I'm currently running Windows Server 2008 R2, can anyone tell me how I can replicate the active directory to another server which has been installed using Server Core install.


If you want to set up an additional domain controller using a Server Core edition of Windows Server 2008 R2, you need to add the Active Directory Domain Services role to the server and then run dcpromo.exe in order to promote it to a DC in the existing domain. All of this, or course, has to be done from the command line, being it a Server Core setup.

This article should help getting you started:


In order to add the Domain Controller role to the server, you can run these PowerShell commands:

Import-Module Servermanager
Add-WindowsFeature ADDS-Domain-Controller

In order to promote the server to DC in an existing domain, you can run a command similar to this one:

dcpromo.exe /unattend /InstallDns:yes /ConfirmGC:yes /replicaOrNewDomain:replica /replicaDomainDNSName:<YOUR DOMAIN NAME> /safeModeAdminPassword:<DSRM Password>

Where <YOUR DOMAIN NAME> is the FQDN of your Active Directory domain and <DSRM Password> is the password to set for Directory Services Restore Mode on the new DC.

The command should of course be run by an user with Domain Admin rights.

  • 1
    This covers the answer more clearly, as with Server Core you must use the CMD line and an answer file for the DCpromo. – HostBits Oct 10 '11 at 15:20
  • 1
    The answer file is not needed, DCPROMO can take command-line parameters in Windows Server 2008 R2. – Massimo Oct 10 '11 at 18:20
  • Ah yes, forgot about that bonus. Nice clarification! – HostBits Oct 10 '11 at 19:06

You promote it to a domain controller in the same domain using Dcpromo.exe the same way you would promote any other DC. The replication happens automatically.

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