We were accustomed to typing DCPROMO as the way to promote a Server to a domain controller, however that has changed. There is no DCPROMO after Server 2102. The good news is that there are two ways to promote a server to a domain controller. One way is by using the GUI interface, the other is with PowerShell. If you have a Server 2012 Core, you will have to use PowerShell to install ADDS and promote the server to a DC. In this blog, I am going to demonstrate how to promote a Windows Server 2012 (AKA Windows Server 8) to a domain controller and set up a new forest.

Here are some important PowerShell Active Directory related DS commands:

Add-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services This command adds the ADDS roles to your server.

Install-ADDSDomain This command installs a domain in an existing forest.

Install-ADDSForrest This command installs a new forest (first DC).

We only need two commands to create a new forest using PowerShell.

To begin, open PowerShell on the Server 2012 that’s going to be the DC and execute the following command:

Add-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services

Once the feature has been installed, execute the following command:

Install-ADDSForest -CreateDnsDelegation:$false -DatabasePath ‘C:\Windows\NTDS’ -DomainMode ‘Win2012’ -DomainName ‘yourdomain.tld’ -DomainNetbiosName ‘yourdomain’ -ForestMode ‘Win2012’ -InstallDns:$true -LogPath ‘C:\Windows\NTDS’ -NoRebootOnCompletion:$true -SysvolPath ‘C:\Windows\SYSVOL’ -Force:$true

You will be prompted to enter a Safe Mode Recovery password then the installation will begin.

When finished, execute the Shutdown /r command to reboot the server and complete the installation.

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