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Bradley Schacht

Bradley is a consultant at Pragmatic Works in Jacksonville, FL. He was an author on the book SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence 24-Hour Trainer and tech edited the SQL 2011 Bible. His experience on the Microsoft BI platform includes DTS, SSIS, SSRS, SSAS and migrations and conversions. He has helped numerous companies in successfully developing and implementing new business intelligence solutions into their organizations. Bradley also participates as a speaker in community events like SQL Saturday, Code Camp, SQL Lunch and SQL Server User Groups. He is a contributor on sites such as BIDN.com and SQL Server Central as well as an active member of the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group (JSSUG).

Setting Up a Domain Controller with PowerShell

Quickly setting up a domain controller is a vital step in creating a good demo environment. This post will walk you through a quick and easy set of scripts to get started.

Step 1: Download and Install Windows Server 2012

If you don’t already have a blank image with Windows Server 2012 you can download the trial version directly from Microsoft here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx

The trial will allow you to try out all the features of Windows Server 2012 free for 180 days. At the time of writing there is an ISO as well as a virtual image available for download.

Step 2: Rename the Computer

The first step in the process of creating any demo environment is to give your computer a meaningful name. No one wants to type in WIN-PC586743BAS every time you want to visit a SharePoint site or access the database engine. For this task we will fire up PowerShell and get things rolling.

  1. Launch Windows PowerShell as Administrator
  2. At the prompt type rename-computer -NewName “SP2013″ -restart
    1. Feel free to replace SP2013 with a different computer name
    2. The computer must be restarted for the change to take affect, adding the -restart option will force the restart

DemoEnvironment_Part1_1

Note: This can also be done theough the GUI by accessing the Computer Settings > Select Change Settings in the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings section.

Step 3: Add Active Directory Features

Since we are going to use this same virtual machine for everything (DC, database, SharePoint, etc.) we need to setup a domain controller before going any further. This could be done through the GUI, but again, PowerShell provides the ability to add the features and configure the domain forest in just a couple of lines of code.

  1. Launch Windows PowerShell as Administrator
  2. At the prompt type install-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools
    1. This will add the required features to promote this computer to a domain controller
    2. Adding -IncludeManagementTools will provide a GUI to manage computers and users so you don’t have to use the command line to do everything

DemoEnvironment_Part1_3

Once the features have been added to the computer your screen should look like the following screenshot indicating a successful addition and no restart is required. You will also notice a note telling you that Windows Updates should be enabled if they aren’t already. I tend to ignore that suggestion on my demo environments partially because my demo computers usually don’t have internet access.

DemoEnvironment_Part1_4

Step 3: Configure the Domain Forest

Once the appropriate features have been added to your virtual machine it is time to set up the domain controller. Normally this would be done by running dcpromo.exe but as we have done thus far, I am going to turn to PowerShell. If you have ever performed these tasks using the GUI you will realize how much faster the PowerShell option is.

  1. Launch Windows PowerShell as Administrator
  2. At the prompt type install-ADDSForest -DomainName “demo.com”
    1. Feel free to replace demo.com with a different domain name of your choice
    2. As with all the PowerShell in this and future posts, there are other options that could be included. If your interested in what else these commands can do just hit up the world wide web for information from some people who are much better at PowerShell than I am.

DemoEnvironment_Part1_5

  1.  When prompted enter your password

DemoEnvironment_Part1_6

  1.  Confirm that the server should be promoted to a domain controller. It will also need to be restarted after this operation.

DemoEnvironment_Part1_7

  1. Upon completion the server should restart, if it doesn’t force a restart.
    1. A few messages will appear depending on your configuration, for instance, in my case I don’t have a static IP address on my network adapter and a warning is shown.
    2. Many of these warnings are seen when using the dcpromo.exe GUI and are acceptable in a single server environment such as this.

DemoEnvironment_Part1_8

Step 4: Log In With Domain Credentials

After the server reboots you will notice that the prompt is now asking you to log in with domain credentials. Log in and enjoy your new domain controller!

DemoEnvironment_Part1_9

Some other cleanup steps you may want to do which I perform on all my demo computers.

  1. Enable remote desktop access so you can use full screen mode
  2. Change the password for the administrator account to never expire
  3. Create other accounts if you would like

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