Server 2003 Tutorials

This tutorial explains how to configure, verify and remove ADS (Active Directory Services) in Windows Server 2003 step by step.

In this article we will configure the ADS service on server 2003.

Pre quest of Active directory services

  • NTFS partition
  • Manual ip configuration
  • Connectivity of LAN
  • CD of Server 2003 (ADS Configuration wizard require window files)
  • Root partition (partition where you have installed server 2003) must be on NTFS

ADS configuration wizard store its installation files in NTDS folder and this folder must be located on NTFS file system. Default file system of Server 2003 is NTFS unless you have changed it during the installation. If you have changed the file system then you have to convert it in NFTS before you start configuration of ADS.

To change file system from FAT to NTFS open command prompt and run following commands

c:\>convert c: /fs:ntfs
Replace c: with your installation drive latter

Reboot the system to take effect. After reboot verify that partition is successfully converted in NTFS

To verify open my computer and select properties from right click
properties of root drives
From properties screen you could verify that file system is converted in NTFS
drive properties

Manual IP configuration

Server IP address cannot be set to dynamic. You need to set static IP address before starting the configuration of ADS. To set the static IP address opens the properties of local area connection. Now select the TCP/IP and click on properties and set the IP address.

check static ip address

Connectivity of LAN

Sever will check the connectivity of LAN card during the installation of ADS. An unplugged lan card or disable lan card will fail the configuration of ADS. So check it before ADS configurations. You can check its status from the properties of my network places

lan card

Alternatively you can examine it just by looking at the task bar. Image below show the working LAN card

LAN card connected

Once you have completed these entire necessary steps you are ready to configure ADS. ADS configuration wizard can be invoked by thee ways.

  • By running DCPROMO.EXE command
  • From Configure your server
  • Manage your server

No matter which options you choose all three will launch same ADS configuration wizard. I will show all methods

Configure your server / Manage your server

To launch manage your server wizard click on start button and select manage your server option

 manage your server wizard

To launch configure your server wizard click on start button and select configure your server wizard from administrator tools.

configure your server wizard

Now click on Add remove a role

add remove a rol

Now server will check the pre-quest which we have completed in our last article. Wizard would show error message if any of pre-quest is not properly configured.

checking pre-requisites

Wizard will show a list of all tasks which can be configured. Select Domain Controller (Active Directory)

select ads

It will show summary for ADS configuration wizard after checking all necessary services.

Click on next to launch ADS configuration wizard

 Summary of ADS wizards

Same wizard can be Launch directly by running DCPROMO.EXE command in run menu


On welcome screen click on next

welcome screen of ads

This screen show that win95 or earlier version of win NT4.0 cannot be the clients of Server 2003 Click on Next

oprating system compatiblety

This is the first domain controller in our domain so select Domain controller for a new domain and click on next

domain controller for new domain

This is the first domain in first forest so select domain in new forest and click on next

domain in new forest

Give the full FQDN name of server, we are using for practice you can choose your own

FQDN name of domain

Wizard will automatically generate NetBIOS name of server don't change it.

netBIOS name of server

ADS is installed in NTDS folder, don't change its default location.

location of ntds

Sysvols is a publically shared folder. It would be automatically share on all clients.

location of sysvol

DNS is required by ADS for proper functioning Select second options install and configure DNS on this computer

select  DNS server

If you have any pre windows 2000 client in network then select
Permission compatible with pre windows 2000 server operating systems

If you don't have any pre windows 2000 server operating systems then select
Permissions compatible only with Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 operating systems for greater security features

compatiblity issue

Now set directory services restore mode passwords. This is used when you restore directory or remove ADS.

restore mode passwords

Click on next after review the summary of your selection if need change of any option go back and change.

summary of selections

Now wizard will configure all the options you have selected

running ads

If you are running this wizard first time then it need to copy some files form Server 2003 CD, Insert Server 2003 CD when it is asked

insert server 2003 cd

We will configure DNS server separately after ADS so skip it here to save time

skip dns during ads configuration

Click on finish to complete the installation

finish wizard

System reboot is required in order to take place the installation of ADS

restart system

After reboot server is a domain controller. In our next article we will learn how to verify that ADS is configured properly.

Verify ADS installation

ADS installation can be verify from three methods.

  • My computer properties
  • Login screen
  • Administrator tools

My computer properties

To check wheatear ADS is installed or not on server, right click on my computer and select properties, now select computer name tab.

If you see here workgroup options means ADS is not configured
If you see here Domain options means ADS is configured

In image below you can see the Domain name mean ADS is configured on this server

My computer properties

Login screen

Server is domain controller or not it can be verify on Login screen also.

If you see logon to: option on login screen mean ADS is configured on this server

Login screen of server 2003

Administrator tools

Most reliable testing of ADS is checking in administrator tools. If you see all three options listed below in administrator tools means ADS is properly configured and functioning.

  1. Active Directory Domains and Trusts
  2. Active Directory Sites and Services
  3. Active Directory Users and Computers

ads options in administrator tools

Removing of ADS

We have tested ADS installation now we would remove ADS so you can learn how to remove ADS.

  • From configure your server wizard
  • From manage your server wizard

Choose any option it would launch same wizard for removing ADS.

To choose configure your server wizard click on start select administrator tools and click on configure your server. This will launch configure your server window. Same windows can be access by clicking on start button and select Manage your server.

Click on Add / remove a role

managae your server

Select Domain controller from list and click on next that will launch ADS remove wizard.

Same wizard can be directly access by running DCPROMO commands in run menu

dcpromo commands

Click on next to welcome screen

remove ads welcome screen

A warning message will appear as this domain controller is the global catalog server click on ok

Remove ADS wizard message

Check mark on the box of This server is the last domain controller in the domain

place tick mark on this server is the last domain

Now ADS will remove all DNS information store for this domain Click on next

remove dns information

Wizard will finally confirm you to delete all partitions. Tick mark on Delete all application directory partitions on this domain controller.

remove all partitions ads

Now set administrator password to login after the removal of ADS

set administrator password

Review all the option you have selected and click on next to remove ADS

review the summary

Now wizard will start removing ADS it will take few minutes

remvoing ADS

Click on finish button to complete the wizard

finish the wizard

A system reboot will require to take place click on restart now

restart message

Removing ADS form registry

Always use configuration wizard to remove ADS. Use registry method only when configuration wizard fail to remove ADS.

To remove ADS form registry run regedit command in run box


Locate this key

locate reg key

In left pane double click on productType


Replace the default LanmanNT to ServerNT and exit from registry


A system reboot will require to take place Restart the system

After restart you will see logon to: option on login screen its normal just select local computer and login. You can reconfigure ADS after login in local computer.

login screen

After login you can configure ADS form any of one method we have discussed in our previous article.