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[Tip] - Windows Server 8 and Active Directory Domain Services

    General discussion

  • Since I struggled with this for a while this morning, I thought I do a
    quick post on the subject.

    First things first, in Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 you could get the AD
    DS role installed simply by running dcpromo.exe. In Windows Server 8 this
    won't work and you'll get a message that the AD DS Installation Wizard has
    been relocated to Server Manager. Ok, so you go to Server Manager and
    install the role.

    After I had the role installed, I ran dcpromo again and got the same
    message. Hmm. Went back to Server Manager and saw that the role was listed
    but still couldn't figure out how to configure AD DS.

    Finally figured it out:

    1. In the Server Manager Dashboard, under the AD DS heading, you should see
    a warning that Configuration is required, with a More... hyperlink. Click
    More.
    2. Now you're in the AD DS Task Details window. At the far right of the top
    section, you will see a column labeled Actions with an entry in the
    column that reads; Promote this server to a domain controller. Click
    this.
    3. This will start the AD DS Configuration Wizard. Run through the
    wizard.

    My problem really came down to a UI contrast problem. The colours chosen
    for task details window did not provide a high enough contract for me to
    pick out exactly what was listed in the action column, nor was it clear
    that this was in fact a hyperlink.

    Also note that you get to select the Forest and Domain functional levels
    while running the wizard. I initially tried to set them both to Windows 8
    level but that caused me to fail the prerequisite check. I had to go back
    and set the forest function level back to Windows Server 2008 R2. I'm
    assuming that once I'm done and AD DS is configured with the domain
    functional level at Windows Server 8 I'll be able to raise the forest
    functional level.

    Hope this helps.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Any nitwit can understand computers.  Many do.  -- Ted Nelson

    • Changed type Paul Adare Friday, September 16, 2011 11:01 AM
    Friday, September 16, 2011 10:51 AM

All replies

  • On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 10:51:28 +0000, Paul Adare wrote:

    Also note that you get to select the Forest and Domain functional levels
    while running the wizard. I initially tried to set them both to Windows 8
    level but that caused me to fail the prerequisite check. I had to go back
    and set the forest function level back to Windows Server 2008 R2. I'm
    assuming that once I'm done and AD DS is configured with the domain
    functional level at Windows Server 8 I'll be able to raise the forest
    functional level.

    Ok, that failed as well. I had to leave both the FFL and the DFL at 2008
    R2.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Every program in development at MIT expands until it can read mail.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 10:53 AM
  • On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 10:53:40 +0000, Paul Adare wrote:

    Ok, that failed as well. I had to leave both the FFL and the DFL at 2008
    R2.

    One more thing. Although I had the option to restart automatically
    selected, the restart didn't happen until I clicked Close.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    To err is human; to forgive, beyond the scope of the Operating System.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 11:00 AM
  • The inability to raise the DFL and FFL to Windows 8 is a known issue. It's not important though, as the higher functional levels do nothing except prevent you from adding downlevel OS domain controllers. There are no special features unlocked by the Win8 DFL/FFL modes.

    Thanks for the feedback on the dificulty in finding then seeing the AD installation wizard, I agree that it's not easy.

    And as a side note, take a look at the new PowerShell module ADDSDeployment. It's what you are really running when using the AD Installation Wizard in Server Manager.


    Ned Pyle [MSFT] Enterprise Platforms Support - DS
    Sunday, September 18, 2011 2:26 AM
  • On Sun, 18 Sep 2011 02:26:25 +0000, NedPyle [MSFT] [MSFT] wrote:

    The inability to raise the DFL and FFL to Windows 8 is a known issue. It's not important though, as the higher functional levels do nothing except prevent you from adding downlevel OS domain controllers. There are no special features unlocked by the Win8 DFL/FFL modes.

    Thanks for the feedback on the dificulty in finding then seeing the AD installation wizard, I agree that it's not easy.

    Thanks Ned, great to "see" you here!


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    If a program is useful, it must be changed.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 6:54 AM
  • Thanks Paul greate description.


    Martin Skorvald
    Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:40 PM