We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now

x

Server 2003 on a desktop motherboard.  Can it be a domain controller?

jctcom
jctcom asked
on
Medium Priority
210 Views
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
This might be a silly question.  I would like to play around with Windows Server 2003 to learn more about domain controllers and exchange server etc.  Is it possible to enable a Desktop computer with a Desktop motherboard as a domain controller?

I have tried to install it and during the network configuration it only offers me the option to join a workgroup or to "Join" a Domain.  but not to become a domain controller?

Thanks all.
Comment
Watch Question

IT Project Leader
Commented:
You should be fine.  I have run most of my servers and DCs on desktop hardware as I am cheap.  The option to install active directory and make a server a domain controller is not part of normal Windows Server 2003 setup.  Small Business Server 2000/2003 install Active Directory as part of the operating system install procedure.  

To install Active Directory after WS2003 installation:

Configure the server with a static IP address
Open start->run-> type "dcpromo", follow the on-screen prompts.

I recommend doing this on an isolated network segment and reading about AD installs before doing so.

/F

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts

Author

Commented:
Hi by "Isolated Network" do you mean a network that does not already have a DC on it?  Is it ok to run the DCPromo if it is on a network behind a router (This would be the installed configuration when it is finished.)  Also Maybe this is a separate question but do you know what ports need to be redirected on the router for successful remote desktop connections etc??

Thank you.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
It should be a separate question, but the ports for Remote Desktop are just TCP 3389.

DCPROMO just walks you through the process of turning a machine into a domain controller.  There's no issues with doing this on a desktop, laptop, or a computer mobile tied together with fishing wire, if you can get it running.

Likewise, there is no issue with setting up a domain controller behind a firewall or router, or anywhere else.  The only issue I can think of you needing to worry about is the DNS domain name - when you are asked for it, I recommend using .lcl (many people will recommend .local - which is fine too, but Macintosh OS X 10.2 and earlier have problems with .local domains).  Other than that, you can do it however you like.  The only other thing you want to do is use a different name - but this applies for any computer, not just a DC - on a Windows network, no two machines should use the same computer name - that can create problems.

Also, with Active Directory domains, DNS is VERY important to a properly functioning domain.

I would suggest you read this:
http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_install_active_directory_on_windows_2003.htm

My informational links on DNS:
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/dns.asp
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

OR

Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.