HOW-TO: Add a secondary Windows Server 2012 domain controller with integrated DNS to your domain

We previously talked about how to configure a dedicated secondary DNS server in Windows Server 2012, in this post, I will show you how to configure a secondary domain controller with integrated DNS for backup and redundancy.

Note: you must be on a static IP address. your preferred DNS IP should be the primary DNS server, and your alternate DNS IP should be yourself, either or whatever your server IP address is

Launch your Server Manager if it is not already up


Click on “Add roles and features”


In the “Add Roles and Features Wizard”, read over the notes before you begin, once done, click Next


Select “Role-based or feature-based installation”


In your “Select destination server” window, you will most likely only see one selection, which is the server you are on, if there are more than one in the list, make sure you select the server you are on then click Next


Select “Active Directory Domain Services”


A popup will launch to confirm that there are other features that needs to be installed with your Active Directory Domain Services role, click “Add Features”


Select “DNS Server”


You will see another popup asking for more features to be installed for your DNS Role, click “Add Features”


Once done selecting your server roles, Click Next


In the “Select features” screen, you do not have to select any extra features, click Next


Read over things to note about your Active Directory Domain Services role, once done, click Next


Read over things to note about your DNS Server role, once done, click Next


Confirm that you have all the selected roles and features, click Install


Once your installation is done, click Close


Installing the Active Directory Domain Services role and the DNS Server role is done, now we need to configure them to work with our primary setup. In your Server Manager, at the very top under your notifications icon, you will see a yellow triangle with exclamation mark, indicating an action that needs to be done, which in our case, is setting up the new domain controller and DNS. Click on the icon


Click on “Promote this server to a domain controller”


Make sure that “Add a domain controller to an existing domain” is selected, then under “Specify the domain information for this operation” click on the “Select…” button


Make sure you supply credentials with domain administrator permissions, otherwise the set up will not work. click OK when done


In the “Select a domain from the forest” window, select your primary domain and click OK


Verify that you have the right domain selected and the right user account, which must be a domain admin account, once done, click Next


Make sure “Domain Name System (DNS) server” and “Global Catalog (GC)” are selected. Provide a Directory Services Restore password, this can be any password, does not necessarily have to be the same domain admin password, click Next


You will see a warning saying that DNS delegation has failed, you do not have to worry about it, once we are done with this wizard, everything will work. Click Next


In the “Additional Options” screen, under “Replicate from”, for security reasons, do not keep it at “Any domain controller” but select your primary domain controller server instead then click Next



Under “Paths” leave everything with the default entries and click Next


Review all of your selected options, click Next


Wait for the server to finish your Prerequisites Check, when it is done and you get the green check mark, click Install


Once done, the server will need to be restarted to finish the installation



If you did not run into any problems, everything should be set up now, after the server restarts, it should already be setup as a secondary domain controller with integrated DNS, to verify your set up, go to your Start screen, click on Administrative Tools, go to either Active Directory Users and Computers, or DNS and verify that all of your information has replicated from your primary server.

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