Monthly archives: June, 2013

RT @MicrosoftShow: Why Microsoft’s cloud matters:…

RT @MicrosoftShow: Why Microsoft’s cloud matters: Hint the reason begins with “A” but it ain’t Azure – GigaOM

Installing SQL Server 2012 Express on Windows Server 2012

As part of updating the server infrastructure I have built a replacement for our 8-9 year old backup server and a requirement of that is to have a local instance of SQL server to hold a small database of backed up objects and their state.
Moving the database from the old server to the new turned out to be more problematic than I first thought. The first part was that SQL Server 2012 Express didn’t want to install itself on Windows Server 2012 and I received the message below.

The following error has occurred: Error while enabling Windows feature: NetFx3, Error Code: -2146498298, Please try enabling feature: NetFx3 from Windows management tools and the run setup again.

The following error has occurred:
Error while enabling Windows feature: NetFx3, Error Code: -2146498298, Please try enabling feature: NetFx3 from Windows management tools and the run setup again.

Fine, I’ll just stop and go install the NetFx3 feature.

Except there isn’t a feature called NetFx3! In fact what SQL Server needs is the .NET Framework 3.5 Features, it was something that SQL Server 2008 R2 would install automatically if it detected that it wasn’t present, but apprently not not the 2012 Express version.

So go into Add Roles and Features and tick the box for the .NET Framework 3.5 Features and click next.
sqlserver2012installation error02

Unfortunately you hit another snag here as .NET Framework 3.5 is a feature on demand i.e. one that is copied to the disk when Server 2012 is installed so you need the installation disk and then direct the installer to that as the source.
sqlserver2012installation error03

sqlserver2012installation error04

Then installation is straightforward.
sqlserver2012installation error05

Unfortunately you can’t just continue the SQL Server installation at this point as you’ll get the following errors. You’ll need to start the installation process again, but this time it will be quick and easy.
sqlserver2012installation error06

Promoting a Windows Server 2012 RODC to become a writeable domain controller

Having now moved the rest of the business into the new office it is no longer functioning as a branch office and so the RODC (Read-Only Domain Controller) I set up sometime ago is no longer required.

The plan was it would be demoted and we would return to having just the two domain controllers. However I changed my mind as the other domain controllers are VMs on ESXi which I don’t think is an ideal situation and I’d prefer to have at least one physical domain controller.

Unfortunately the process of converting a RODC to a writeable DC isn’t quick as you can’t go from one to the other you need to demote it and then promote it again.

Starting in Server Manager click on Manage > Remove Roles and Features

Select the server from the list. In my case there is just the one server to choose from.

Then counter-intuitively you need to select to remove Active Directory Domain Services even though you do want to continue using it as a Domain Controller. But it all becomes clear in the next step.


The AD DS role cannot be removed until the domain controller has been demoted. This is what we wanted to do all along so click on Demote this domain controller.

I don’t want to force the removal as it is able to communicate with the other domain controllers and so can be removed normally (See about forcing removal of domain controllers)

Warning that removal of AD DS role could break Active Directory, only a concern if clients can’t communicate with the other domain controllers. Tick the box to Proceed with removal and click Next.

The next bit is a crucial step as you are asked if you wish to Retain domain controller metadata. The only reason to do so would be if you planned to reinstate the server as a RODC in the future. If you wanted to remove it entirely as a domain controller or if you wish to promote it to being a writeable domain controller as I do then you need to ensure you leave the box unticked. Click Next.
I’ll show you later the error you would get if you ticked the box and then tried to promote it as a full domain controller.

Need to recreate a local administrator password for the server as domain controllers do not have local admin accounts they only accept domain accounts.

Review your selection. You can view the Powershell script at this stage that is actually run under the hood when you click the Demote button. As this is a one time only affair there isn’t a reason to do so.

The process runs and the server reboots.

Then we’re back looking at Server Manager and there is a flag indicating that you need to promote the server for it to become a domain controller. If you were removing the server as a domain controller you would in fact return to Manage > Remove Roles and Features and then complete the removal of the AD DS role.

But I do want to Promote it so I click on Promote this server to a domain controller.

Then the process is the same as shown in a previous post when I set the server up originally as a Domain controller.
Select Add a domain controller to an existing domain and select the desired Domain from the list and enter a domain administrators credentials.

Specify domain controller capabilities and site information. Click through the DNS delegation error.

Specify install/replication options. Install from media or replicate from another domain controller.

Choose the file paths for the AD DS Database, log files and SYSVOL. Defaults are fine with me.

Then the prerequisites will be validated before AD DS is installed on the server. In the case of installing AD DS on a former RODC where the metadata had been retained you would get the following error.

Otherwise the prerequisites check will pass and you can click Install to finalise the process.

Microsoft’s official instruction on Demoting a Server 2012 Domain controller is to be found here