Promote Windows Server 2012 to Domain Controller, step-by-step

DC or also known as domain controller is a Windows Server 2012 that has Active Directory Domain Services role installed. When installing Windows Server on a computer, you can elect to configure a specific server role for that system. When you create a new forest, a new domain, or add a DC in an existing domain, you are installing Active Directory Domain Services role on Windows Server 2012. For me, since this is the first server in the domain, it will install all the FSMO roles: Schema master, Domain naming master, PDC emulator, Infrastructure master, RID master. Below I will walk you step by step on how to promote Windows Server 2012 to a domain controller. This is also known as Windows Server 2012 dcpromo process.

1.From ServerManager, select “add roles”

Windows Server 2008 DC Promo 12. Select  a server from a server pool and select a local server

Windows Server 8 DC Promo3. Select “Active Directory Domain Services” role.

Windows Server 8 Dcpromo 3

4. Once installation complete, you are not done. You need to click on “Promote this server to a domain controller” to complete the process.


Since, I am adding a brand new domain, I will select Windows 2008 R2 so it’s backward compatible.

Windows Server 8 Domain ControllerOnce the Installation completes, you will find all related administriative tools under the start menu. Active Directory Domain Controller role installs below tools:

Active Directory Aministrative Center
Active Directory Module for powershell
Active Directory Domains and Trusts
Active Directory Users and Computers
Group Policy Management

Next article, I will do in deeper on what each tool does.

Windows Server 8 Active Directory Tools