Practice Domain (setup)

 I'm tinkering with 2003 Server and want to practice with AD, client logons, etc.  I promoted the Server to a DC with a dummy domain name.  Problem now is that I can't have clients join the domain because the domain name is not registered.  I'm thinking that there are some settings in DNS that would allow me to not use internet resources and just work only within my practice bubble.

What I would like to have: A non-registered domain name that does not need internet activity so I can practice with 2003 Server.  The DC with DNS should resolve only for the dummy domain and not forward any requests to my isp's DNS servers.  The ability for clients (XP) to join the domain for practice.

Thanks Much
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WeHeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
the ms recommended domain name is yourdomainname.local.
does your dns server have a root zone? its the "." zone in your dns zones.
if its not there:
Create a "." Forward Lookup Zone on the DNS server that you want to be a root server in the DNS Management Console.
Restart the Microsoft DNS Service on the appropriate computer.
Reload the data files, and then quit and restart your Managment Console.
but a detailed error message would help.
maybe it's a missing "dynamic updates allowed" in the dns configuration.
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
The name doesn't have to be registered on the internet.  BUT, you must have a DNS server running on the DC and managing that domain.  DNS is KEY!

What (if any) error messages are you getting when you try to have the clients join the domain?
Casca1Connect With a Mentor Commented:
What messages are displayed in the event logs?
AD requires DNS. I would recommend setting the server DNS addie to itself, no secondary (unless you have two DC's), and hand out client IPs via DHCP, and set the scope options for the clients. DHCP is not required, but makes life simpler.
Good Luck!
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AJPhelpsAuthor Commented:
 The order of events went:
-Had 2003 Server Standard loaded (basically fresh install except for a few shared folders created.
-Promoted the server to a DC with the "typical configuration setting"
-Called the domain "" ***Upon reading the comments, it looks like this is where I went wrong.  Strangely, when I restarted and repromoted, it specifically stated to put ".local" to keep it seperate from the internet (something I don't recall seeing the first time).  I now put in mydomain.local
-Prior to trying again, it never installed DHCP on its own as part of the promotion.  It appears to be doing it on this try.  While I don't require it, I guess it wouldn't hurt to tinker with this part as well.
-Finished promoting and things seem to be going well....fingers crossed.

Just as a last note, What exactly should the TCP/IP settings be for the server assuming it is connected to my local LAN that has a Linksys router performing DHCP and routing duties? I have set the servers IP address static on the same private subnet as the router and the other computers in the LAN (192.168...) and all computers that will join the domain will have static ip's as well.

DNS servers = currently set to point to itself, and pointed forwarding to my isp.  radio button selected for "Append primary and connection specific DNS suffixes"  as well as the checkbox "append parent suffixes of the primary DNS suffix"  And "register this connection's addres in DNS" is also selected.
Gateway = currently pointed to the Linksys router.

Thanks for the insight...points awarded in a little lopsided way. A few for the ones who answered and the lion's share to the answer that pointed me in the right direction.
the ip settings look ok.
allways use static ips for servers and you feel free to use dhcp for your clients.
but u have to deinstall the windows dhcp.
if you configure it, it will prevent your clients to get addresses from the dhcp on the router.
a dc should allways point to itself for dns server lookups!
gateway is ok too.
Personally, I would recommend turning off the DHCP on the router. No sense giving out information. Yes, it is a little difficult to get, but it is possible. Turning it off ensures the router can only tell about the IP address' it has. Paraniod, I know, but I run that configuration and remain reasonably secure.
Additionally, you can set far more features for your clients from the Win server.
However, you only want one server handing out address, so one of needs to go. 8-)
Good Luck!
Oh, and thanks for the score and grade! 8-)
And, as a side note, that isn't the ONLY thing I use to secure my network, but then again, a multi-teired approch starts somewhere. ;-)
AJPhelpsAuthor Commented:
Thanks all.  All is working well.  2nd DHCP has been removed and there are no problems/errors.


there is the Typical setup for a first server wizard that is referenced by Microsoft;

if i like to setup my domain using that wizard and due to some reason i uninstall ADS and then i like to recall that wizard again then it not run or open.

any body know what the problem is there is something is missing.
Try posting a completely seperate question. This may seem related, but it's better to create your own question.
Thanks for sug. Mr casca1 but i m new in EE world. i do't have any idea how start new thread can u tell me the whole process step by step how to i put my Q in sep. form

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