Step by Step guide to setup Active Directory on Windows Server 2008

This tutorial will explain how to install AD on server 2008. This will valid for windows 2008 R2 as well.


Minimum: Single processor with 1.4 GHz (x64 processor) or 1.3GHz (Dual Core)

Minimum: 512 MB RAM

Minimum: 32 GB or greater

  • The first step is to assign a ip to the server that you going to deploy the AD. Its nessary to install it as DNS server too. So its better to have fixed ip it doesn't mean you cannot install AD without fixed ip address but it will solve lot of issues if you used fixed ip.

In here the server ip is Since we going to make it as DNS server too you should use the same ip as the preferred DNS server.

  • Next step is to install the Active directory roles. Unlikely the older version of windows servers Microsoft highly recommend to use server manager option to install roles before you run dcpromo.


  • Click on start menu and select the Server Manager

  • Select the roles from the right hand panel and click on add roles option.

  • From the roles list select the "Active Directory Domain Services" role and Click "Next"

  • Review the confirmation and click on "Next"

  • Review the installation confirmation and click on "Next"

  • It will take few minutes to complete and when its done you will get this confirmation. And then click on "Close"

After that you will need to do a reboot.

  • After reboot please open up the "server Manager" again. And then click on "Roles" there you will see the "Active Directory Domain Services" is successfully installed in there. click on it then you will get a window like below.



    In their please pay attention to the message



    So please click on that link and it will start the DCPROMO wizard.


  • So next step to go through the DC promo wizard.
  • To start the installation click on "Next"

  • Click on "Next"

  • Since we going to install New domain Controller in new forest please select the option "Create a new domain in new forest" option and click on "Next"

  • Now we have to provide the name for our domain controller. It must be FQDN. In our case I used as the domain. Please click "Next" after it.

  • In this window it will ask to select forest function level. If you going to add server 2003 domain controller to your forest later don't select the function level as server 2008. If you going to use full features of 2008 Ad you must select forest function level as server 2008. In my case I used server 2008. Click on "Next" after the select.

  • In next window since it's the first DC we should make it as DNS server too. Leave the default selection and click on "Next"

  • If the wizard cannot create a delegation for the DNS server, it displays a message to indicate that you can create the delegation manually. To continue, click "Yes"

  • In next window it will show up the database location. It its going to be bigger AD its good if you can keep NTDS database in different partition. Click on "Next" after changes.

  • In next window its asking to define a restore mode password. Its more important if you had to do a restore from backup in a server crash. Click on "Next" after filling it.

  • Next window is giving you a brief of the installation. Click on "Next"

  • Then it will start the installation of the AD. It will take some time to complete. After complete of the installation perform a server reboot.

  • After the reboot now you can login to the domain. Please use the login as following example

User name : your domain\administrator

Password : XXXXXXXX

  • Now its done and you can view the active directory options on administrative tools menu

Hope this tutorial is clear for you guys. If any question please ask me on

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  1. Very narrative and self descriptive. Thanks. 
    However, I have a small doubt. After the set up of AD, how can I connect other PCs (i.e., nodes) to this server through switch ?
    Thanks in advance

  2. Thanks Dishan for taking out your precious time and writing these articles, they are of great help, appreciate your effort.

  3. Hi there, 

    You use ip address of class A (
    then why not use subnet mask for class A too ( instead of ( ?
    Thanks before πŸ™‚ 

  4. Hello Kevin,

    First this is a demo. about the subnet mask of cause i  can use /8 but there is no reason to waste that much of IP addresses. There is no rule that you must use /8 if its in class A. you can decide subnet base on your IP requirement.

  5. Hi,
    I have installed Virtual PC 2007 & created the 3 Virtual Machines One is Windows 2008 Server, Win XP & Win 7 respectively. In Win 2008 server i have Installed DNS i have made it as DC & even DHCP is installed on it. But i need to connect between these 3 virtual machines. Without the network i am not able to proceed. How i can connect these 3 Virtual machines. Can any body help me out in this it will be vary helpful to me.

  6. One more step to add at the very beginning for people like me who miss the blatantly obvious: Make sure your computer name is what you want it to be before you start! I followed this tutorial to set up my DC and DNS, and then followed another tutorial here [] to also configure it as a DHCP and Certificate Authority (CA) server.
    Then I realized I had accidentally left the default name of my PC as WIN-LBQ4ISKVRCT. Imagine having to type that over and over again!
    To change the name, I had to go through the painful process of removing the CA role here [], and got a nasty warning message when I went to rename the DC.
    Moral of this story: Make sure your domain controller PC is named what you want it to be before you start! it will save you headaches down the line.
    Again, excellent tutorial! Thank you!

  7. Thank you a ton for putting up this much effort to make us understand the concept, and that too on a non – profit basis.
    Vishal Kumar
    Delhi, India

  8. thank you sir for the tutorial. i can use this in our school computer laboratory. i will try me sir in guiding upon installation and connecting other pc's.

  9. Hello,

    my question is on Security group.
    a shared path with modify access has an security group enabled.
    now i add the user to that group.But still user is unable to access the data of that share path.
    what might be the reason..?and solution too

  10. Thak you Very Much Rebeladmin and  Dishan Sir this article is very usefull for Learners
    you shown very easy steps to install AD in Win Server 2008 in this aticle
    thanks again

  11. Thank you Very Much Rebeladmin and  Dishan Sir this article is very usefull for Learners
    you shown very easy steps to install AD in Win Server 2008 in this aticle
    thanks again

  12. dear sir,
    Thanks all,but one more doubt how to check whether  ad installed correctly or not? suppose any option for the same kindly post to all!

  13. Respected Sir,
     I have a doubt that, i have a laptop & am wishing to setup AD in it.
    Can i install the below given setups with my given config???
    For installing server 2008 Std edition, and AD Setups.

    My laptop Config:   RAM : 4GB,  HDD : 500GB, OS : Windows 7 pro.  
    Plz guide me with the instructions needed.

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