Install AD in Win7

I feel like you used to be able to install AD (Active Directory) through the “Turn Windows features on or off” dialog.  Apparently you must now first download the Remote Server Administration Tools (or maybe it was always that way and I just don’t do it often enough to remember).

Regardless, if you behave like a normal administrator it will give you headaches and will fail.  So I’ll give you the little advice necessary to make this installation go quickly and smoothly.

First go here and download the Remote Server Administration Tools.  I am running Win7 64 bit so I downloaded the 64 bit version.  If you are not sure, download them both and one of them will tell you it’s not compatible.

Ok, unfortunately you can’t just run the installer.  The simplest way to ensure it actually installs (no failure allowed) is to launch it from a command line being run as an administrator.  To do this open the Start menu and type cmd.  When you see cmd.exe, right-click on it and choose “Run as administrator”.

Now you are running the command line with elevated privileges.  Just launch the installer from the command line.  You can do this by merely entering the path and file name and hitting Enter.

I always downoad items to the desktop (since they are easy to locate and they exist as a reminder to delete them when done).  If I were signed into the built-in administrator account that path and file would look like this:


Click through the installation dialog and you will see the Remote Server Administration Tools appearing in your “Turn Windows features on or off” dialog.  I check the following items (checking a parent does not check the children).

  • Role Administration Tools
    • AD DS and AD LDS Tools
      • Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell
      • AD DS Snap-ins and Command-line Tools
      • Server for NIS Tools
    • AD LDS Snap-ins and Command-line Tools
    • DHCP Server Tools
    • DNS Server Tools
    • Remote Desktop Services Tools

That’s it.  Hope that speeds your day along.


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