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(2007-03-18) Windows Server Longhorn – Installing, Removing And Upgrading To AD

Posted by Jorge on 2007-03-18

Installing AD

Windows Server Longhorn will come with two installation options for each edition, being "Full Server" and "Server Core". On "Full Server" AD can be installed either using the Server Manager or the "old" ‘DCPROMO’ command. Using the ‘DCPROMO’ AD can be installed unattended on "Full Server" when needed. However, on "Server Core" AD must be installed using the unattended method as it only provides a command line.

Manual AD install

When running the "Active Directory Domain Services" (ADDS) wizard additional options are provided. These options of course may depend on the deployment configuration chosen at the beginning. New options within the ADDS wizard are:

  • Configuring the Forest Functional Level and the Domain Functional Level
  • Configuring the AD site for the new DC. When AD sites and subnets are configured accordingly it will choose and make a suggestion for an AD site for the new DC
  • Whether or not DNS server role should be installed
    • Forwarding will be configured automatically
    • DNS delegation will also be configured automatically when installing an AD child domain
  • Whether or not the GC role should be assigned
  • Whether or not it should install a writable DC (RWDC) or a read-only DC (RODC)
  • Exporting all choices made to an answer file to be used for an unattended AD install

Unattended AD install

In previous OS-es it was possible to install AD unattended using an answer file. Well, that has not changed. New in Windows Server Longhorn is the ability to install AD unattended using the same options as arguments to ‘DCPROMO’. The arguments are specified like: ‘DCPROMO /unattend /option1:"value1" /option2:"value2" /option3:"value3" /optionN:"valueN"’.

In addition to that the list of options available to use has increased. The options available are the same when using an answer file or arguments. All options with explanations can be retrieved using ‘DCPROMO /?:unattend’

When using arguments it is possible to leave out the option ‘/unattend’ while still specifying other arguments. Doing that will still start the ADDS wizard in a semi-interactive way which simply means that all values specified in arguments will be populated within the ADDS wizard automatically. It is even possible use ‘DCPROMO’ using an answer file and arguments. That way you can specify for example passwords on the command line instead on an answer file.

Removing AD from a DC

There is nothing special about removing AD from a DC. However, in previous OS-es it was not possible to remove AD when booted in DSRM. Because of that it was either needed to re-install the DC or use an unsupported method as mentioned here. In Windows Server Longhorn it is not needed to use this unsupported method as in DSRM it will possible to execute ‘DCPROMO /FORCEREMOVAL’. Like in previous OS-es, it was needed to cleanup the AD metadata afterwards. This has not changed. The procedure for that can be found here.

Upgrading to AD

The lowest Domain Functional Level that is supported by Windows Server Longhorn is "Windows 2000 Native". That means that Windows Server Longhorn DCs cannot co-exist with WNT4 DCs. That also means it will not be possible to perform a direct domain upgrade from WNT4 to Windows Server Longhorn. The only way is either migrate to a new Windows Server Longhorn AD or first upgrade to either W2K or W2K3 with a second upgrade to Windows Server Longhorn.

When upgrading the AD to Windows Server Longhorn, ‘ADPREP’ must be executed like in previous OS-es. For ‘ADPREP’ the following options exist:

    • Executed on the Schema Master FSMO
    • Updates the AD forest
    • Does NOT change the "Partial Attribute Set"
    • Executed on the Infrastructure Master FSMO
    • Updates the AD domain
    • Executed on the Infrastructure Master FSMO
    • Updates the AD domain and the SYSVOL
    • Executed on the Domain Naming Master FSMO (not mandatory, but preferred as it contacts this FSMO role)
    • Updates the permissions on application partitions for an RODC to be able to participate in replicating those (contacts an application partition replica)
    • Only needed when upgrading from W2K3 AD, not W2K AD.

NOTE: this information is based upon a beta release of Windows Server Longhorn and thus subject to change in the final RTM release. Do not use Windows Server Longhorn in a production environment without the explicit commitment from Microsoft for help and support.

* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
* Always evaluate/test yourself before using/implementing this!
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One Response to “(2007-03-18) Windows Server Longhorn – Installing, Removing And Upgrading To AD”

  1. […] Installing And Uninstalling AD On Windows Server 8 As An RWDC And As An RODC – Part 5 2011-11-04 Jorge Leave a comment Go to comments In the previous posts I have shown how to install AD. Now it is time to show how to uninstall AD from a DC. In this case I’m going to do everything with Powershell as that’s the new stuff in Windows Server 8. For previous versions of Windows you can read in the following blog post how to (un)install AD: “(2007-03-18) Windows Server Longhorn – Installing, Removing And Upgrading To AD” […]

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