If you are building a new domain, best practices dictate that you should be using an internal domain that is in line with your external domain. For example: “Office.Domain.com” with your external domain being “domain.com”
However, by default, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials will not allow you to use a top-level domain. It will try to set your domain to “.local” (for example “Domain.local”) if you use the wizard, which will be a problem in the future as your domain and network grows.
To resolve this, install Server 2012 R2 Essentials, but do not run the Configure Windows Server Essentials wizard. Just close it. Set your static IP on your network card, change the computer name to what you want it to be and restart.
After restart, logon and close the Configure Windows Server Essentials wizard again. Then open up PowerShell as an administrator:
You will now create the new domain administrator account using the following command:
PS C:\> $cred = Get-Credential –UserName LocalAdmin –Message “Authenticate please”
Note: you cannot have a local user with the same name
See below for an example for the administrator, “JoeAdmin”:
You will then be prompted to enter in the password, as shown below:
Now we can start the DC Promotion process:
PS C:\> Start-WssConfigurationService -CompanyName “JoeCPA” -DNSName “Office.JoeCPA.com” -NetBiosName “Office” –NewAdminCredential $cred -Setting All
See below for Example for “Office.JoeCPA.com”:
Select “Yes” when prompted:
You may see progress bar it may take a minute or two, so be patient:
The system may require a few restarts and you will see this confirming the setup completed:
Welcome to your new domain!