Adding a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller to an Existing Windows Server 2003 network

Adding a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller to an Existing Windows Server 2003 network

As the end of support for Windows 2003 is nearing, it is time to upgrade to Windows 2012. Here I am going to show how to how to add Windows Server 2012R2 Domain controller to an existing Windows Server 2003 network.


  1. Domain functional level must be Windows Server 2003 and above.
  2. We cannot have Windows 2000 Domain controllers or earlier. Please keep in mind that raising Domain Functional Level is a onetime action and cannot be reverted.
  3. You must be a member of Enterprise Admins group.


  1. Raise domain functional level to Windows Server 2003 from Active Directory Users and Computers if not done.

  2. Login to Windows 2012R2 server using Administrator credentials.
  3. Open Server Manager and Click Add Roles and features.
  4. Click Next. Select Role-based or feature-based installation. Click Next.
  5. In Server Selection window, Select a server from the server pool and select server. Click Next.
  6. Check Active Directory Domain Services. Check DNS Server if you want DNS is to be installed on this server.

  7. In Add features that are required for Active Directory Domain Services window, click Add features.
  8. Click Next. Click Install in confirmation window. Click Close after the installation is completed.
  9. Once completed, notification is made available on the dashboard highlighted by an exclamation mark. Select it and select Promote this server to a domain controller.

  10. In Active Directory Domain Services Configuration wizard, select Add a domain controller to an existing domain. Make sure that correct domain name is selected in Domain field. Click Next.

  11. Type DSRM password and click Next.

  12. Click Next and finally click Install.
  13. After the installation is completed, the server will reboot. The new Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller setup is completed.
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