Setting Up A Windows .NET Domain Controller

Like the Windows 2000 Server line, the Windows .NET family of servers is designed to work with the Active Directory. However, the way that Windows .NET works with Active Directory is a little bit different than the way that Windows 2000 does.

If you bring a Windows .NET server online as a member server in a Windows 2000 domain, then the Active Directory will continue to function in the same way that it always has. However, if you decide to bring a Windows .NET Server online as a domain controller, you must first update the Active Directory schema to make it compatible with Windows .NET. Only after doing so can you setup your first Windows .NET domain controller and begin to experience the benefits of the new Active Directory.

Assuming that youre trying to place a Windows .NET domain controller into an existing forest, the first thing that you must do is to bring the server online as a Windows 2000 Server thats running Service Pack 2 and acting as a domain controller. Youll later upgrade this server to Windows .NET. Before doing so however, you must install the Active Directory Schema snap in by using the Change or Remove Windows Programs section of the Control Panels Add / Remove Programs applet. The Active Directory Schema Snap in is part of the Administrative Tools collection.

Once youve installed the Active Directory Schema snap in, open a MMC session by entering the MMC command at the Run prompt, and load the schema snap in into the empty console. Now, right click on the Active Directory Users and Computers container within the console, and select the Connect To Domain command from the resulting menu. Enter the domain that youre trying to bring the Windows .NET server into and click OK. Next, right click on the Active Directory Users and Computers container again and select the Operations Master command from the resulting menu. Doing so will reveal the Operations Master properties sheet. Look at the Infrastructure tab to see which domain controller is acting as the Infrastructure Master for the domain.

Now, close the Operations Master properties sheet and right click on the Active Directory Schema container. Select the Operations Master command from the resulting menu, and youll see a dialog box displaying which server is acting as the schema master for the forest.

Now, insert your Windows .NET installation CD into the Schema Master and open a Command Prompt window. Navigate to the CDs I386 directory and enter the following command: WIN32.EXE /CHECKUPGRADEONLY

This command will start a Windows .NET installation, but will terminate the installation process and generate a summary screen. Whats on the screen isnt important. What is important is that the process copies several necessary files to the Schema Master.

At this point, you must verify that every domain controller in the entire forest is running Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 or higher. This step is critical, as the Active Directory will become corrupted if you continue without verifying the service pack level. Now, from within a Command Prompt window on the Schema Master, enter the following command: ADPREP /FORESTPREP.

Youll now see the service pack level warning message. Clear the message and allow the command to continue. You must now wait for the next replication cycle to complete before continuing.

The next step is to place the Windows .NET CD into the domains Infrastructure Master. After doing so, run the WIN32.EXE /CHECKUPGRADEONLY command from the CDs I386 directory, just like you did earlier. Again, ignore the summary screen when the process completes. Now, enter the ADPREP /DOMAINPREP command from the CDs I386 directory. Doing so will prepare the domain for the addition of a Windows .NET domain controller.

The final thing that you must do before installing a Windows .NET domain controller is to remove the Administrative Tools from the Windows 2000 Server that youre about to upgrade to Windows .NET. The upgrade process will fail unless you remove these tools.

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