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Initial Configurations of Windows server 2016 step by step

After installing Windows Server 2016, you can start working but before that, there are some initial configuration to perform for making the server ready to work. These are the essential tips to do before start working with it. Here are the tasks to complete such as; renaming the server, setting the time zone, configuring the network connection, joining a domain, enabling remote desktop and some more. So let’s get started.

Perform Initial Configuration of Windows Server 2016 Graphically

 1. Rename server

Renaming the server is the first step of initial configuration. By default windows server has setup a unique name, to change it open Server Manager and click on local Server then click on your computer name. On the System, Properties click change and type a unique and short computer name then click ok. When you’ll be asked for restarting just hit Restart Now.

Computer name
Computer name

2. Join a Domain or Promote Server to a Domain Controller

Here you have two options to select, the first one is to join a domain or promote this server to a domain controller see the article from the link below(Install AD DS to create and manage domain services).

Note: Before joining to a domain or promoting to domain controller you must configure server’s TCP/IP settings from the instructions below.

To join a domain, open Run>Type Sysdm.cpl>click Change>Select Domain>Type the domain name and hit Ok like the shot. When you’ll be asked for authentication then type the username and password of the domain user and click ok. When the server joined to the domain click Restart now on the dialog box to sign in with the domain after restarting.

Notice: Before joining to a domain check the Domain controller and your computer if they are connected. If you got error like an error like connecting to domain service then check out the connection and ping them to check if they are connected then try joining the domain.

To promote this server to a domain controller, read the article based on How to Install & Configure Active Directory Domain Services(AD DS)?

Join a domain
Join a domain

3. Turn on Automatic Updates

Keeping your server protected and updated is the most important. By turning on Automatic Updates on your server will be secure and latest, to configure open Settings>Update & Security and click on check for updates then when the update downloaded and installed.

Settings - Update & Security
Settings – Update & Security

On the Advanced options, choose Automatic update installing to let the Windows Server install updates when the server is not in use or you can set manually when to install updates.

Settings - Advanced options
Settings – Advanced options

4. Setup time zone settings

Accurate time zone is essential for Server and services to work on exact timing. To setup open Server Manager click on Local Server and click on Time Zone hyperlink then click on Change Time Zone, select the correct time zone and click Ok.

Time zone settings
Time zone settings

5. Configure TCP/IP settings

A Server needs static IP for installing AD DS or using other features so to do it open Server Manager click on Local Server and click on your computer’s network interface hyperlink(Ethernet).

Server Manager
Server Manager

On the Network Connections select the correct network adapter to configure by right click and choose Properties.

Set-IP
Set-IP

Now click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPV4), when the window opened select Use the following IP address and type a IP address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway and Preferred DNS server.

TCPIP Properties
TCP IP Properties

6. Enable Remote Desktop

There are a two ways to enable Remote Desktop in windows server, no matter we will do it with Server Manager. The Remote Desktop feature is the core

To enable open Server Manager click on Local Server and click on Remote Desktop hyperlink, it will directly open up the System Properties remote tab, just click on Allow Remote Connections to this Computer and click ok.

System Properties
System Properties

Perform Initial Configuration of Windows Server 2016 with Command-line

1. Rename the Server

Netdom renamecomputer %ComputerName% /NewName: NewComputerName

Rename computer
Rename computer

Type Y and hit enter to proceed. The server have renamed successfully.

2. Join a domain

Note: Before joining to a domain check the Domain controller and your computer if they are connected, also your computer should have taken IP with DHCP from the server correctly.

Netdom join %ComputerName% /domain: DomainName /userd: UserName /passwordd:*

Type the username and password of the server user twice and hit enter to connect.

Join to domain
Join to domain

Now restart to apply all commands and joining to domain by typing;

Shutdown -r -t 1 

After you get started, check out your computer that it will have the other user option to sign in with domain user.

Sign in to domain
Sign into domain

Here’re all the command that are entered above.

All commands
All commands

3. Configure TCP/IP Properties

To configure IP address properties on a server or on any other computer follow the below commands.

To set IP address properties first identify your network adapters by typing:

netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces

Now to set a static IP address, subnet mask and default gateway type;

Netsh interface ipv4 set address name=<> source=static address=<Ipaddress> mask=subnet mask gateway=Gatewayaddress

Set Static IP address
Set Static IP address

You can set Just IP address without subnet mask and default gateway.

To set up DNS server IP address type;

Netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=<> address=DNSIPAddress index=1

Note:index=1” refers to position of added DNS server.

Index=1 is Preferred DNS server and index=2 is Alternate DNS server.

Set DNS IP address
Set DNS IP address

To confirm or check IP address type;

IPconfig /all

It shows all details of network including IP address, Subnet mask, DNS IP address.

All details of IP
All IP details

You can see all IP addresses configured and work properly.

Here’re all commands of IP properties.

Initial Configuration of windows server 2016
All commands of IP properties

And at the end, if you’re using Hyper-v or VMware take a snapshot of the Server so you can restore it later. That’s all, this was all the initial configuration of windows server using command-line.

That’s all, this was all about the initial configuration of windows server 2016 graphically + command-line.

If you have any question regarding this, leave a comment below.

Check out this article: Install Active Directory on Windows Server 2016 step by step

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By Karar

is a tech geek, writes & share his experiences through the website. Also he's founder of Tactig and love to help people. You can connect with him on social media and ask your questions you're stuck.

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