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Create an Answer File for Unattended Domain Controller Installation

Updated: December 2, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

You can use this procedure to create a text file that you can use as the answer file for an unattended installation of an additional domain controller. Use the answer file to install Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) on either a full installation of Windows Server 2008 or a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008. The answer file contains sensitive information, and it should be kept in a secure location.

noteNote
The answer file that you use to install an additional domain controller in an existing domain must have the /ReplicaOrNewDomain and /ReplicaDomainDNSName parameters specified.

The answer file that you use to install a domain controller from media must have the /ReplicationSourcePath parameter specified.

Any account that has Read and Write privileges for the text editor application is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83477).

  1. Open Notepad or any text editor.

  2. On the first line, type [DCINSTALL], and then press ENTER.

  3. Create the following entries, one entry on each line. These options are the minimum options that are required for an additional domain controller installation with Domain Name System (DNS) and the global catalog installed and configured automatically.

    For a complete list of unattended installation options, including default values, allowed values, and descriptions, see Promotion Operation (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=120626).

    UserName=SAM account name that has Domain Admins credentials in the target domain. This account must be used by the administrator who runs the Dcpromo command.

    UserDomain=Domain name for the user account in UserName

    Password=Password for the account in UserName. If you leave this blank, Dcpromo prompts the installer for a password during installation. Dcpromo deletes this value after installation.

    ReplicaDomainDNSName= The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the domain of the new domain controller.

    ReplicaOrNewDomain=Replica for an additional domain controller in an existing domain or Domain for the first domain controller in a new domain.

    DatabasePath=Location of the Ntds.dit file—a folder on a local volume, surrounded by double quotation marks. (The default is “%systemroot%\ntds”.) If you omit this entry, Dcpromo uses the default location.

    LogPath=Location of the database log files—a folder on a local volume, surrounded by double quotation marks. (The default is “%systemroot%\ntds”.) If you omit this entry, Dcpromo uses the default location.

    SYSVOLPath=Location of the SYSVOL tree—a folder on a local volume, surrounded by double quotation marks. (The default is “%systemroot%\SYSVOL”.) If you omit this entry, Dcpromo uses the default location.

    InstallDNS=Yes to make the domain controller a DNS server or no to create a domain controller without DNS installed.

    ConfirmGC=Yes to make the domain controller a global catalog server or No to create a domain controller without the global catalog read-only directory partitions.

    SafeModeAdminPassword=Password for the administrator account that must be used to start the domain controller in Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM). If you leave this blank, Dcpromo prompts the installer for the password during installation. Dcpromo deletes this value after installation. Passwords are removed from the answer file when you run Dcpromo.

    RebootOnCompletion=Yes if you want the domain controller to restart automatically following a successful installation, no if you want to restart the domain controller manually. If you do not want the domain controller to restart automatically and you do not want to be prompted, use the value NoAndNoPromptEither.

  4. If you want to include application directory partitions in the answer file, add the following parameter:

    ApplicationPartitionsToReplicate=

    Provide a value for ApplicationPartitionsToReplicate as follows:

    • If you want to include all application directory partitions, use the value *.

    • If you want to include specific application directory partitions, type the distinguished name of each directory partition. Separate each distinguished name with a space, and enclose the entire list in quotation marks, as shown in the following example:

      ApplicationPartitionsToReplicate="dc=app1,dc=contoso,dc=com dc=app2,dc=contoso,dc=com"

  5. Save the answer file to the location on the installation server from which it is to be called by Dcpromo, or save the file to a network shared folder or removable media for distribution.

See Also

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