Before jumping straight in with the configuration, I thought I best cover some of the basic functions you are most likely going to carry out after installing Server 2012. Especially if you are not familiar with the new “Windows 8/Server 2012″ layout.
One of the first things you should know is “Log Off” has now been renamed to “Sign Out”. It’s also been removed from the shut down menu, meaning in order to sign out you need to open the start menu (click in the bottom left hand corner of the screen or press the windows keyboard button)
In the top right hand corner, you will see the name of the user account. Click on the name and this will present you with two options. Sign out and Lock
I guess we should also find out how to shutdown / restart the server. Well there’s a couple of ways, Alt+F4 brings up the standard shutdown/restart prompt, you can (from the command prompt) issue a shutdown /r (to restart for example) or you could press windows key + I which brings up the following menu.
If you click on Power you will get two options. Shut down and Restart. Clicking either will then prompt you for the reason (standard options).
From the following menu we can also access the familiar server info window
Which will give you options for renaming/changing advanced settings etc…Exactly the same as Server 2008
One method for locating or finding settings / apps / files is to bring up the start menu and simply start typing. This will automatically search three categories (apps/settings/files).
Clicking on either displays the result. Quite handy, especially if you are used to the search bar from the start menu in Server 2008
So those are some of the very basics covered, for me personally the next step (especially for building my new 2012 Lab) is to create an active directory forest.
Let’s go ahead and issue the dcpromo command from the run box….
Oh wait….we seem to have a problem…
Unfortunately dcpromo is no more (well from the command prompt anyway).
To go about installing / configuring an AD site we need to fire up server manager (which opens by default when you start the server).
Select “Add roles and features”
We currently only have one server so select that server (but if we had others we could install the same role or feature to multiple servers from one place – which is quite a handy feature)
Select Active Directory Domain Services
You will be prompted to install these additional roles/features
I’m also going to select ADCS and DHCP/DNS Server
It will alert me to say the server doesn’t have a static IP, which is fine, select continue
Hit windows key = R – and type NCPA.cpl to bring up the network connections window
Type in your static IP information and save
On the next page (features), you will now see the chosen feature’s it has automatically selected (Group Policy for example)
We are now ready to confirm the selections and install
The good things here is we don’t have to wait for this screen to complete, we can simply click close and it continues in the background. Allowing us to get on with other configuration we may need to do
From the server manager, you can see the “on-going” tasks currently running in the background by clicking the flag icon
And here we can see we can now run (effectively dcpromo)
Not much has changed here, it’s exactly what we are used to
As this is a fresh domain I’ll be using the new 2012 forest and domain levels
Continue through the wizard
We can now review the options and also preview these as “PowerShell” code. I will cover PowerShell later in its own separate topic.
A quick prerequisites check, and oh wait…
Someone jumped the gun and chose to install ADCS (active directory certificate services), before this. No problem, minimize the prerequisites check and from the server manager window select Manage > Remove Roles and Features.
Now we can go back and re-run the prerequisites check
This time the problem is with the admin account. When I installed 2012 I used an account called Michael….Again no big issue, we will just set a strong password for the admin account and then we will be good to go (hopefully)
Let’s re-run the check again and this time we can proceed. (The warnings are more informative warnings). If you’ve installed a domain before you’ll be familiar with the standard DNS warning message.
Let this run through and install
Once finished we can now see AD DS appears in server manager. As you can see “Server Manager” really is a one stop shop for everything. If we scroll down you can see event logs, performance counters etc…
There we have it, you’ve just DCPROMO’d your first server. Those are the same steps for joining servers to an existing domain. You would just select join existing domain instead of creating a fresh one.
Within server manager we can also see all information relating to this server, (and if we had other servers added in we could see information about those as well).
Finally, as I installed DNS and DHCP in order to access them simply select Tools > DHCP or DNS from Server Manager.
As you can see nothing has changed, it’s still the same look and feel as previous versions
And with that said, that wraps up the Server 2012 GUI Basics……