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How To Promote Windows Server 2008 To Domain Controller

When a windows server family is freshly installed on a computer it first work as a client computer or a standalone server. When you have a standalone server you can promote it as a domain controller by installing Active Directory Services (ADS) or Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) on a windows server 2003/2008 operating system respectively. By promoting a standalone server to a domain controller it then allows administrator to manage the entire network such as adding user accounts and client computers from a central location such as the windows server terminal.

If you work as a system administrator or a network administrator promoting a windows server machine is a common task.

Before Promoting Your Windows Server 2008

The server the administrator plan to promote must have a static IP address assigned to its Network Interface Card.

To begin promoting a computer with windows server 2008 installed to a domain controller.

Log in to Windows server 2008 with administrator account

Click on the Start Menu and type dcpromo on the Search box and press the enter key.

Wait for the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard to load.

On the Operating System Compatibility window click on the next button.

Select Create a new domain in a new forest radio button if the computer your installing the Active Directory Domain Services is the only domain controller in the network or select Existing forest radio button if there are other domain controller in the network.

On the “Name the Forest Root Domain” type the name of the new domain in the text box and click on the next button.

On the “Set Forest Functional Level” leave the default value as is, click on the next button to continue.

On the “Set Domain Functional Level” leave the default value as is and click on the next button to continue.

On the “Additional Domain Controller Options” make sure that DNS server checkbox is checked, click on the next button continue.

If for instance you have not assigned a static IP address on your Network Interface Card you’ll be prompted with the Static IP Assignment message box. Click on “No, I will assign static IP addresses to all physical network adapter” to manually assign static IP address to all network card but you have to restart Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard again. If you have already assigned static IP to all the network interface card you will not be prompted with this message.

Click Yes button to continue when the DNS warning box appear.

Select Database location, log file, and SYSVOL folder location in the field or leave the default as is, I recommend leaving the default value as is.

On the “Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator Password” type in your desired password on the Password and Confirm password box and click on the Next button to continue. This password will be used for restoring the Active Directory from backup in case of disaster

On the Summary windows review your current settings, when you click the Next button these settings will be applied to the Domain Controller. Click on the Next button to start the Active Directory Domain Controller Services installation process.

On the installation progress box check on the Reboot on Completion check box to automatically reboot Windows server 2008 machine when installation is completed successfully.

Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard in progress

Installation of Active Directory Domain Services is complete after Windows server 2008 restart


How to Set Up DHCP in Windows Server 2008

Configuring a DHCP server on your Windows 2008 server will allow you to configure client computer network setting at the DHCP server provided that the client computer is set to obtain an IP address automatically.

Before beginning to configure your DHCP server verify that:

The computer you want to configure DHCP has a static IP address assigned to it.

All existing disk volume on your server uses NTFS file system, NTFS file system are more secure than FAT32 file system since FAT32 don’t support file and folder compression, disk quotas, and file encryption.

Updated Windows Server 2008.

To begin configuring your Windows 2008 DHCP server

Click on Start then click on Administrative Tools and finally click on Server Manager.

Windows Server 2008 Administrative Tools

On the Server Manager Window right click on Role and then select Add Roles

Server Manager

On the Before You Begin Window click on Next button to continue

On the Add Roles Wizard Window check DHCP Server checkbox and click on the Next button to continue

On the Select Network Connection Bindings Window check the network connection to bind by clicking on the checkbox beside the network IP address then click on the Next button to continue

On the Specify IPv4 DNS Server Settings Window specify your DNS server, which is in this case is the same machine.


