Building SharePoint 2016 development environment – Part 4 – Installing Active Directory.

A few years ago I wrote “Build your SharePoint 2013 development machine on Windows Server 2012” series, I mainly work in the cloud now, but as the blogs was so popular, I thought I would create a new series for the newer version of SharePoint.

You can access other parts of this post below.

Creating your Domain Controller Machine

  1. First remove the Base Virtual Machine you created in the previous posts from the Hyper V manager. Select the base virtual machine and on the right hand side, under the machine name, click Delete. Don’t worry this just deletes the machine, but keeps the virtual machine disk. By deleting this from Hyper V there is no chance of accidently starting it.
  2. Next follow my old blog on Creating your hyper V windows Server 2012 machine from a differencing disk. Give about 2GB of memory to the machine, use generation 2, and call your differencing disk AD2012R2, and the same with the machine name.
  3. When you start up your new Virtual Machine based on the base disk, you will be required to enter a valid Key Code for Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition. Let the sysprep process complete, answer any installation questions required and then log in.
  4. You now have Virtual Machine that we are going to use for a Domain Controller.
  5. You should get Enhanced mode back after login in and rebooting once. I believe hyper V installing tools in the background the first time you login.

Adding the Internal Network connection

You can do the following steps with the Virtual Machine switched on or off.

  1. On the Hyper-V manager screen, right click your newly created Virtual Machine that we are using for Active Directory, and click Settings.
  2. On the Settings page add a new Network Adapter and click Add
  3. Select Internal as the Virtual Switch and then click OK.

Giving the Virtual Machine a Static External IP Address.

First thing you will need to do is Set the IP of the machine to Static address.

  1. Log on to the Virtual Machine, as administrator | Pa55w0rd.
  2. From Start Menu type CMD and open the command prompt.
  3. Type ipconfig /all
  4. Here you should see what the current dynamic IP address is for your virtual machine.
  5. Back in the start menu, type View Network Connections and under Settings you should see a link.
  6. Right click your network External adapter and click Properties.
  7. In the properties windows, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click the Properties button.
  8. Update the properties form to match your current machine configuration.
  9. Click OK. Click Close. After a moment your adapter will reset itself and you should have internet access again.

Giving the Virtual Machine a Static Internal IP Address

  • In the start menu, type View Network Connections and under Settings you should see a link.
  • Right click your network internal adapter and click Properties.
  • In the properties windows, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click the Properties button.
  • Update the properties form to have the following information:
    • IP Address:
    • Subnet Mask:
    • Default gateway:
    • Preferred DNS Server:

Configure the Host internal IP settings.

  • Back on your Host machine. Open the run command and type ncpa.cpl
  • Right click your Internal adapter, and click properties.
  • In the properties windows, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click the Properties button.
  • Update the properties form to have the following information:
    • IP Address:
    • Subnet Mask:
    • Default gateway:
    • Preferred DNS Server:

Change the name of the Machine.

  1. From the Server Manager screen. Click on Local Server.
  2. Where it says Computer Name, click the link.
  3. This will open the System Properties dialog box.
  4. Click on the Change button.
  5. Enter the name of the server. I have called mine ‘CFAD’
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK and reboot when asked.

Setting up the Domain Controller.

  • Login to the CFAD virtual machine using administrator | Pa55w0rd
  • On the Server Manager > Dashboard, click (2) Add roles and features
    • On the Add Roles and Feature Wizard you will be present with Before you begin. Click Next
    • On Installation Type select Role-Based or Feature-based installation
    • On Select destination server accept the default of Select a Server from the server pool with CFAD selected. Click Next
    • On the Server Roles, select “Active Directory Domain Services
    • Accept the Additional features required, by clicking Add Features.
    • Keep press Next until you reach the Confirmation screen. Then click Install.
      Once it is installed click Close on the Wizard page.
  • Back on the Server Manager Dashboard you will see the item AD DS added to the Roles and Server Groups. Click on the title of AD DS. Note it will say at the top of the screen Configuration required for Active Directory Domain Services at CFAD. At the far right of this message click More…
  • The more link will bring up the All Servers Task Detail dialog. It will show an action of Promote this server to a domain. Click on that link.
  • On the Deployment Configuration screen select Add a New Forest.
    • I named my root domain Click Next.
    • The next screen seems to processes for some time. I thought the screen was locked/froze but after a minute or so it was fine.
    • Give a password of Pa55w0rd to the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password. Click Next
    • Ignore the DNS Options warning. Click Next.
    • It then check the NetBIOS domain name. (This too takes a little time to show.) Click Next.
    • Next it will specify the Path locations of the AD DS database, log files, and SYSVOL. Accept the defaults and click Next.
    • The next page allows you to review your selection, and export to a Windows PowerShell script if you wish to automate additional installations. Click Next.
    • Before the actual install of AD, all prerequisites are checked. If all prerequisite checks are passed then click install. You can ignore warnings.
    • The machine will restart automatically after the promotion of the server to a DC has finished.
    • Once the server has rebooted and you have log on to it, if you click on Server Manager | Tools, you will notice that the following items have been installed:
      • Active Directory Administrative Center
      • Active Directory Domains and Trust
      • Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell
      • Active Directory Sites and Services
      • Active Directory Users and Computers
      • ADSI Edit
      • DNS
      • Group Policy Management

  • Now is a good time to shut down the machine and perform a checkpoint in hyper V manager. That way if you don’t get something right in the next post, you can always revert back your machine back to the end of this post. (Wish I followed my own advice sometimes).

4 thoughts on “Building SharePoint 2016 development environment – Part 4 – Installing Active Directory.

    • Hi Ewernet,
      It is possible to install SharePoint without Active directory however this isn’t supported. You will also find when running the SharePoint configuration wizard you wouldn’t be able to continue because it is expecting a domain account. The way around this is to run the New-SPConfigurationDatabase -localserverrole SingleServerFarm using SharePoint Management Shell in Administrative Mode. You will be prompted for DatabaseName, DatabaseServer, Farm Admin Credentials and a Passphrase. Once this is done, you can then run the SharePoint wizard, as it will automatically select the Farm and Configuration Database using your local account.

      I’ve never attempted to try this method, and I’m not sure what other issues you will encounter later on down the line by using SharePoint not connected to a domain.

      • Wow, thanks. I was specting something like: “No, its not possible” but you gave us a very useful answer.
        To create a Sharepoint Development machine is taking me days of work, i will not run this risk, i will instal AD following your articles. Thanks again!

        • Hey, no problem. I feel your pain in regards to building a SP development machine 🙂 . It took me a couple of weeks to get it right and to write the blog posts.

          Good luck! If you are doing in Hyper V, or VM, snapshots are your friends!

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