Promote Windows server 2012 as Domain Controller – via Server Manager

While promoting a Windows server 2012 as a domain controller, the first thing you would notice is that DCPROMO command no longer works! The windows would give  you a screen as below:


The article talks about the steps to promote your Windows server 2012 as a domain controller or we can say installing the Active Directory Services role.

There are two ways to promote Windows 2012 to a DC.

  • One use GUI, that is, via Server manager console and
  • another is via command line using Powershell.

In this article, we are going to discuss the DC deployment and configuration via Server manager only.

Server Manager

1. Launch Server Manager and click on Manage at top right and choose Add Roles and Features.



2. Select Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next.


3. Select the server on which you want to deploy ADS role

4. Check the role Active Directory Domain Services. Once you check, you would be given a prompt, click on image

5. Select features that you want and click Next


6. Click on Next and Finish the wizard to start installing the ADS role. You can close the wizard once it starts installing the role, without interrupting the installation task.

7. One the installation is complete, it should give you the Post-deployment configuration wizard. If it doesn’t then click on the Notification Flag at top right and then click on Task menu or Task Details at the bottom.


8. In Task Details and Notifications window, the Post-deployment Configuration task should be listed. Under Action column, click on Promote the server to a domain controller option. This would launch a new configuration window.


9. Select the Deployment option; if you are promoting the first DC or adding additional DC to existing domain/forest. In our case, we are going for first option: Add a domain controller to an existing domain.

Supply other details like domain name and the credentials.


10. The next Domain Controller Options screen may take some time and appears to be hung with all settings greyed out. Give it a little time and it would let you choose the options as give below. Choose DNS, GC or RODC role  and the Site name as required. Provide the DSRM password.


11. Next screen is for DNS options to let you configure DNS Delegation. You may need to Update DNS delegation. To update, enter credentials with permission to create DNS delegation records in the parent DNS zone.

12. On the Additional Options page, choose one of the following options:

  • To create a new domain, type or verify the NetBIOS name of the domain.
  • To add a DC to a domain, select a domain controller to replicate the AD DS installation data from (or the wizard can select "any").

13. Select the desired path for AD database, Log files and Sysvol folder.


14. On next Preparation Options page, you may need to specify alternate credentials to run Adprep.

15. Next is Review Options page which gives you the summary of your selection before it actually starts making the configuration changes. There is also a button at bottom right to View script of the task the wizard is going to perform. This contains the PowerShell cmdlets for the same.


16. Next is the page for Prerequisites. You can review the warnings and errors before proceeding with the installation.


17. Once the installation is complete, the server is reboot automatically. If not, reboot it to complete the installation.