I have a confession... I am a developer, a true developer.  I am infrastructure illiterate, meaning I very, very, very infrequently (like maybe twice ever) install a domain controller by myself.  I don't assign IP addresses, heck it's rare that I install Windows Server from scratch (we use network installs internally, I don't even have to think).

For demos, I usually just download a VHD that someone else built, and usually that VHD is a Windows Server OS that is a domain controller with lots of other stuff installed on it.  Self-contained, sure, but this time I needed a separate domain controller.  Time for me to get out of my comfort zone.

Thank goodness this has been written up and blogged on by many, many people.  I don't even need to provide screen shots of anything here, just a few links and you can create your own VHD that is a domain controller for use with your other VHDs.  Sweet.

  1. Running Windows Server 2008 R2 – Installing and Creating the Lab Domain Controller (Part 1) - this is a fantastic article that includes lots of pictures to make you feel all warm and fuzzy.  No guessing, just follow along.
  2. Create a Virtual Active Directory Domain Controller - just in case you want to verify things in the above link, double-check this list. 

I did vary a few things from those walkthroughs.  For instance, I used the IP address 192.168.0.1 for my domain controller, and didn't install WINS.  Other than that, just follow along the steps in the above articles and it couldn't be simpler.