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Typical setup for a first server

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Typical setup for a first server

The following information describes how to install and configure the first server on a network by using the Typical setup for a first server option in the Configure Your Server Wizard.


The typical setup for a first server will not run if any of the following conditions are met:

  • The computer is running Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition.

  • The computer is running Windows Server 2003, Web Edition.

  • The computer is joined to a domain.

  • The computer is already configured as a domain controller.

  • The computer is not a domain controller, but the Active Directory Installation Wizard has already been started.

  • The computer is a certification authority (CA).

  • The computer is already configured as a DNS server.

  • The computer is already configured as a DHCP server.

  • There are zero IP-enabled network adaptors.

  • There is only one IP-enabled network adaptor and the DHCP lease test succeeds.

  • The computer is already running Routing and Remote Access.

  • The computer does not have at least one NTFS partition.

  • The current session is a remote session.

Typical setup configuration process

The typical setup configuration process implements the following steps:

  • Installs Active Directory and promotes the computer to a domain controller.

    When you promote a server to a domain controller, a domain is automatically created on the network. After you promote a server to a domain controller, you can then promote other servers to domain controllers. For more information, see Domain controllers.

    When you configure your server using the typical setup for a first server, the local administrator's password is automatically set as the Restore Mode Administrator password.

  • Sets up an application naming context in Active Directory on this domain controller for use by Telephony API (TAPI) client applications. For more information, see Application directory partitions.

  • Installs Domain Name System (DNS) and creates a full domain name for your network.

    DNS is a networking protocol for naming computers and network services that is organized into a hierarchy of domains. TCP/IP networks, such as the Internet, use DNS naming to locate computers and services through user-friendly names. When a user enters a DNS name in an application, DNS services can resolve the name to other information associated with the name, such as an IP address.

    For example, most users prefer a friendly name such as to locate a computer such as a mail server or Web server on a network. However, computers use numeric addresses to communicate over a network. To make it easier to use network resources, DNS provides a way to map the user-friendly name for a computer or service to its numeric address. For more information, see DNS domain names.

  • Changes the default NetBIOS name. You can change the default NetBIOS name on this page. For example, if your Active Directory DNS domain name is yoursmallbusiness.local, the default NetBIOS domain name is YOURSMALLBUSINE. You may want to change this to CORP or to your own abbreviation for your business name for ease of use. For more information about NetBIOS, see NetBIOS name resolution.

  • Assigns a preferred DNS server with the same IP address that you specified for this server. For more information, see How DNS query works.

  • Assigns a DNS forwarder. For more information, see Understanding forwarders.

  • Installs the DHCP Server service.

    DHCP uses a client/server model. The network administrator establishes one or more DHCP servers that maintain TCP/IP configuration information and provide it to clients. With a DHCP server installed and configured on your network, DHCP-enabled clients can obtain their IP address and related configuration parameters dynamically each time they start and join your network. DHCP servers provide this configuration in the form of an address lease offer to requesting clients.

  • Assigns a static IP address, if one is not already assigned to the private network connection. For more information, see Name resolution for TCP/IP.

  • Assigns a subnet mask (that is, if none has been configured on this server). By default, the Configure Your Server Wizard assigns a subnet mask of For more information, see Subnet masks.

  • Installs the Routing and Remote Access service (that is, if more than one network connection is detected).

Next steps: Typical setup for a first server

After you complete the Configure Your Server Wizard, the computer is ready for use as the server on your network. It has been configured as a domain controller, a DNS server, a DHCP server, and possibly as a remote access/VPN server. For more information about each of these roles, see

The following table lists some of the additional tasks that you can perform on your server. To manage the new services on this server, do the following:

  • To open Administrative Tools, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Administrative Tools.


  • If you demote this server so that it is no longer a domain controller, you must remove the TAPI application partition by using the Tapicfg.exe utility. For more information, see Remove a TAPI application directory partition.


Task Reference

Make additional configuration changes to the DNS server.

Checklist: Installing a DNS server; Configure a new DNS server

Install additional domain controllers, if necessary.

Create an additional domain controller

Configure additional options for the DHCP server.

Checklist: Installing a DHCP server

(Optional) Monitor and measure various aspects of the DNS server to prevent and troubleshoot performance degradation.

Monitoring DNS server performance

(Optional) Monitor and measure various aspects of the DHCP server to prevent and troubleshoot performance degradation.

Monitoring DHCP server performance; DHCP performance monitoring reference

(Optional) Install and configure additional domain controllers.

Checklist: Creating an additional domain controller in an existing domain

(Optional) Select the appropriate security level for domain administration.

Using the Active Directory Installation Wizard

(Optional) Configure ports to allow remote administration.

Windows Firewall Settings

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