Install Active Directory on Windows Server 2016 step by step

Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is the center for management tasks (Users, Groups, Computers, Organizational Units, Schema) in Windows networks. You can manage the network by AD DS easily. Imagine if you were a network administrator. You could create user accounts and gave them access to special files manually. It was practical if you were engaged with less than 50 users and computers. If you were engaged with 12000 users and computers, what did you do? You can do the complete the task with AD DS easily. You create a group and add user accounts as members and define to which files the group access by installing Active Directory to manage the network easily. It is a simple task that you can do in Windows network using AD DS.

You can find every kind of information about the users, computers, hardware, software and etc in the Active Directory Domain Services. Windows Server 2016 is the latest version of Windows Server and in this article I show you how to install active directory.

Install AD DS Graphically

Follow the steps below to install Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2016.

1. Press the Start Menu button and click on the Server Manager icon which is the management tool in Windows Server 2016.

Open Server Manager

2. Active Directory Domain Services is a Windows Server role. Click on Add Roles and features option to install the role.

Add roles and features
Add roles and features

3. In the Before you begin you have nothing to do. Click on Next button. In the Select Installation Type page, Select the Role-based or Feature-based Installation option. Click Next on button.

Role-based or feature-based installation

4. Let the Select a server from the server pool option selected. Specify the server that you want to install the role on, from the Server Pool. Click on Next button.

Select a server from the server pool

5. Select the Active Directory Domain Services role. A new windows opens and ask you to install management tools. Installing AD DS role, you just install the core services. Click on Add Features button to install management tools. then click on Next button.


Active Directory Domain Services role

6. In the Feature page, you got nothing to do. Just click on Next button. In the Active Directory Domain Services page you can read some information about AD DS. Click on Next button to move in the next page.

Active Directory Domain Services page

7. At the last step of the Active Directory installation is the confirmation of the selections. So confirm the selection by clicking on the install button. After the installation of the role, the server needs to be rebooted. You can restart it manually or let the system decide by putting the mark on Restart the destination server automatically if required option. Click on Install button to start the installation.

Active Directory Domain Services
Install active directory

Install AD DS though PowerShell

You can install AD DS through PowerShell. You need to run Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet. This cmdlet helps you to install roles and featues on Windows Server. After that, you need to type name of the feature you want to install. Type AD-Domain-Services for installing AD DS role.

Complete cmdlet: Install-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services

After typing the cmdlet press the Enter button.



While server rebooted, log in to server with your domain account. Default user name is Administrator. After that you can do post-installation configurations to promote this server to domain controller.

For any kind of question feel free and leave a comment below.

Watch out: Promote Windows Server 2016 to Domain Controller step by step

MCSA Servers

How to Add Multiple Servers in Windows Server 2016?

While managing your server and configuring it, you can add multiple servers to Server Manager in Windows server 2008, 2012 or 2016. When added you can receive online or offline status and create group based on their functions, location or any other organizational paradigm. Therefore, you can configure them fully from Server Manager like: adding roles and features to them or do other configurations. No matter whether you’re using Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, this is the first step to  In this article, we will discuss on add multiple servers to server manager in windows server and create groups on their functions. So let’s get started.

Add Multiple Servers to Server Manager

1. Open Server Manager, click on Manage then click Add Servers.

Server Manager
Server Manager

2. When the Add Servers page opened, now choose one of the following methods to add servers.
Active Directory: Enables you to search for computers running specific operating
systems in specific locations in an Active Directory Domain Services domain.
DNS: Enables you to search for servers in your currently configured Domain Name
System (DNS) server.
Import: Enables you to supply a text file containing the names of the servers you
want to add.

To add servers by active directory just click on Find Now and the computers will be found.

Add Servers
Add Servers

When the servers found, just select the server you want to add and click on right arrow button to add them to the list and click Ok.

Now click on All Servers and you will see the servers you’ve added like the shot.

All Servers
All Servers

Ok, now here you can manage servers or do any other configurations.

