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Create a new forest

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

To create a new forest

  1. Click Start, click Run, and then type dcpromo to start the Active Directory Installation Wizard.

  2. On the Operating System Compatibility page, read the information and then click Next.

    If this is the first time you have installed Active Directory on a server running Windows Server 2003, click Compatibility Help for more information.

  3. On the Domain Controller Type page, click Domain controller for a new domain, and then click Next.

  4. On the Create New Domain page, click Domain in a new forest, and then click Next.

  5. On the New Domain Name page, type the full DNS name for the new domain, and then click Next.

  6. On the NetBIOS Domain Name page, verify the NetBIOS name, and then click Next.

  7. On the Database and Log Folders page, type the location in which you want to install the database and log folders, or click Browse to choose a location, and then click Next.

  8. On the Shared System Volume page, type the location in which you want to install the Sysvol folder, or click Browse to choose a location, and then click Next.

  9. On the DNS Registration Diagnostics page, verify if an existing DNS server will be authoritative for this forest or, if necessary, choose to install and configure DNS on this server by clicking Install and configure the DNS server on this computer, and set this computer to use this DNS server as its preferred DNS server, and then click Next.

  10. On the Permissions page, select one of the following:

    • Permissions compatible with pre-Windows 2000 Server operating systems

    • Permissions compatible only with Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 operating systems

  11. Review the Summary page, and then click Next to begin the installation.

  12. Restart the computer.


  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure.

  • The server on which you install Active Directory using this procedure will be the first domain controller in the forest root domain.

  • Before installing Active Directory, you will need to consider pre-Windows 2000 compatible security levels and identify the DNS name of the domain. For more information, see the checklist in Related Topics.

  • The wizard options on the Permissions page affect application compatibility with computers running pre-Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 operating systems and are not related to domain functionality. For more information about permissions, see Related Topics.

  • The Active Directory Installation Wizard allows Active Directory domain names up to 64 characters or up to 155 bytes. Although the limit of 64 characters is usually reached before the limit of 155 bytes, the opposite could be true if the name contains Unicode characters consuming three bytes. These limits do not apply to computer names.

  • You cannot install Active Directory on a computer running Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, but you can join the computer to an Active Directory domain as a member server. For more information about Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, see Related Topics.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also

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