Use PowerShell to add an additional Domain Controller to an existing Windows Server 2012 Active Directory Domain

Recently, I decided to add a second domain controller to my domain. The existing server and this new server that will become a domain controller both run the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 operating system and both were installed with the default installation type of server core (no GUI).

Even though the GUI can be turned on and off in Windows Server 2012 (unlike in Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2), I prefer not to add the GUI unless absolutely necessary.

You’ve already loaded the base operating system, added it to the domain, and configured the server as per your organization’s standards. Log into the new server you want to add as an additional domain controller and launch PowerShell by typing “powershell.exe”. You’ll need to first add the AD-Domain-Services role to the server:

Add-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services


The installation of this role completes and a restart is not required:


Now to make this server an additional domain controller in the domain:

Install-ADDSDomainController -CreateDnsDelegation:$false -DatabasePath 'C:\Windows\NTDS' -DomainName '' -InstallDns:$true -LogPath 'C:\Windows\NTDS' -NoGlobalCatalog:$false -SiteName 'Default-First-Site-Name' -SysvolPath 'C:\Windows\SYSVOL' -NoRebootOnCompletion:$true -Force:$true


The installation will go through several steps:


A restart is required when the installation is complete:


If you’re looking to install the first domain controller in a new Active Directory forest instead of adding an additional domain controller in an existing domain, see my blog article titled Use PowerShell to Create a New Active Directory Forest on Windows 2012 Server Core Installation (no-GUI).