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Forest Creation Process

Assuming we are starting from scratch, a so-called green fields site, we must first create a forest into which your systems will be integrated. This is called the forest creation process. This is the process that starts with the provisioning of an installation server through the creation of the forest.

Installation of Support Server

The first server installed in your network, you may be surprised to know, is not a domain controller. It is not even a new server. It should be a non-service server installed with either Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 in its own workgroup. This server is placed on the lab or future production subnet, initially as a workgroup server, and exposes a number of shares used for accessing operating systems, tools, software, utilities, and patches. The idea is to provide a secure, closed network that does not have access to the outside network that might likely contaminate your implementation. The support server is used for patches, access to tools, resource kits, and so on.

It is critical at this stage that none of your new servers "touch" the Internet or are exposed to the outside. It is very easy to "catch" a virus and not notice it until the entire forest is created and all your servers start croaking.

This server is eventually joined to the network as a temporary Windows Update Server (WUS). The server may also function as a temporary DHCP server. To configure the support server, do as follows:

  1. Log on to support server as Administrator while this server is still in the lab.

  2. Create a folder named C:\ADSTUFF and share as ADSTUFF (actually any name will do).

  3. Create a folder named C:\ADSTUFF\Adminpak\.

  4. Create a folder named C:\ADSTUFF\Support\.

  5. Create a folder named C:\ADSTUFF\Exchange Tools\.

  6. Create a folder named C:\ADSTUFF\SQL Server Tools\.

  7. Create a folder named C:\ADSTUFF\QA documents\.

  8. Crate a folder named C:\ADSTUFF\Scripts\.

  9. Create a folder named C:\ADSTUFF\RKTools\.

  10. Copy needed tools, MSI files, scripts, data, packages, and so on to these folders.

  11. Install anti-virus services and make sure the support server has the latest anti-virus DAT files and is performing the correct scans of its file system.

  12. Install Software Update Services Software Update Services on the support server.

  13. If needed, create distribution folders for operating system images. You can call the shares STDINST for the Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition or ENTINST for the Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system.

  14. If needed, create the distribution folders named C:\WEBINST and share as WEBINST for the Windows Server 2003 Web Edition operating system.

  15. If needed, create the distribution folders named C:\XPINST and share as XPINST for the XP workstation images.

  16. Create distribution shares (for example, C:\..\I386) and copy installation sub-folders and files to the distribution shares (see Table 6.2). This process can be done automatically using the Setup manager utility (setupmgr.exe) on the operating system CD's Support, Tools folder. Setupmgr is found in the deploy.cab file.

  17. Configure Software Update Services on the installation.

  18. Validate this server (including last scan for anti-virus).

Table 6.2 Example Configuration of Support Server



Server Name


Server IP address

W2K3 STD install share


W2K3 ENT install share


AD/W2K3 Tools


Server Administrator account

Administrator (local machine)


(see your specs)

With the support server in place on your isolated network, you can begin working on the creation of the forest and the domains, accessing your server for support materials as if it were your own mini Microsoft.com Web site.

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