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4b. Promote The New Domain Controller On The Server

This step is only needed if you chosen to join an existing domain.

Assuming you have followed all the steps in the articles Preparing your existing domain and Join an existing domain you can now promote ZDC (the new domain controller virtual machine) to become a new domain controller in your existing domain.

Step 1: Log in to the Windows Management virtual machine ZMANAGE

Using the Remote Desktop client on your computer, logon to the ZMANAGE virtual machine. You get the IP address for ZMANAGE from the Commissioning Console. (the last octet of the IP address will be .160. eg 10.x.x.160) You use the default username and password to logon:

Username: administrator
Password: Pa55word

Step 2: Open Server manager and add ZDC

From the ZMANAGE Virtual Machine, click on the Windows start icon, and then open Server Manager.

Right Click on All Servers, and select Add Servers

Click on the DNS tab, and then type in the name of your new domain controller, which is: zdc

Then click OK.

Step 3: Promote the server to a domain controller

After adding the new domain controller to Server Manager, you can now promote it to be a domain controller using the standard DC promo wizard.

In the Notifications section of Server Manager (at the top) you will see a yellow triangle. Click on the notifications flag, and then click on the link: Promote this server to a domain controller.


Select the option to: Add a domain controller to an existing domain.

Enter the name of the existing domain.

Enter the username and password of the zcommission user. 

Click Next



Enter in a password for the DRSM password. You can enter any password in here, as it will be overwritten during the final commissioning stage.

Leave all options as the default

Click Next

 Domain Controller Options

Keep all DNS options as default, and click Next.

DNS Options

On the next screen you choose where Active Directory can replicate. You can choose Any domain controller or a domain controller can be specified. In the screenshot shown below there have three domain controller listed. Since two of these will be decommissioned in the near future, the newest domain controller was selected.

Choose a domain controller to replicate from, and click Next.

Additional Options

Leave all the AD DS database, log files and SYSVOL data at the default locations.

Click Next.


The next window shown will be a summary of all selected options. If anything needs to be adjusted, now is the best time to do it. 

Click Next.

Review Options

Windows will now perform a prerequisites check.

If everything is OK to proceed, click Install.

If there are any issues with your existing domain, details will be shown here and you will need to resolve the issues before proceeding.


Prerequisites Check

Your new domain controller (ZDC) will reboot and when it starts back up will be a domain controller on your existing domain.

Please note that as part of this process, the 5 FSMO roles will be transferred over to ZDC (this will only happen if this is the first ZDC being deployed - for example it will not happen in a multi-site for 2nd and subsequent ZDCs on other servers). If desired, once the 5 FSMO roles have been transferred to ZDC, they can manually be transferred back to the previous Domain Controller as a manual step.

Now the automated commissioning process will start, where all other Windows virtual machines are automatically added to the domain and updated, and the entire installation is finalised.

This can take a few hours to complete, depending on the quantity of Windows updates and the speed of your internet connection.

You can monitor progress using the Commissioning Console. Please view the article Monitor the progress if an installation.


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