Installing Active Directory

Windows 2000 Server can be installed as a new operating system or as an upgrade to an existing Windows NT Server operating system. In either case, adding Active Directory to a server is a separate operation from installing Windows 2000 Server. You first install Windows 2000 Server; then you install Active Directory on the servers you want to use as domain controllers

When you install Active Directory, certain conditions are required for the process to succeed. Because most conditions are addressed during Windows 2000 Server installation and because debugging of the required network and system configuration is most effectively achieved prior to installing Active Directory, the process of installing Active Directory is implemented as a separate program (Dcpromo.exe) subsequent to installation of the operating system.

After you install Windows 2000 Server, you can use one of the following options to install Active Directory:

  • Use the Active Directory Installation Wizard. The wizard can be started as follows:
    In the Windows   2000 Configure Your Server dialog box that appears when you start the server computer, you can select the Active Directory option for installing Active Directory. This method is highly recommended . Windows   2000 Configure Your Server provides guidance to ensure proper installation of Active Directory.
    – Or –
    On the Start menu, click Run . Then type dcpromo in the Run dialog box.

  • Use a text file to perform an unattended ("silent") installation of Active Directory. The Active Directory Installation Wizard can be started from a command prompt and an answer file specified by typing dcpromo /answer:<answerfile name > to install Active Directory by using programmed responses to the wizard that you prepare in a special text file.


When Windows NT 4.0–based domain controllers are upgraded to Windows 2000, the Active Directory Installation Wizard automatically opens after the installation of the operating system is completed. The role of the server does not change to the role of a domain controller until the wizard has been run.

The Active Directory Installation Wizard also is used to remove Active Directory from a server.

For more information about using unattended installation, see "Unattended Setup for Installation or Removal of Active Directory" later in this chapter. For more information about using the Configure Your Server wizard, see Windows 2000 Server Help. For more information about removing Active Directory, see "Removing Active Directory" later in this chapter.