Create Server Group to Manage Servers

Once you’ve added servers to your server, exactly you need to configure or work with them so to avoid long scrolling list of servers you can create server group based on their functions, location or any other organization paradigm.
1. Open Server Manager, click on Manage and select Create Server Group.

Server Manager
Server Manager

2. Now select the servers you want to be in group, if you couldn’t find the server by server pool, select another method to find the servers) and click on right arrow key to add them to the list and click Ok.

Create Server Group
Create Server Group

After you click ok, the group will be created and shown in the left navigation pane like the shot below.

Add multiple Servers
Server Group Created

Finally, the servers have been successfully added with created group. If you have any questions, suggestion or idea we are ready to accept it.

MCSA Servers

Installing Roles and Features to VHD in Windows Server 2016

In addition to installing roles and features to server on a network, Server Manager enables you to install roles and features to VHD without accessing to it in an offline state. By using Server Manager, while installing roles and features you can select a server or either Hyper-V virtual hard disk (VHD) that is already installed windows server 2012 or 2016 to install roles and features or remove roles and features without deploying the VM. As before installing roles and features to VHD, we discussed on what’s VHD and how to create and mount VHD/VHDX, here in this article we will discuss based on installing roles and features to Hyper-V VHD in windows server.

Installing Roles and Features to VHD in Windows Server

1. Open Server Manager, click on Manage then click Add Roles and Features.

Server Manager
Server Manager

2. Now read the information about it and make sure you have done the initial tasks then click Next.

Add Roles and Features Wizard
Add Roles and Features Wizard

3. At this point, let the installation type by default ( Role-based installation) just click Next.

Installation Type
Installation Type

4. On the server selection page, click Select a virtual hard disk and choose the server that should mount the VHD file then click browse and select the VHD that is already installed windows server 2012 or 2016. By selecting the VHD, the Server Manager will mount it and check which roles and features are installed already.

Note: If you’re selecting a VHD file from a network, you must have full control to the VHD.

Server Selection
Server Selection

5. Here, select the roles you want to install or just click Next to continue to features page.

Server Roles
Server Roles

6. Now mark the features you want to install then click Next.


7. The roles and features have added, just click Install to begin the installation.


8. When the installation completed, click Close to dismount the VHD and close the wizard.

Installing roles and features to VHD

The roles and features installation completed successfully on the VHD like the screenshot above, you can also remove roles and features on a VHD from Server Manger using this method, but just select Remove Roles and Features from first.

That’s all about installing roles and features to VHD in Windows Server 2012 or 2016.

Hope you wouldn’t face a problem, if you faced a problem ask through comment.

Installing Roles & Features to VHD – Video Tutorial

MCSA Servers

How to Create and Mount VHD/VHDX in Windows Server 2016?

A VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) is a file format which represent a virtual disk drive. A VHD can be used to store virtual disk data in files that can be easily transferred from one computer to another. It contains what is found on a physical HDDs such as disk partition and file system. Once they are mounted, you can treat them like physical disks and use them to store data, if they’ll be dismounted the stored data is packaged in the VHD/VHDX so you can copy or move it when needed. When moved to another computer, you can mount VHD and copy or move data from it. So let’s get started.

Create VHD/VHDX in Windows Server

Note: You can create and mount VHD/VHDX using this method on Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016 and Windows clients such as; Windows 8, 10

Before getting started, plan which drive to use for VHD and VHD size.

1. Open Run(win+r) and type Diskmgmt.msc then hit enter. When the Disk Management opened, click on Action and select Create VHD.

Disk Management
Disk Management

2. Now browse the location you want to locate the VHD and then select a VHD format. Wherever the VHD locates it will take drive space from that drive.

VHD:- The original and more compatible Supports virtual disks up to 2040 GB

VHDX: A new version of the format which supports up to 64 TB but can be read only by computers running windows server 2012 and 2012 R2.

When VHD format selected, select virtual hard disk type from the following and click Ok.

Fixed Size (Recommended): Allocates all the disk space for the VHD/VHDX file at once.

Dynamically Expanding: Allocates disk space to the VHD/VHDX file as you add data to the virtual hard disk.

Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk
Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk

Ok, when the settings finished click OK and wait some minutes to let the system create the VHD.

Create a Simple Volume to Mount VHD

When the VHD/VHDX created, now mount VHD to make useable store files in it.

1. After the VHD created, it will be uninitialized and offline in disk management console, to mount it: Open Disk Managment and the Initialize Disk window will automatically appear, select a partition style for the disk and click Ok.

Master boot record (MBR) disks use the standard BIOS partition table and can be booted for installing operating system also it can be recognized by previous versions of windows.

GUID partition table (GPT) disks use unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI). One advantage of GPT disks is that you can have more than four partitions on each disk. GPT is also required for disks larger than 2 terabytes. It can’t be recognized by all previous versions of windows.

Initialize Disk
Initialize Disk

2. At this point, right click on the disk and choose New Simple Volume, when the volume wizard opened just click Next to continue.

New Simple Volume Wizard
New Simple Volume Wizard

3. Choose a volume size for the virtual disk and click Next.

Specify Volume size
Specify Volume size

4. Now assign the folder drive letter and click Next.

Assign Drive Letter or Path
Assign Drive Letter or Path

5. Here you’ve to choose volume format settings like format file system, Allocation unit size, Volume Label/Name and click Next to complete the volume creating settings.

Format Partition
Format Partition

6. Review all the settings and click Finish to create a volume successfully and mount the VHD.


The volume has created successfully, now you can store data and copy or move it.

Create and mount VHD in Windows Server 2016
VHD created

To copy or move the VHD first detach it in your computer from disk management then copy or move it to another place and attach it again to that computer, to detach; Open disk management and click on Action and select detach VHD.

When the Attach virtual hard disk opened, browse the VHD location from your computer and click ok. It will detach the VHD successfully with the data in it.

That’s it. If you’ve any question regarding this ask now through comment.

Create and Mount VHD/VHDX -Video Tutorial


MCSA Servers

How to Create a Storage Pool in Windows Server 2016?

A Storage Pool is one or more physical, internal, external disks or other various interfaces which extend more than one disk into one or more and create fault tolerance and other features. Windows Server 2016 include tools that enable you to manage disks graphically or from the command prompt easily. By using Server Manager, you can create a storage pool and span multiple disks into one and manage volumes and disks. To create a storage pool, you can set failover clustering or mirror volume to save disk data more secure and manage it easier. So let’s get started.

Create a Storage Pool in Windows Server

In this article, I am going to create a storage pool in Windows server 2016 using VMware. All the disks are logical and working fine as like a physical disk in a computer to work on with storage pool in windows server 2016.

When you added your physical disks, at least, more than one, you can create a storage pool to combine all the disks, from which you can create virtual disks and volume and store data on it.

Before getting started, you must understand file systems and volume types and disk types from which you can choose the one correctly you need if you don’t know it click here to read based on this.

1. To create a storage pool: Open Server Manager, click the Files and Storage Services>Storage Pools  and select the server that the disks are located at then click on Tasks>Create New Pool. Here you can also see the virtual disks, physical disks Storage Pools created in the server and manage them, like the screenshot shown below.

Notice: After adding the disks to the server don’t do anything with the disks.

Storage Pools
Storage Pools

2. Now read the needed information about the storage pool then click Next.

New Storage Pool Wizard
New Storage Pool Wizard

3. Specify a storage pool name with description and click Next.

Storage Pool name
Storage Pool name

4. Now select the disks you want to create storage pool also you can select a disk as a hot spare which is for failover clustering/ if a disk fails then the Hot spare disk will work and save the files from being deleted.

Note: If you select a disk for Hot Spare it will not work until a disk stop working and if you select it automatic, it will work and can be stored data on it but can’t work like hot spare saving the data.

Select Physical Disks
Select Physical Disks

5. Confirm all the settings have been done correctly then click Create.


6. The new storage pool has successfully completed, now click create a virtual disk when this wizard closes to create a virtual disk after this wizard and click Close.


Create a Virtual Disk for Storage Pool

After creating the storage pool now start creating a virtual disk for the pool you had created.

