DCPromo Windows Server 2008 Server Core

I built a Windows Server 2008 Server Core DC last week. It’s an interesting exercise because you have to use an unattend.txt file. I found quite a few places online that listed RODC unattend.txt files, but not full read-write DC unattend.txt files. So, attached to this post you’ll find the unattend.txt I used, but also, of more interest, I’m attaching the full help file directly from the server, which I used to create the file.

FIrst, you have to install the server and set an IP address – my previous posts on IP changes on DCs all used netsh commands as well, so if you followed thouse, you should be somewhat prepared for Server Core. I already had a WIndows Server 2003 DC in the environment, so that will be my primary DNS server for the install, untill DCPromo edits the settings.
netsh interface ipv4 set address local static 10
netsh interface ipv4 set dns local static
netsh interface ipv4 set wins local static

Now networking is set up, we can rename the computer: netdom renamecomputer %computername% /NewName:dc02 and join the domain with etdom join dc02 /domain:foo.local /UserD:FOO\Administrator /reboot:5 /PasswordD:*. The “5″ after the reboot flag says to reboot 5 seconds after completion, and the “*” at the end says to prompt you for your password. I join the system to the domain manually first, because then I can WSUS patch it (if WSUS is in the network), or open up the firewall for any other patching software I have.

Once the server is back from reboot, activate, update the firewall to allow remote MMC connections (if you’re not doing that through GPO already), and install new roles.
slmgr.vbs -ato
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Administration" new enable=yes

The following roles are optional, depending on the service of the server. Mine has DNS and the File Server roles, but not DHCP. None of these are required to install AD Domain Services!
start /w ocsetup DNS-Server-Core-Role
start /w ocsetup DHCPServerCore
start /w ocsetup FRS-Infrastructure
start /w ocsetup DFSN-Server
start /w ocsetup DFSR-Infrastructure-ServerEdition

If this is the first Windows Server 2008 DC in your environment, you’ll need to take the Windows Server 2008 DVD to the DC with the Infrastructure Master role (required for /gpprep only) and run the following (E: assumed as DVD-ROM drive):
e:\sources\adprep\adprep.exe /forestprep
e:\sources\adprep\adprep.exe /domainprep
e:\sources\adprep\adprep.exe /domainprep /gpprep
(Also run adprep /rodcPrep if you plan on building RODCs.)

Now you’re ready to do the DCPromo itself. Create an unattend.txt file. To add a DC to an existing domain, you can use:

DCPromo will wipe out the passwords when it starts, or you can fill in “*” instead of the password, to be prompted. When it’s done, the server will reboot and be a new Global Catalog / DC in your domain. DCPromo will install neccessary binaries and configure the firewall for DC Services for you. It’s quite slick.

And as promised, here are the DCPromo Unattend Options for reference for creating your own unattend.txt.

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