On the Specify IPv4 WINS Server Settings Window leave the default value as is just click on the Next button to continue

Specify IPv4 WINS Server Settings – Configuring DHCP

On the Add or Edit DHCP Scopes Window click on the Add button to add a DHCP scope

Add or Edit DHCP scopes – Configuring DHCP


After clicking on the Add button you now have to give values for the:

Scope Name: Give your scope a name

Starting IP Address: Enter the Start address or the beginning IP address you want client computer to use
Ending IP Address: Enter the End address or the last IP address you want client computer to use
Subnet Mask: Enter the network subnet mask, usualy with 254 usable IPs is enough, but if you have a larger network infrastructure with more than 254 client computers you can use other value such as to have a 510 usable IPs or to have 65,534 usable IPs.
Default Gateway (optional): Enter your network gateway, usually your router IP address or your internet router

Click on OK when your done, the preceeding screen just requires you to click on the next button and accept the default value

  1. Confirm your installation selection and click on the Install button
  2. After clicking the install button DHCP server will be installed on the machine, wait till the process is complete
  3. After the installation process is complete you can now start managing your DHCP server



How to Setup A Home Wireless Network

Using a wireless network in your home or office is more convenient than using a lan cable connected to a router or a switches. You can do all what a wired network can do such as sharing internet access, files sharing, printer sharing, online games, browse computers connected to your network and some other stuff what a wired network can do. A wired network cable can run up to hundred meters before signal is lost and requires a repeater while a wireless network will depend on the technology the router is using such as Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output or “MIMO” and Wireless-A / B/ G and N technology.

MIMO is a WIFI technology that uses multiple transmitter and reciever to create a robust signal that travels farther, MIMO uses multipath where signals bounces off walls and ceiling so it reduces dead spots on your home network, so with this technology on your router you’ll always have a good signal within your home network, so check the router you’ll be buying to have this technology.

After you have setup your wireless network you can now sit anywhere in your home using your wireless capable device such as your laptop browsing the internet or accessing your files on the other computer within your network, it is much convenient than a cable plugged into your laptop.

What you need to setup your home wireless network.


Wireless Router: Your wireless router will be responsible for transmitting the signal coming from your internet connection or whatever you’re accessing from other computer and broadcast it over the air, it’s also within the router where you will setup your internet connection, DHCP connection for automatic IP configuration on client computers, set your WIFI access key or “Passphrase” and other configuration required to have a WIFI connection. Some popular wireless router brands are Linksys, D-link, TP-Link, Netgear.

There are four different wireless networking technologies: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n while wireless G (802.11g) and Wireless N (802.11n) are the most common router technology, they offer excellent performance and are backward compatible with older WIFI devices.

Note: Some wireless router this days don’t show their wireless antenna because they use internal antenna.

2. Your operating System that Support Wireless networking.

Windows operating Systems such as Windows xp, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 fully support wireless networking. It is always recommended to update your windows operating system to the latest Windows update for security reasons although you still can setup your wireless connection even you don’t update your windows. Updating windows will secure you from hackers and viruses since you will be exposing your computer to the network or to the World Wide Web, also always update your antivirus definition and be sure to activate your windows firewall for maximum security. Remember that when you connect to the network or to the internet you will be exposing your computer to the people within your network or to the world wide web.

3.A broadband or DSL modem: Usually this is not required if you plan for a home network only and don’t want to be connected to the internet, but if you require an internet connection then a modem is required. Broadband or DSL modem are usually supplied by the Internet Service Provider and are not readily available to purchase in a typical computer shop. Many internet service providers this days offer wireless router/modem this means that a router and a modem in one device, in this case you don’t need to buy a separate wireless router.

4.Your Desktop computer with Wireless adapter and or Laptop computer.

Newer desktop computers specially branded ones are usually equipped with wireless adapter card and they are wireless ready PC’s, if your desktop computer is not equipped with wireless card then you have to buy a wireless adapter card in the form of PCI card or a USB, I suggest buying a USB wireless network adapter since you don’t have to open your computer to install the device, all you have to do is plug-in the USB to a USB port and you’re done.

It is easy to distinguish a PC with wireless card by just looking at the back of your computer if you see an antenna just like the antenna of a wireless router then it has a wireless adapter card. A laptop computer is usually equipped with a wireless adapter card and all you have to do is switch on the wireless adapter card on your laptop.

5. Router Wireless User Manual.
Familiarize your router by reading your router user manual.

Getting Ready
If all of the required to build a Home Wireless Network are available, then you can now continue in setting up your wireless network, follow the steps below in configuring your wireless network.

