next

review options window

Step 9: Click Install when all prerequisite have been successfully passed

Click Install

When an installation completes, you will be prompted that your machine has successfully been configured as domain controller and will be rebooted automatically .


Congratulations on setting up an active directory on your Windows Server 2012 R2 machine. Before you join your client machine to this new domain, you should be able to ping the domain from server command prompt.

Reference :

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