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What is Domain Controller ? How to Add Windows Server 2016 to a Domain controller

This article is a part of the Windows Server 2016 Tutorials series. Within the previous Article, we Learned what is Active Directory and the installation of Active Directory Domain Services in Windows Server 2016. Now we’ll move forward and see what is Domain Controller and how to add your Windows Server 2016 to Domain Controller. Before these keep in mind that your system has put in with ADDS Role. First, we will discuss what is Domain controller. So let’s get started.


Domains have been around since 1993 with the release of Windows NT. They Provide System Administrators with an efficient way to manage small or large Networks. You only need one Domain Controller to manage a large number of computers on the same network. A Domain Controller is any server that has the AD DS or Active Directory Domain Services role installed. The Server’s job is to Handle authentication requests across the domain. Domain Controllers hold the tools Active Directory and Group Policy among others so when you need to create a new user account or change the main policies this is all done by a domain controller.

You can have several domain controllers within a domain but there is only one primary or main domain controller. The primary reason for having more than one DC is fault tolerance. The Critical Information like user and account information is replicated between the DC’s, so If One goes down the client computers will switch to another DC that is still functioning. Domain Controller uses a tool called Active Directory Users and Computers commonly referred to as AD or Active Directory. This tool is not only managed user and computer accounts but also acts as a directory service for resources on your network like printers or file shares. When a domain user searches for a new printer to install, they will find all the printers that have been added to the domain controller with Active Directory.

In short

  • A Windows Domain allows the management of large computer networks.
  • Use at least one Windows Server called a DC (Domain Controller).
  • A DC is any Server with an AD DS Role.
  • DCs respond to authentication requests across the domain.
  • DCs have the tools AD (Active Directory) and GP (Group Policy).
  • AD Contains Objects and OUs (Organizational Units)
  • GP contains GPOs (Group Policy Objects) that manage AD Objects.

Now we will see how we can Add our Windows Server 2016 to a Domain Controller.

Add Windows Server 2016 to a Domain Controller

In the Previous Article, we have already installed AD DS Role in our Windows Server Machine. Now follow the Steps.

Step 1. Open your Windows Server Machine and open “Server Manager” Console > on the “Notification Panel” you can see a Notification, Click on the Notification Icon from the Top of the Dashboard. You can see a Notification Regarding AD DS. Click on “Prompt this Server to a domain controller”.

Step 2. A new window appears, select the “Add a new Forest” option, and then Enter your root domain name in the root domain name field (like

Step 3. Select the Functional level of the New Forest and Root domain. After that enter the DSRM password in the password fields. DSRM allows the administrator to repair or restore Active Directory Database and then click on “Next”.

Step 4. On the Next Window, a checkbox is already selected with the option “Create DNS delegation”. Now Click on “Change” and a dialog box appears, enter the Username and Password of the Server and then Click on “Next”.

Step 5. Here we have to enter the NetBIOS Name, here you can change the NetBIOS name > click on “Next”.

Step 6. Here Select the location of the AD DS database, log files and SYSVOL and Click on “Next”.

Step 7. Click on “Next”. Now the server will check the prerequisites for the Installation, Wait until it is Finished, and The Server will restart Several times. 

Congratulations! finally, we have Successfully added our Windows Server 2016 to a Domain Controller. In the next Part, we will see how to create an Organizational Unit and add a User to Domain Controller.

Download the “Tutorials for Windows server” Android application from the play store now so that you can have access to all the information related to Windows Server.


So this guide is all Domain Controller. With these Steps, you can Add your Windows Server 2016 to a Domain Controller. Hope you like this cool trick, do share this trick with others too. Leave a comment below if you have any related queries about this.

Piyush Kumawat

Ethical Hacker || Penetration Tester || Gamer || Blogger || Application Security Engineer

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