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Change the name of a primary domain name windows 2000 server

Posted on 2003-02-27
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Hi,

Can you change the name of a windows 2000 primary domain name server which is setup with the name of something like newcomp.companyname.com.local to something like goodoldboy?  

Our network guys says you can't because the computer is a primary domain name controller, but this will cause me days of work.  The computer is new and I think he is just sticking it to the junior guy that made the mistake of not naming the computer the same as the old server.

Please help us juniors out!!!

Thank you.
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Question by:keepliving
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srachui earned 204 total points
ID: 8038099
In Windows 2000, there are a class of servers called Domain Controllers that host Active Directory.  There is a FSMO Role (stands for Flexible Single Master Operator) known as the PDC Emulator.  As background, that's what a PDC is in Active Directory.  Unlike Windows NT, each Domain Controller in a Windows 2000 domain has a writeable copy of the directory.  These servers that host copies of the directory cannot change their name like standard member servers.  The only way you can do this would be to run the DCPROMO utility (included on all Windows 2000 Servers) and bring it down to become a member server.  Then you can rename it.

Some considerations before you do this, though:

1. If this is the only Directory Server in your environment, promoting this server down will completely remove your directory, and when you promote it back up, you'll be bringing up a blank directory.  Performing a restore of the data would need to be done, but that has unique difficulties of its own since you've changed the server name.
2. If you simply want to change the server name from newcomp.companyname.com.local to goodoldboy.companyname.com.local, you'll have to do what I mention in step one.  If you want to totally change the name and have it just be goodoldboy, then what you're really doing is renaming the entire domain, which also can't be done natively without deleting and rebuilding the domain.  I know some of these features are coming in Windows 2003, but for Win2K, it's not an option.
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Author Comment

by:keepliving
ID: 8038179
srachui,

Thanks for your response, I have been eagerly awaiting the wisdom of EE.

The thing is we use to have a NT server called sever1 with a domain of domain.  The new windows 2000 server is called server2.company.com.local  This means that all the UNC file paths are incorrect and so are alot of other small things.  Since this new server is not up yet i was hoping they could just change the name to be the old one.  Does this mean i want them to change the domain?  The new server is not really "alive" yet, does this matter?

Thanks for th response.
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Author Comment

by:keepliving
ID: 8384465
Thanks man.
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