1. If you are connected to the internet disconnect your modem so that you are able to use the LAN port on your computer, skip this step if you don’t have internet connection.

2. Connect to your router by connecting the RJ45 connector of your LAN cable to the LAN port on your router and the other end to the LAN port on your desktop computer you should see the LED light up at the front panel of your router corresponding to the port number where you plug in the cable.

3. Connect your modem cable to the WAN or Internet port of your router and wait for a while, when your router is connected to the internet the WAN or the Internet LED at the front panel of your router should light up.

4.Connect to your router setting by opening your favorite internet browser and typing http:// and the ip address of the router at the address bar and typing the username and password. See list below for default username and password for different router brand name.

Router Brand Address Username password
TP-Link admin admin
D-Link admin admin
Linksys admin admin
3Com admin admin
Netgear admin Password

5. I will be using Linksys router as a guide, what you see on your router could be similar with mine, almost all router have almost the same setup.

Click on the Basic Setup under the Setup Tab, refer to your router user manual if you have different router , in this tab you can setup your internet connection, if you use DSL to connect to the internet then select PPPOE or ask your Internet Service Provider what credential you should put in the box.

Router Basic Setup

The IP address and Subnet Mask will be for the router IP address, if you want to change the default IP address then you can change it here.

DHCP Server : Set this to Enable to set the router as DHCP server it will be the router which give an IP address, subnet mask and Gateway to the Client PC connected to the router. Setting this to enable will spare you the hassle of setting each individual client pc I.P address.

Save your settings when your done

6. After setting the Basic Setup you now have to setup the wireless setting of your router, look for Wireless Tab on the router and select basic wireless settings.

Router Wireless setting

Network Mode : Select the wireless standard  to use for your network on the dropdown box such as Wireless-A / B /G or N. Select Wireless N or the default setting on your router.

Network Name (SSID) : The SSID is the network name shared among all points in a wireless network. The SSID must be identical for all devices in the wireless network. It is case-sensitive and must not exceed 32 characters you can use any of the characters on the keyboard. The SSID name is what you see when you scan for available wireless network.

SSID Broadcast : When scanning for available wireless network you’ll see the SSID of your network if the SSID broadcast is enable else set to disable if you don’t want to broadcast your router SSID.

Save your settings when your done

7. After you have setup the basic wireless settings, click the wireless security tab, in here you will be able to setup wireless security mode and passphrase.

Router security setting

Security Mode : Select the type of security for your Wifi such as WEP, WPA-Personal, WPA Enterprise, WPA2 Personal or WPA2 Enterprise. Select WPA2 personal for your wifi since WPA2 have the strongest encryption method.

Encryption : Select the wifi encryption type default encryption will do the job. The value for this could be TKIP or AES.

Passphrase: When someone detect your wifi and wanted to connect to your wireless LAN, they have to know the passphrase of your wifi in other word this will serve as the password for your network so that no unauthorized user will be able to join your network.

When you have finished setting up your router save your setting and restart your router. Disconnect the LAN cable to your desktop or laptop same with the router , on your Wireless enable devices such as your laptop or desktop try to scan your network by clicking wireless icon on the taskbar

In Windows 7 or whatever operating system you’re using, scan for wireless network, all available wireless network will be shown including those wireless network that don’t broadcast there SSID. Other network are those wireless network that don’t broadcast there SSID while those wireless network that broadcast there SSID are shown with the SSID name such as PHA-NET as shown in the Image.

Click on the wireless network that you want to connect to, click on connect and type the passphrase same as what you have type in the passphrase box in the security tab on your router, remember that it is case sensitive.

When you have successfully connected to your wireless router you will then be able to browse your network and browse the internet if you have connected a modem on your router and set the settings properly.

When you are unable to browse a particular network pc but you can see the name of the PC in your network neigborhood then the cause could be that the firewall on that pc is enabled or an antivirus software is preventing you from accessing this pc. This is for security reason but if you really need to access such pc you can disable the firewall or add your IP address on the security rules for allowed inbound and ourbound connection.