Jul 25

Server 2012: Creating a New AD Forest on Server Core

There is not a lot of documentation out there on how to setup Server 2012 Core with a new Active Directory Forest. So here is how I did it.

First, we need to get the server configured. Once you set the administrator password and login all you get is an elevated cmd prompt. from here to set up the baiscs of the server I type sconfig.cmd to get the server configuration wizard.

from here I set the computer name, Configure Remote Management to Enabled, Enable Remote Desktop, Set the Date and Time and finally change the network settings to an IP address and Primary DNS to You can do some of these tasks in powershell with the added Network cmdlets.

I reboot to make sure all the settings are good. Then from PowerShell I turn off my Firewall with the following one liner.

And one final thing before we get to installing Active Directory I need to make sure my PowerShell Help is up to date. This is also a new CmdLet of PowerShell v3.

Now that I have the Server Core setup it’s time to install the Active Directory Bits and the PowerShell tools for AD. Previously you would have needed to import the ServerManager module to add these however now PowerShell v3 does it for us automatically. So now just type:

This will start the install of the ADDS bits. Once this is done we need to do a DcPromo. If you have ever done a DcPromo in the GUI this is not that bad and if you already have an Unattended answer file it might be a few changes and your off and running. But now we have PowerShell cmdlets that we can do it with and actulay makes this process super easy. I built a new domain and all that was needed was the following:

That’s it. My server rebooted and I logged back in using the domain admin. Creating a new Domain wasn’t that hard. The CmdLet will let you set more things and if you would like to see them you can go to http://bit.ly/Pqywyj to see the TechNet help on the CmdLet.

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