On the Summary page of the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard, you can click Export settings to save the settings that you specified in the wizard to an answer file. You can then use the answer file to automate subsequent installations of Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).

The answer file is a plain text file with a [DCInstall] header. The answer file provides answers to the questions that are asked by the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard. Using the answer file eliminates the need for an administrator to interact with the wizard. The Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard adds text to the answer file that explains how to use it, such as how to invoke it with the dcpromo command and which settings must be updated to use it.

During an unattended operation, a return code indicates whether or not the operation was successful. For information about return codes, see Unattended Installation Return Codes.

To use an answer file to install AD DS, type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:

dcpromo /answer[:filename]

Where filename is the name of your answer file.