Windows Server Basic Active Directory Setup (Core)


  • Spin up a windows server OS.
  • Install-WindowsFeature -Name AD-Domain-Services
  • Install-ADDSForest -DomainName “”
  • Pat yourself on the back.

System Setup:

Operating System:
Windows Server 2019



Windows Active Directory is almost synonymous with centralised user authentication. If you are considering a career in IT you need to have some basic understanding of what it does and how it works.

This guide will show you how to do a very quick and dirty install of Active Directory. This is designed to be used in a lab so I’m not going to go to great length customising every single option. If you are installing Active Directory in to your lab for some quick testing this is the guide for you! In the event you are installing Active Directory into a customer / your business its something that needs a lot of consideration and careful planning. In most cases once AD is configured for a business that is it, it very rarely gets re-deployed.

If you have stumbled across this guide because you have decided to deploy active directory for anything other than a lab please do use this to understand the overall process. however, before starting your deployment please make sure you look into all the different options available to you along with the pros and cons of each one. If you are not sure about the best decision for you either reach out to a consultant or use the wealth of forums available to you on the internet.

Getting down to business…

I have spun up a Windows Server 2019 Standard Addition on one of my ESXi servers. In the even you have never spun up a Windows Server OS before check out this guide. So we will log into the server using an administrator account and be confronted with our old friend Command Prompt, aka cmd.

We will then change it to PowerShell instead because the commands we need to use wont work in cmd.

Now we have given cmd a steroid injection we can start by installing Active Directory Domain Services windows feature.

Install-WindowsFeature -Name AD-Domain-Services

It will then progress through…

Followed by a confirmation everything went okay.

Now we have the service installed we can look to configure it.

Install-ADDSForest -DomainName “”

This will then ask us some questions.

It will then go and do the business…

You may get some warnings. Again, it is for a lab so I am not too worried.

You will then get a success message similar to the last command. Followed by a warning you are about to be rebooted. This happens quite quickly, hence no screen shot of the success command!

Your server will reboot and instead of logging in as the local administrator (that no longer exists) you will login as the domains administrator. This is evident by the “LAB1” in the login prompt that i have underlined in red below.

Congratulations, you now have a domain controller! You can go and break and rebuild may, may times.


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