The following is tip #6 from "10 tips in 10 minutes: Configuring Windows 2000 Server," excerpted from Chapter 6 in the book Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Administrator's Companion, Second Edition, published by Microsoft Press.
The Windows 2000 Configure Your Server tool provides a central location that you can use to install and manage most of the important server tools, such as Microsoft Active Directory, DHCP, DNS, and WINS. However, given the sometimes bewildering number of administrative tools and Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins available, having an organized and central location from which to access all of these tools is crucial. You don't actually use the Configure Your Server tool to perform many actions, but it serves as an interface for launching the various MMC snap-ins that you use to accomplish your tasks.
The Windows 2000 Configure Your Server tool appears when you first boot your server after completing Setup. If it doesn't appear, set up any additional devices and prepare any additional drives you need for your server programs and data, and then launch the Windows 2000 Configure Your Server tool from the Administrative Tools folder on the Programs menu.
In the Configure Your Server tool, use the topics on the left to choose the services you want to configure, and click the hyperlinks and buttons to set up and configure these services. The Configure Your Server tool launches any necessary wizards to walk you through installing the services you select.
Choosing Whether to Set Up a Domain Controller
The first screen in the Windows 2000 Configure Your Server tool asks whether your server is the only one on your network. When you create a new network and this is the first server on the network, choose the This Is The Only Server In My Network option. This selection sets up your server as a domain controller and installs Active Directory, DHCP, and DNS on your server. Otherwise, choose the One Or More Servers Are Already Running In My Network option. Choosing this option allows you to pick exactly which services you want to install on your system. After choosing an option, click Next to continue.
You should be extremely careful about adding a domain controller to an existing Windows NT 4 network. Before you can add any Windows 2000 domain controllers to an existing Windows NT 4 domain, you must upgrade the primary domain controller (PDC) to Windows 2000. This upgrade is required because Windows NT domains are single-master networks where the PDC contains the master records for the domain. Windows 2000 servers use full, multimaster replication, and each domain controller acts as a master repository for domain information. If you add a Windows 2000 server or upgrade any machine other than the PDC on an existing Windows NT domain, you'll create a new Windows 2000 domain that looks like the existing domain but is not the same domain. The Windows 2000 domain controller that will work as the PDC for the network won't have the same security identifier (SID) as the PDC of the Windows NT 4 domain you were trying to upgrade. The result is a "network" that doesn't work. Therefore, you must upgrade the PDC on a Windows NT domain to Windows 2000 before attempting to install any other iterations of Windows 2000 Server as domain controllers (member servers can be added at any point).
10 tips in 10 minutes: Configuring Windows 2000 Server
Tip 1: Checking for setup problems
Tip 2: Configuring devices
Tip 3: Using Device Manager
Tip 4: Troubleshooting devices
Tip 5: Configuring Networking Settings
Tip 6: Using the Windows 2000 Configure Your Server Tool
Tip 7: Configuring the first server on your network
Tip 8: Performance and memory tuning
Tip 9: Updating Windows
Tip 10: Securing Windows
This chapter excerpt from Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Administrator's Companion, Second Edition by Charlie Russel, Sharon Crawford and Jason Gerend is printed with permission from Microsoft Press, Copyright 2002. Click here for the chapter download or to purchase the book.