1. When the storage pool wizard finishes, just mark the create a virtual disk option to create a virtual disk after this wizard.

When the virtual disk wizard opened, read the details about it then click Next.

New Virtual Disk Wizard
New Virtual Disk Wizard

2. Select the storage pool to create a virtual disk, if it’s selected automatically just click Next.

Select the Storage Pool
Select the Storage Pool

3. Specify the virtual disk name and click Next.

Virtual Disk Name
Virtual Disk Name

4. At this step, you don’t do anything just click Next.


5. Select a storage layout/style you need then click Next. If you don’t know the definition, select the one and read the explanation beside it.

Select Storage Layout
Select Storage Layout

6. Select a provisioning type then click Next. The thin option uses space from the storage pool as needed, up to volume size and the fixed option uses from the storage pool equal to the volume size.

Provisioning Type
Provisioning Type

7. Specify the size of the virtual disk or select maximum size then click Next. If you specify the size the remaining size will be offline and not used and if you select the maximum size it will select all the size of the storage pool.

Specify the size of virtual disk

8. At this point, check all the configuration you’ve done and click Create to start the process.


9. Now the wizard has accomplished successfully and the new virtual disk has created, mark the create a volume when this wizard closes and click Close.


Create a Volume for the Virtual Disk

1. After creating the virtual disk, mark the Create a volume when this wizard closes then click Close.

When the new volume wizard opened, read the required information about it then click Next.

New Volume Wizard
New Volume Wizard

2. Select the server and disk you want to create volume for, if it’s selected automatically just click Next.

Server and Disk
Server and Disk

3. Specify the size of the disk, or let it by default then click Next. If the volume size will be specified, the remaining size will be offline and unused, it can be configured separately from it.


4. Select a drive letter or folder to assign then click Next.

Drive letter or Folder
Drive letter or Folder

5. Select the file system like NTFS then type a volume name or you can let it by default then click Next.

File system settings
File system settings

6. Notice that all the settings have done correctly and click Create.


7. The volume has created successfully click Close and start using the storage pool.


The storage pool and the disks have now been successfully created and ready to use, like the screenshot.

Create a Storage Pool
Storage Pool created

To create a new storage pool again, follow the steps above, to delete any storage pool just right click on it under the windows storage then select delete.

That’s it. If you have any question regarding this ask now.

Create a Storage Pool- Video Tutorial

MCSA Servers

Install Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2016

The Active Directory Domain Services is the feature of creating domain and managing it, but it’s never had been easy to do in a new platform due to many changes or having no experience of it. Surely you need some steps to follow to install and configure Active Directory Domain Services(ADDS) fully by following up the steps here. No matter if you have installed your server now or if you are doing it on a VM machine you can do it now, so let’s get started.

Install Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)

To get started, first you have to install it then setup a domain controller.

Before starting, make sure that you have renamed the server properly and have given static IP address to it. If you don’t know how to do it then see the instructions below.

To setup static IP address open Run (Windows + r) type Ncpa.cpl and hit enter, when the Network Connections opened select the network and right click on it choose Properties. Now select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPV4) and click on Properties. 

Setup IP

When the window appears, select Use the following IP address then enter an IP address, Subnet maskPreferred DNS server addresses and click ok.

Enter IP Address

1. Now to install AD DS open Server Manager and click on Add Roles and features.


2. Read the important notes and click Next to verify and continue the installation.


3. Here let the Role-based be selected, just click Next.


4. Select the server you want to install AD on it then click Next.


5. Now select Active Directory Domain Services then click Add Features to include the required features within AD and click Next.

While installing AD it will install some other features with it such as:

  • DFS Namespace
  • DFS Replication
  • File Replication Services

6. Leave the features window by default and click Next.


7. Read all the info about the AD and click Next.



8. Now the ADDS is ready to install, click Install to begin the installation.


9. Wait for the installation to complete, then click on Promote this server to a domain controller.




Configure Server to Domain Controller

1. When the window opened click on Promote this server to a domain controller, now click on Add a new forest then type the domain name in the Root domain name blank and click Next.




