Create an answer file for domain controller installation
Updated: June 8, 2005
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
Use this procedure to create a text file that you can use as the answer file for an unattended installation of a domain controller. The answer file contains sensitive information and should be kept in a secure location.
To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Authenticated Users group on the local computer on which you create the answer file.
To create an answer file for domain controller installation
On a local computer, insert the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive. Press and hold down the SHIFT key as you insert the CD to prevent it from starting automatically.
Start Windows Explorer, and then open the Support\Tools folder on the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM.
In the console tree, click Tools, and then, in the details pane, double-click Deploy.cab.
In the details pane, right-click Ref.chm, and then click Extract.
In the Select a Destination dialog box, navigate to or create a new folder for the expanded Ref.chm file, and then click Extract.
In its extracted location, open Ref.chm.
On the Contents tab in the scope pane, double-click Unattend.txt, and then click [DCInstall].
In the details pane, scroll to Sample, select the entire sample, beginning at [DCInstall], and then copy the sample.
Open Notepad, paste the sample into the Notepad file, and save the text file.
Edit the text file to contain at least the following entries. For additional examples and parameters, see Ref.chm and article 223757 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=155037).
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.
Password= Password for the account name. If you leave this blank, Dcpromo prompts the user during installation. Dcpromo deletes this value following installation.
UserDomain= Domain name for the user account in UserName .
DatabasePath= Location of the Ntds.dit file. (The default is %systemroot%\ntds.) If you omit this entry, Dcpromo uses the default location.
LogPath= Location of the database log files. (The default is %systemroot%\ntds.) If you omit this entry, Dcpromo uses the default location.
SYSVOLPath= Location of the shared SYSVOL tree. (The default is %systemroot%\SYSVOL.) If you omit this entry, Dcpromo uses the default location.
SafeModeAdminPassword= Password for the administrator account that must be used to start the domain controller in Directory Services Restore Mode. If you leave this blank, Dcpromo prompts the user for the password during installation. Dcpromo deletes this value following installation. Passwords are removed from the answer file when Dcpromo is executed.
CriticalReplicationOnly=Yes or no , to specify whether to skip noncritical portions of replication and allow Dcpromo to complete before replication is complete.
SiteName= The name of the Active Directory site in which this domain controller will be placed. This site must be created in advance in the Active Directory Sites and Services snap-in.
ReplicaOrNewDomain= Specify either Replica for an additional domain controller in an existing domain or NewDomain for the first domain controller in a new domain.
ReplicaDomainDNSName= The fully qualified domain name of the domain of the new domain controller.
ReplicationSourceDC= The name of an existing domain controller in the domain to use as the source replication partner during installation. When you install Active Directory from restored backup media, you can use this entry in conjunction with ReplicateFromMedia if you want to specify the domain controller from which Active Directory changes and SYSVOL changes are replicated.
ReplicateFromMedia=Yes for installation from media, no for installation by replication.
Note For more information on this option, see article 311078 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=128859).
ReplicationSourcePath= When the installation is by replication, the path to the installation CD or network share. When the installation is from restored backup media, the local drive and path to the restored backup files.
RebootOnSuccess=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.
ApplicationPartitionsToReplicate= Comma-separated distinguished names, with the entire string enclosed in quotation marks, of application directory partitions that you want to include when you use restored backup media to install Active Directory (or * to include all application directory partitions). Using this entry requires Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2003 forest functional level. For more information about using this entry, see Include application directory partitions in an Active Directory installation from backup media.
Note For additional examples and parameters, see Ref.chm and article 223757 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=155037).
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.