By default an installation of Windows 2012 Server comes setup to use DHCP for its network setup and some random computer name.
If you want to use the sever for anything useful, the first thing you really need to do is change the IP address and server name to something a bit more sensible.
In the server manager first choose Local Server on the left to get a summary of the server’s properties.
I find it easier to change the IP address first before changing the server name, as changing the server name requires a reboot. Clicking next to Ethernet where by default it says IPv4 address assigned by DHCP, IPv6 enabled takes you straight to the Network Connections dialogue. Here you can quite simply right-click on the network adapter and select Properties.
In Ethernet Properties you need to highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties to get to where you can enter a new IP address and other networky bits.
I tend to use the 192.168. range of IP addresses internally, so here I’m using 192.168.1.201 as my IP address. My gateway and DNS server duties are handled by my ADSL router and this sits on 192.168.1.254.
Once you’ve done this, click OK and close the various dialogues to get back to the server manager. You should now see the IP address you entered next to Ethernet.
Next click the random name that was assigned during the install, this is next to where it says Computer name and up will pop the System Properties dialogue.
Simply change the name to something more sensible – I’ve been boring and called mine DC1 as eventually I will be configuring this server as a domain controller.
If this server is going to be the first domain controller, you need to leave the Domain/Workgroup settings alone as the Domain will be set when configuring the server as a domain controller. However, if you’re joining this server to a domain, now would be a good time to do this as well.
Once you click OK, you will be told that the computer needs to restart.
Click OK, then OK again in System Properties to close it – you will then be asked to restart again which you should do.
Once the server has rebooted, it will have its nice new name and IP address ready for setting up how you want.