SBS 2008 and 2011 Simple Setup to Join Clients to Domain

Published on
10,218 Points
1 Endorsement
Last Modified:
This is a little timesaver I have been using for setting up Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) in the simplest possible way. It may not be appropriate for every customer. However, when you get a situation where the person who owns the server is implementing their first domain ever, this may decrease the learning curve and make the process less painful for all concerned.

The assumption is you are putting the server in an environment with a bunch of client computers and they are all using the router for DHCP. Please note well that this setup does not follow SBS "best practices"; therefore, is frowned upon by the SBS experts as not an optimal setup. Further, this type of configuration has evolved because of the often limited knowledge of first-time server purchasers. The alternative is to use the Server for DHCP services. However, this article is intended as a bare-bones setup for persons with absolutely no knowledge of computers and limited administrative abilities wanting to avoid a more complex configuration.

With that said, the type of support I do entails working with such individuals. Therefore, I find this straight-forward way to set the environment the most simple to implement over a telephone conversation. Built on the concept of DHCP residing on router, this solution has these advantages:

The advantages:

Minimizes the Time spent server side
Allow the preexisting DHCP to be used
Keeps the environment familiar to the customer
Eliminates down time where phone support/internet could cut off from the server.
Allows the “new admin” to spend most of his/her time on the client side where they are most likely more comfortable

When you open the box and plug the server in you may:

1.      Go to server manager-> Click on the very top item on the left pane “Server Manager yourdomainname”
a.      Over on the right there are several links. Click on “configure IE ESC” turn both radio buttons to “off”.

2.      Go to Start-> ncpa.cpl and open the network   adapter properties. Put your IP address, subnet and gateway in so you will have internet initially.

3.      Go to the Small business server console and go to the network settings-> connectivity http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/10/do-i-absolutely-have-to-run-dhcp-on-sbs.html
a.      Turn DHCP on (only in the advanced console and nowhere else). Now turn off DHCP using only the advanced SBS console
b.      Now go to start-> run ->services.msc and disable DHCP service
c.      Now run your connect to the internet and internet address wizards.

4.      Once this is done, you can now use these special steps to set the clients to join the domain very easily.
a.      Go into the SBS console and enter the users (users-> users and groups) you want to use for your new domain
b.      At the time you enter the user, add an associated computer as well.

5.      Run the Connect to internet and internet address wizards in getting started tasks in the home page of the SBS console in start->administrative tools.

6.      Now on each client (one at a time) you will go-start-run->ncpa.cpl and then double click the network adapter settings.
a.      Double click TCP/IP version 4 and hit the advanced button.
b.      You will see 4 tabs- click DNS.
c.      These settings are temporary and used only until the domain conversion is done.

i.      Make sure the DNS server IP (The SBS IP address) is in the “DNS server addresses in order of use”
ii.      Select the “append these DNS suffixes (in order) and add the local domain.local name and make sure the “register this connections addresses DNS” is checked
iii.      See below Screenshot
d.      No further action should be necessary on the server to add all the client machines to the domain.


7.      Now you simply open the browser and make sure the pop up blocker is off, and you have added http://connect to trusted sites.

8.      Re-open the browser and type http://connect.

9.      You may now go through the wizard (on the client side) and configure the user to join the domain. Here is an article on the particulars
a.      http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/smallbusinessserver/thread/b8632157-38cc-4607-83ec-d5975963ff0c/

10.      This is very straight forward. The only gotcha is when it asks for credentials, it may be asking for the DOMAIN credentials to authenticate the action of joining the domain.
a.      When the client has joined the domain and you have had them login, you may now go back to step 5C and change the setting in DNS to “append primary and connection specific DNS suffixes. You can remove the .local address now as well

11.      Perform step 6 through 10 on all client computers and you will have completed the Basic Setup of SBS 2008 and 2011~!

I hope you found this useful.

Ask questions about what you read
If you have a question about something within an article, you can receive help directly from the article author. Experts Exchange article authors are available to answer questions and further the discussion.
Get 7 days free