2. Let the Domain Controller options be by default and type a password for DSRM then click Next.




Notice: Set the Forest functional level the highest so your environment can support and make sure that all the domain controller are supported with that operating system.

3. Ignore the DNS delegation warning because its due to not installed DNS server on the server, and click Next.




4. Now verify the NetBIOS name and change it if necessary then click Next.




Note: NetBIOS name is a Network Basic Input/output system that allow applications on separate computers to communicate over a local network and can be required by some applications and network devices.

5. Specify the location of AD DS database, log files, SYSVOL and change it if necessary then click Next.




6. Now review all the configuration you’ve done then click Next.




7. The configuration is done now, click Install to begin the installation and ignore the warnings.

Note: It will install DNS role too.


After installing the system will reboot automatically, when the system restarted the domain will work successfully and you can log in and see the domain features.


That’s all. If you have any question regarding this feel free to ask us.

Servers Windows

How to Reset Forgotten Windows Server 2016 Password?

A password is the essentials of security for securing from all expected and unexpected happenings. While in Windows, you should protect your computer by locking it with a password. To do that so, you have to create a secure password to be well secured, but if you’ve done that before and now forgotten Windows password. Here in this guide, we will show you how to reset forgotten windows server password in some easy steps.

Notice: This guide works for all version of Windows such as Windows 7/vista, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016.

Reset Forgotten Windows Server 2016

1. Boot your system using bootable USB or CD/DVD, when the page appears just press Shift+F10 to open cmd (Command Prompt). If you don’t know how to boot then read the instruction below.

To Boot: Insert the USB or CD/DVD drive in the system and restart the computer, when the screen appears press F12 or press BIOS button and select the bootable device by pressing enter.

2. Now type D: then CD Windows\System32 to make changes to the computer with full system permission.


CD Windows\System32

Enter Commands

Note: If the D: drive wasn’t the root directory then type fsutil fsinfo drives to list all the drives on the system then select another drive.

3. Here you have to change the utility manager to cmd by typing:

Ren utilman.exe utilman.exe.old

Copy cmd.exe utilman.exe

Shutdown -r -t 0

Reset Utilman.exe

When the commands finished, your computer will restart. While restarting, don’t boot Windows, let it start normally.

Reset User Password

4. When the windows started normally,  on the sign in page, click on the utility manager or press ( Windows 10 Logo Key + u )  to open Command Prompt (cmd). Here you can create a new admin user or change your user password, to reset your password and change it type:

Net user [username] *

Change User Password
Change User Password
Reset User Password

Your password has successfully reset, and now you can log in with your new password.

Notice: When the password reset finished, reserve them back because if you don’t then anyone can reset the admin password.

Now to reserve the changes, boot Windows using USB or DVD device then press Shift+F10 and type:


Cd windows\system32

Ren utilman.exe

Ren utilman.exe.old utilman.exe

Shutdown -r -t 0

Reserve Changes

When the system restarted, check the utility manager and it will work.

That’s all if you have any question regarding this feel free to ask now.

A bonus tip: If you want to get easier and speedier login in every time, try adding a pin to your account despite your password. On the login page, you could log in with your pin or password.

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Home MCSA Servers

How to Share Files and Folders in Windows Server 2016?

Sharing folders makes them accessible to network users and probably you need to do. After you’ve configured disks on the server, you must share files/disks to enable network users to access files and disks. When sharing files and folders also you can enable administrators and clients to access the files, folders offline even when the server is off.

Sharing files and managing permissions with advanced settings are one of important strategy an administrator must know. Here in this article, we will discuss fully on share files and folders in Windows server 2016, no matter it’s possible to do it in Windows server 2012 and 2008 R2. So let’s get started.

Share Files and Folders in Windows Server

Before start sharing files make sure that the advanced sharing settings is configured correctly from control panel with firewall settings then select the folder you want to share. Here we will share files with File and Storage Services, it’s already available in windows server by default.

1. Go to Server manager click File and Storage Services then click shares>tasks>New share to create a folder share on server.

