SOLVED: DCPromo Config Wizard Site List

When running dcpromo on Windows Server 2012 in a new site in an existing domain, the Site Name dropdown is empty.  When any page in the wizard is incomplete, you cannot continue.  This post found a resolution.

When you run dcpromo, you begin to see the “Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard.  This wizard automatically detects your domain and suggests the appropriate domain selections.  This includes asking you which site should contain this new domain controller.  In prior versions of dcpromo, you set the site after installing the domain controller using AD Sites and Services.

In our case, we noticed that the sites were listed correctly, but we wanted to create a new site so we could select it in this dropdown.  We exited dcpromo, went to an existing domain controller, ran AD Sites and Services, and created the new site.

Next we returned to dcpromo on our target server and found that our new site wasn’t in the wizard.  We figured this was a replication issue and went to lunch.  When we came back, the site name still wouldn’t appear in the wizard, so we restarted the target server.

Now when we ran dcpromo, the site list was completely blank.  dcpromo clearly saw our domain by the other detections, but would no longer list the sites.  So, we changes DNS servers on the target server to use alternate DCs, but no change.

After seeing that Google had nothing to offer but hundreds of “How to run dcpromo” blogs, we started clicking around in dcpromo to see if we could make something work.  We tried selecting the domain, even though the detections showed our proper domain.  The domain selector showed some hexadecimal string that we presume was the hex value representation of our domain “mycompany.local”.  We selected this just to see if it fixed anything and found that it actually selected the hex value, not the domain string – and the wizard would not continue.

We then typed in our actual domain name in the domain textbox and clicked Next.

Now the Site Name selection list had our Sites listed correctly.

EDIT:  We realized after the fact that the corresponding site subnet entry has the wrong subnet mask.  We don’t know if this was the cause of the problem or just coincident.

See our Active Directory page for more information!