Preparing for Active Directory installation in Windows 2000 Server

Good preparation and correct planning are essential for Active Directory (AD) installation. Although it's impossible to predict installation glitches precisely, you can at least minimize the possibility of AD installation problems if you carefully plan the procedure. Here's what you need to know before you prepare Active Directory installation.

The first step in preparing for your Active Directory (AD) installation is to plan DNS and proper network connectivity. Before you even consider installing Active Directory, make sure your DNS servers are fully functional and that everything works as it should. If not, correct all issues before promoting a member server to domain controller.

The next step is to plan for storage capacity. The server needs at least one NTFS partition with enough free space to hold the Active Directory database, transaction log files, and SYSVOL share. Make sure the server has plenty of space left over and think about your future space requirements — you don't want to run out of space.

If you're creating a new child domain, the domain controller designated as the domain-naming master must be available. If the domain controller that holds the Operation Master role isn't available, creation of the new child domain will fail. You'll get an error indicating that the RCP server is unavailable.

Lastly, don't overlook the obvious: When actually performing AD installation, you need valid credentials. If you're creating the first domain in a forest, you must belong to the Administrators local group on the server that you want promoted to domain controller. When creating an additional domain controller in an existing domain, you have to belong to the Domain Admins or Enterprise Admins group, and when creating a new child domain you need privileges equivalent to those of the Enterprise Admins group.

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