How do I automatically upgrade a server to a domain controller during installation?
You can automatically run DCPROMO during an unattended installation. Enter
In my example, the DCInstall section and parameters are added directly to the
unattended answer file. The Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit details
the DCInstall sectionís parameters in the file Unattend.doc. Iíve listed the
main entries in the following table.
||The new password for the domain Administrator account
||Specifies whether the wizard should configure DNS
||Name of the child part of the domain
||Specifies whether the domain will join an existing forest
or create a new one
||Location for the Active Directory database
||Used when a new forest of domains is installed and no DNS
client is configured on the computer
||NetBIOS name for the domain
||Only valid when demoting an existing domain controller to
a member server
||Path for the Directory Service (DS) logs
||Name of the new tree or when a new forest is created
||Specifies the name of the parent domain
||Password for the username used to promote the server
||Specifies whether an automatic reboot should be performed
||Name of the domain to be replicated from
||Specifies whether a Windows NT 4.0 or 3.51 BDC being
upgraded should become a replica domain controller or be demoted to a
regular member server
||Specifies whether the machine is a new domain controller
in a new domain or a replica of an existing domain
||Name of the site (Default-First-Site by default)
||Path of SYSVOL
||Specifies whether entry is a new tree or child of existing
||Domain for the user being used in promotion
||Name of the user performing the upgrade
Because the DCPROMO process occurs after setup, the created answer file is
called $winnt$.inf and copies to the \system32 folder. The parameters are in
this file, so you need to add the following text to the GUIRunOnce section of
the unattended Setup answer file.
[GUIRunOnce] "DCpromo /answer:%systemroot%\system32\$winnt$.inf"
After the DCPROMO process completes, DCPROMO removes password information
from the $winnt$.inf file. To make this process easier because the RunOnce
command doesnít execute until someone logs on to the computer, you can add the
following text to the unattended answer file.
Autologon = yes ; automatically logs on the administrator account
AutoLogoncount = n ; number of times to perform auto-admin logon
Don't use items such as %systemroot% or %windir%, because the unattended
installation process doesnít understand them.
You can just create a DCInstall section directly in your unattend.txt file to
avoid having multiple unattended setup files. Enter text such as the following.
AdministratorPassword = cartman
CreateOrJoin = Create
DomainNetBiosName = savtech
NewDomainDNSName = savtech.com
RebootOnSuccess = Yes
ReplicaOrNewDomain = Domain
SiteName = "London"
TreeOrChild = Tree
My example script would create a new forest with the domain savtech.com at
the top and the new domain controller in the site London. The SYSVOL, logs, and
Active Directory (AD) files would be in the default locations. The new domain
Administrator account password would be cartman.
If you want to use DCPROMO outside an unattended installation, enter
dcpromo /answer:<DCInstall answer filename>
Youíll see a dialog box that says DCPROMO is running in unattended mode.
Then, the machine will reboot.
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