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Deploying Domain Controllers in Remote Locations
Pages: 1, 2

Promoting the Domain Controller

Now start the Active Directory Installation Wizard in Advanced Mode on TEST210 by choosing Start -> Run -> dcpromo /adv and walking through the screens of the wizard in the usual way, selecting "Additional domain controller for an existing domain." When the Copying Domain Information page appears, specify the location of the restored System State info from the source machine:

Figure 5. Installing AD from the restored backup media Figure 5. Installing AD from the restored backup media

If your source machine was a Global Catalog server, then the next screen will offer you the option of making your target machine a Global Catalog server too:

Figure 6. Decide whether the new DC will host the Global Catalog Figure 6. Decide whether the new DC will host the Global Catalog

Continue with the wizard by specifying Domain Admins credentials for the domain; a location for the AD database, the log files, and the SYSVOL folder; a Restore Mode password for your new domain controller; and so on until you reach the end of the wizard and the promotion begins. Once the machine reboots, you should have a fully functional domain controller at your remote site.

Here's a final tip: Occasionally when I've used this procedure and rebooted, I've gotten a message saying "One or more services failed to start." I've found, however, that when I reboot the machine a second time, the message doesn't recur, but it's always a good idea to check the System, Directory, and File Replication logs in the Event viewer afterward for any unusual events.

Note: You can also create an answer file and use dcpromo /answer to perform the unattended deployment of domain controllers using install from media. See Knowledge Base article 311078 for more info. This Knowledge Base article also contains additional advanced information on installing domain controllers from backup media, and it's worth thoroughly reviewing the article before you attempt such installations.


Mitch Tulloch is the author of Windows 2000 Administration in a Nutshell, Windows Server 2003 in a Nutshell, and Windows Server Hacks.


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