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Adding Domain Controllers in Remote Sites

Updated: June 8, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

You can create an additional domain controller in a domain by installing Active Directory on a server computer. When the additional domain controller is being placed in a remote site, you can install Active Directory on the server either before or after shipping it to the remote site, as follows:

  • Ship the computer as a workgroup computer, and install Active Directory in the remote site. Enable Remote Desktop on the computer before you ship it so that you can perform the installation remotely. In the remote site, you can either:

    • Install Active Directory from restored backup media that has been shipped to the site on removable media or that has been restored to a location on the server itself before shipping.

    • Install Active Directory over the network.

  • Install Active Directory on the server in a hub or staging site, and ship the installed domain controller to the remote site.

Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, and both methods require care to ensure the secure transfer of Active Directory data, whether it is installed or in the form of backup files that are stored on the server or on removable media.

For information about the advantages and disadvantages of shipping a server to a remote site before or after installing Active Directory, see Known Issues for Adding Domain Controllers in Remote Sites.

For information about how best to manage adding domain controllers to remote sites for the method you are using, see Best Practices for Adding Domain Controllers in Remote Sites.

By following the guidelines in this guide, you can decide the best method for your environment of adding domain controllers in remote sites. By following the instructions in this guide, you can safely and securely install domain controllers in remote sites, either locally or remotely.

The following tasks for adding domain controllers in remote sites are described in this objective:

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