This article will walk you through setting up the Active Directory Role on a Windows Server 2012 R2. This article is intended to be used for those without an existing Active Directory Forest, it will not cover configuring a server to act as a Domain Controller for an existing Active Directory Forest.
Installing Active Directory
Open the Server Manager from the task bar.
From Server Manager Dashboard select Add roles and features. This will launch the Roles and Features Wizard allowing for modifications to be performed on the Windows Server 2012 R2 instance.
Select Role-based or features-based installation from the Installation Type screen and click Next.
From the Server Roles page place a check mark in the box next to Active Directory Domain Services. A notice will appear explaining additional roles services or features are also required to install domain services, click Add Features.
Note: There are other options including, Certificate services, federation services, lightweight directory services and rights management. Domain Services is the glue that holds this all together and needs to be installed prior to these other services.
Review the installation and click Install.
Once the AD DS role is installed the server will need to be configured for your domain.
Review and select a Domain and Forest functional level. Once selected fill in a DSRM password in the provided password fields. The DSRM password is used when booting the Domain Controller into recovery mode.
Note: The selection made here will have lasting effects to features and server domain controller eligibility. For further information on Domain/Forest functional levels see official Microsoft documentation.
Configure the location of the SYSVOL, Log files, and Database folders and click Next.
The system will check to ensure all necessary prerequistes are installed on the system prior to moving forward. If the system passes these checks you will proceed by clicking Install.
Once the server is booted and you logon to it, click on Server Manager | Tools , will notice that following have been installed: