It’s Alive!

This post is going to be the first step in creating actual VMs that we are going to be using in our lab environment. First, we need to finalize the parent VM as a template, this just ensures we don’t power it on or accidentally delete it. Select the Windows Server 2012 VM and choose Edit virtual machine settings.


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Then select the Options tab and go Advanced settings item. We want to Enable Template mode (to be used for cloning) by simply putting a check in the checkbox and hitting OK.

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Now that we have it setup as a template we need to create a snapshot of the VM. All of the further clones will be based on this snapshot.

So right click the VM and select Snapshot > Take Snapshot… from the dropdown.

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Give it a name and description just for further use.

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The First Clone

Now that we have the template finished the first VM we deploy is going to be our Domain Controller.

Right click the Windows Server 2012 VM and select Manage > Clone…

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The Clone Virtual Machine Wizard will pop-up and simply hit Next then verify it is set to Clone from – An existing snapshot. The snapshot we took earlier should be listed in that dropdown and select Next.

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Verify Clone method is set to Create a linked clone and Next.

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Store the VM on the Solid State Drive and simply name it DC.

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Go ahead and power on the DC. It will boot and run through setup.

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Windows will prompt for Regional/Language Settings, Product key, and Password. It will boot after entering all required information.

If you notice any sluggishness with display I would suggest simply reinstalling VMware Tools but you won’t always have this issue.

First thing we need to do is put the DC on the network we created in Part 1 to that it is isolated from our home network. Go into Edit Settings on the VM by right clicking and selecting Settings from the drop down. Select Network Adapter and change Custom to VMnet2 then OK and go back to the VM.

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We now need to edit the IPv4 Settings on the VM so that it has a static IP. I have set the IP address to and the subnet mask is a /24 ( for clarity. If you are following along I would suggest you do the same. DNS is set to itself, and I have in there for connectivity for the time being.

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Next, we want to rename the VM computer name to DC and reboot it.

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After reboot, go back into the Computer Name/Domain Changes and click the More… button.

Fill in a valid DNS suffix for the new domain that we will create. I named mine cnwrlab.local. This means my DC will be named DC.cnwrlab.local. Reboot after hitting OK.

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After logging back in we want to go into Server Manager and click on Add roles and features. We want it to be a Role-based or feature-based installation then select Next. Make sure the DC is selected and once again hit Next. On the Select Server Roles page we want to select DHCP Server and DNS Server then Next.

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Hit Next again through the Features, DHCP Server, and DNS Server. For the Confirmation section go ahead and click Install. Once installation is completed choose Complete DHCP configuration on the Results screen.

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DHCP Post-Install configuration wizard will appear. Simply hit Next on the first screen and Commit on the second screen as Use the following user’s credentials should already be selected. If not, put a different user in below with the Specify… button.

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After the wizard is completed open the DHCP console. Now we need to create a scope. Choose the Action selection along the top after selecting IPv4 and click New Scope…

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Select Next on the first page of the New Scope Wizard and then give the scope a name and hit Next.

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Set the IP Address Range as follows from to

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Continue clicking Next until out of the wizard all the defaults are fine for a lab.

Now we need to setup the DNS now that the DHCP is done. Open the DNS Manager and select Forward Lookup Zone then to add a new zone. On the Action menu, click New Zone…

The New Zone Wizard will pop up and we want to leave Primary zone selected and hit Next.

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Zone name should be your domain name. Mine is cnwrlab.local. The file name is fine as the default. Change the Dynamic Update section to Allow both nonsecure and secure dynamic updates and hit Next and Finish.

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We need to do the same for Reverse Lookup Zone so do the same thing to add a new zone. The settings need to be set to Primary zoneIPv4 Reverse Lookup Zone, and the Network ID needs to be set to 10…

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Change the default once again for Dynamic Update to Allow both nonsecure and secure dynamic updates and Finish.

Now simply reboot the server and you should be listed in both the Forward and Reverse Lookup Zones.

Now we need to setup the actual DC part of the installation. Simply go into Add Roles and Features Wizard and select Active Directory Domain Services. Continue Next through the wizard until clicking Install. After install is completed Close the wizard. We now need to dcpromo the domain controller.

Open Server Manager and in the Notifications section. There will be a Promote this server to a domain controller option. Select that option.

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The Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard will appear and we want to select Add a new forest and set the Root domain name to your domain name, mine being cnwrlab.local.

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Leave the defaults on this page for Domain and Forest functional level unless you are planning on messing with older DCs. Set the DSRM password to something you will remember and hit Next.

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On the next page the only thing needing changed is the Credentials for delegation creation. I changed mine to DC\Administrator and my password then hit Next.


I leave the default input for NetBIOS domain name and hit Next until I get to the Prerequisites Check and hit Install as I don’t see any problems.

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During installation your domain controller should reboot and after powering back up it will now be acting as your domain controller for your lab domain. If you ran into any issues with DNS or DHCP, you should be able to get back into its respective manager and authorize it again.

You can also change the Forward and Reverse Lookup Zones in DNS to AD integrated, but it’s not necessary for the lab.

That is going to be it for the DC. The next part we will focus on the SQL server quick and then head into vCenter/ESXi/Storage environment.