New Share

2. Select a share profile for the folder you want to share then click Next.

SMB Share Quick: (SMB) is the standard file sharing used by all versions of Windows. SMB Share Quick provides basic SMB sharing with full share and NTFS permission.

SMB Share Advanced: Provides SMB sharing with full share and NTFS permission and access to services provided by File Server Resource Manager.

SMB Share Application: Provides SMB sharing with settings suitable for Hyper-V and other applications.

NFS Share Quick: (NFS) is the standard file sharing protocol used by most UNIX, Linux. NFS Share Quick provides NFS sharing with authentication permission and access to services provided by File Resource Manager.

NFS Share Advanced: Provides NFS Sharing with authentication and permission and access to services provided by File Resource Manager.

Share Profile

3. Now select the server and select a volume on the server or specify the folder path you want to share. To share a custom path, choose Type a custom path and browse the folder then click Next.

Share path

4. On the specify share name page, type a share name and click Next.

Share Name

5. Here you have to select the sharing options you need, if you don’t know the definition read then mark them if required.

  • Select any or all of the following options:
    Enable Access-Based Enumeration: Prevents users from seeing files and folders
    they do not have permission to access.
  • Allow Caching Of Share: Enables offline users to access the contents of this share.
  • Enable BranchCache On The File Share: Enables BranchCache servers to cache
    files accessed from this share.
  • Encrypt Data Access: Causes the server to encrypt remote file access to this share.
Configure Share Settings

6. Now Specify the permissions to control access read or write by clicking on Customize permissions then add, remove or change users permission and click Next.


7. Confirm that the shared settings are configured properly and click Create.


The share was created successfully with its appropriate permissions, click close.


To check the folder shared go to Network>your computer then your shared files will be there.

Also you can see them by typing \\yourcomputername\ in the file explorer.

Configure file Shares using file Explorer

1. Navigate to the folder then right click and select Properties, click on sharing tab then click Advanced sharing.


2. Mark on Share this folder and enter a share name then click on permissions to add, remove or change permissions of users and click ok.

When the folder sharing is configured properly, click Apply then ok. Your folder will be shared successfully.

Also, you can manage caching of the folder by clicking on caching and select the one you want. (Caching enables offline files for the users those who have enabled offline files. You can choose if the folder should be available offline or not.

Offline Settings

All right, this was all about configured file shares in windows server 2016, hope it would be helpful and informative.

If you have any question regarding this ask here.

Home MCSA Servers

How to Enable Offline Files Policy in Windows?

Offline file policy is a method of accessing network files offline when the network is unavailable. You can enable in windows to make available network files offline without VPN or cellular connections also sometimes you can suffer from no connection so the files will be disappeared, by enabling it keeps a cached copy of network files on your computer so you can access to the files faster or less bandwidth, to enable offline files policy in your computer just follow the steps.

Enable Offline Files Policy in Server

You can enable offline files policy in windows server to let your clients access files from the cached copy of network files from their local computer anytime.

1. Start Run type gpedit.msc to open Group Policy Management Console, navigate to Computer configuration> Administrative Templates>Network then open Offline files.

1. Local Group Policy Editor

2. Now navigate to Configure slow-link mode then open it then click enabled, scroll down in the options and click on show, type * in the value name then type latency=1 in the value.

 Configure Slow link Mode
Configure Slow link Mode

After enabling this your files will be available offline to your clients computers.

Enable offline Files Policy in windows

1. Go to control panel>sync center>manage offline files then open it and click Enable offline files, it will be enabled then you can view your offline files, manage and work with offline files.

Enable offline files

The offline files policy is enabled and you can view, manage offline files.

Disable offline Files Policy

To disable offline files policy in server go to GPO(group policy management) then navigate to Computer configuration> Administrative Templates>Network> Offline files open configure slow-link mode and click Not configured then enter.

Disable Slow-link mode

To disable offline files policy in windows, go to control panel>sync center>manage offline files then disable offline files, it will be successfully disabled.

Disable offline files

You’re all done, if you have any question regarding this then ask us here.