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Server 2000 Setup

OK. I have 3 computers. 1 w/Win 2000 Server, and 2 w/WinXP Pro.
I own a domain name: www.mydomainname.com
I have a router and broadband.
I have windows exchange 2K
(BTW: all of this is legal... :-))

I am trying to set up my Win2K server to work as a domain controller so I can use MS Exchange as my mail server, and use it to control my other home computers. I have been trying for 4 days now to figure out how to configure WinServer correctly.

Under the "setup your server" menu/"choose your server" if I choose "This is the only server in my network" I get an error that it isnt. I am assuming this is because my router acts as a DHCP server.
So I choose one or more servers already exists...then I set up active directory. I enter a domain name sub to my internet domain such as "server.mydomainname.com" and then set up DNS accordingly with the same domain name.

I pointed my forward lookup records for DNS to my static IP on my server and assigned a secondary pointing to the DNS server from my ISP. Then rebooted. It takes at least 10-15 minutes to get to the login screen. Once logged on as the admin, I can't get my other computers to join the domain. I get an error that says "The error was: "DNS name does not exist."
(error code 0x0000232B RCODE_NAME_ERROR)"

Since I am trying to learn all of this on the fly, I am starting to beat my head up against the wall. I am still having fun, but I am getting a little discouraged because it seemd like it should work based on all of the MS Knowedge Base articles I have read.

Is it because I am going through a router...should I get rid of the router? Would I then need a second NIC in my server and a normal network hub? Would I then need to worry about pourchasing ISA server since I wont have a hardware firewall anymore? Is any of this even possible? Any help, referances, ideas would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you in advance.
1 Solution

Here is what I would recommend :  You are right, this should work but  ...

So, is AD currently installed on your Windows 2000 server?  If so, is the domain  www.mydomainname.com?
    If it is, I would suggest removing AD by running dcpromo, answering the questions, remove AD and yes, this is the last server in the domain
    Reinstall AD by running dcpromo, new DC in new domain in new forest and select a name like "mydomainname.local" for the domain name.

Your Windows XP systems will install to this domain.  I assume that the netwrok is running on a private net which is natted out to the public internet by your router.

In this setup, DHCP and DNS will be on your W2K server and will hand out private net IPs for your XP systems, you will have an excluded range that accounts for the router, the W2K box and other stuff that you manually assigns IPs to.

Setup the DNS server to forward unknown requests to the ISP's DNS server and configure the DHCP scope's DNS options to hand out the W2K IP address as the DNS server for the XP ssytems.

I know this is poorly written, haphazardly presented, but you are on the right path.  Hust do not use www.mydomainname.com as the domain name for the W2K server.

You can keep your router in this scheme and do not need ISA.

You should not be recieving the : "This is the only server in my network"  error.

If this is the only server in your network, and the first time that active directory is installed.

I suggest starting again, a clean installation of 2k server. Give it a staic ip, Then run the dcpromo, choose a new server, for a new domain, in a new forest. Follow the steps and it will also run DNS setup.

If you are hosting your own internet domain name, then i believe you need to make sure that the ISP's DNS servers are aware that it can be found at your static IP. There are also other complications and security measures to be considered when using your registered name, as your local LANs name

To keep things simple, why not just set up your internal domain as: -  yourdomain.local

NickJPhillipsAuthor Commented:
First things first.... I tried all of that and my computer wont get past the Preparing Network Connections page...it took 15+ minutes to get past it. SO...I just finished re-installing a fresh Server 2K install. NOW... when I set up my server NIC to a static IP address, does anyone want to venture where I should point the gateway and DNS to? I would GUESS...the gateway would have to be the router, and the preferred DNS would be the static server IP, and the alternate DNS would be the router IP? Or should I leave the preferred DNS to the router IP for now? Maybe once I get past these settings I wont have a hard time "Preparring Network Connections"...any ideas?
You should be recieving the : "This is the only server in my network"  error.  The reason for this is that currently the network you have is a peer-to-peer, and in such a network all computers are viewed as a server and therefore when you're trying to install your AD it thinks that you have multipe servers, as far as the rest of your problems, well I'm doing the same thing as you on a slightly bigger mixed network, and as soon as I figure it out, I'll let you know.

amiurchaudry's comment is for the most part accurate as well.
I think the problem is your trying to operate way above your level, if you don't know how to statically assign a gateway you probally shouldn't be building such a complex network.  There are many many books and checklist out there for this exact situation to learn from scratch which, is what you are doing.  Here are the main steps you need to do.

1. Setup your router: Go into the web based administration and setup your network manually.  I will give you the entries since you probally are guessing.  For your public side you need to figure that out.  For the network side set your gateway to your subnet to .  Turn DHCP off and unpn... all other factory settings should be a ok for now.

2.Load your server:  Reload the OS from start cause there has been so many problems. You TCP/IP settings can be this IP Sub gateway DNS sec (you wanna have it look at itself first).  Next load AD your FQDN should look something like this server.network.mydomainname.com or something so it doesn't mess with the web page's domain name or IP.  Its going to produce an error when it tries to update the DNS so let it install a server on the machine.
    Than load DHCP server the settings for the DHCP server should be gateway the DNS should be than  You could type in your ISP's DNS but the router will just forward the traffic.  Right click on the DHCP server using its management console, authorize it and restart it.
3. Load your XP:  Restart the computers. If the DHCP registers aok ( u can check by running ipconfig) you should have internet access.  Right click on My Computer and change your domain to network.yourdomainname.com .  It should have no prob communicating.

That will get u up and running... google your questions using key words like microsoft exchange 2000 installation checklist... these provide step by step walk throughs.  P.S. Tell whoever gave you there MSDN subscription to give you manuals next time too.  

Last but not least... leave WINS alone... and ISA server needs a seperate machine to be secure... like your router an in and out w/out any network info on that machine... so NO isa is not practical.

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