Adding a second domain controller for redundancy

Having two domain controllers can come in quite handy if either your server that active directory lives on fails or if you want to have a highly available network. Either way the second domain controller should live on sepperate hardware from the first one.
To configure a second domain controller you will need to have an existing domain and a server that is joined to the domain.


Make sure that the new server has a static IP set to it and that the DNS is set statically to the DNS that is on your domain. If this is not set you will more than likely run into trouble at some point.

Adding the Active Directory Roleserver manager

To add the active directory role open “Server Manager” then select “Add role and features” in the dashboard.
This will bring up the Add Roles and Features Wizard, skip past the “Before You Begin” page and select “Role-Based or feature-based installation” and click the next button.
roles and feature wizard select role based
Then select your server and click the next button again.
On the Server Roles page tick the “Active Directory Domain Services” box  select next, this will also prompt you to add some features, click the “Add Features” button on this window.
Then select Next all the way though to the last page, then tick the Restart the destination server automatically if requred” box and click the “Install” button.confirmation of active directory installation

Promoting the server to a Domain Controller

Once the role has finished installing you will get an exlaimation mark inside of the server manager. Click on this and there will be a notification there asking you to run the post deployment configuration.
Click the blue writing that says “Promote this server to domain controller”.
In the Deployment Configuration windows make sure that “Add a domain controller to an existing domain” is selected and that the domain is correct and that the user that is specified is a domain admin, then select next.add domain controller to an existing domain
On the Domain Controller Options page, you can select if you want the domain controller to be a DNS server as well or a global catalog server. Pick whichever is applicable to your needs.
On the “Additional Options” page you can specify which domain controller you want to replicate information from, just select the other DC server.
Next it will show you where the AD DS databases will live, I always leave these as default but you can specify custom ones if you want to.
The next page shows you all of the options you have selected. Reveiw these options and make sure they are correct, if they are then select next, if not then select previous and change the settings.
Next page will run a prerequisites check. Once that has finished select install.


Once the installation is finished you can reboot your server and it will now be a domain controller.
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