Question after upgrading NT4 PDC to Windows 2003 DC

My company is in the planning phases of upgrading from an NT4 domain to Active Directory (I know...I know, what took so long?).  Right now I am playing around with different migration/upgrade strategies in our test lab and have come accross something interesting...

I took my NT4 PDC and used the Windows 2003 CD to upgrade it to an Active Directory DC.  The upgrade process went smoothly.  Prior to the upgrade, I had a member server and a workstation joined to my old domain.  Once I upgraded the NT4 PDC to 2K3, both of the domain member machines seemed to have immediate membership in the new AD domain.  If you view the domain membership inside of systems properties, is listed, as it should be.  However, when you initially log on to either of these machines you see the name of the old domain and the name of the local machine in the log onto box.  The name of the new domain does not show up in the log onto box.  When you log onto the domain controller, you see the name of the old domain in the log onto box, not the new domain.  Also, when I view the ACL on shared folders and such, groups and users are listed as OLDDOMAIN\group, not NEWDOMAIN\group.   Everything seems to work, I'm just wondering how to remove these references to the old domain.  Thanks in advance.
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There's no "olddomain" and "newdomain"; you've upgraded the PDC, so you still have the same domain as before.
What you're currently seeing as "olddomain" is the domain's NetBIOS name; this has not changed with the upgrade, it's still needed for backward compatibility. The "newdomain" is your new Active Directory domain name.
So what you're seeing is perfectly normal.
cdavidson0724Author Commented:
I see...let me ask you this, once all of my domain controllers are Windows 2003 and my domain functional level is at Windows 2003, what am I trying to maintain backward compatability with?  Is there a way to change the NetBIOS name of the domain?
I beleve that netbios name goes away when you raise the domain funcinal level from 2003 interm to 2003 native
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mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
The backward compatability is needed for older clients to be able to connect to your AD such as Win98 and for older applications that have not upgraded to kerbos authentication.  The domain name is always referred to in the "log onto" box by the NETBIOS name.  If you want to use kerbos authentication you will have to type the username like "user@domain.local".  Once you do that you will notice the log onto box is now gray.

The "new" domain name is just the Netbios name with a dns suffix to make it a FQN (fully qualified name).

I also noticed you mentioned in your original post.  I suggest, and I'm sure my fellow experts will agree, that you use something like DomainName.local instead of  This will prevent many many DNS issues later on.  For instance lets say you have a public website called  When users on your network try to access it's going to resolve to one of your ADCs because that's what your internal domain name is.  You will have to setup all kinds of special dns records to allow access to this site.


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cdavidson0724Author Commented:
Good points guys...

I actually am using .local on my AD domain name.  My old domain is an acronym for my company, lets say ABCD, and my new domain is the actual company name, companyname.local.  I will raise the domain functional level from Windows 2003 interim and see if that clears this up.
mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
Most domains use the netbios name as the prefix of the FQN name.  Unless you have a specific reason I would just create the domain with the same name as the netbios, it will make things less confusing.

For example:
If you current domain is called ABCD then I would name the W2k3 domain ABCD.local
cdavidson0724Author Commented:
Point taken...

I raised the functional level to Windows 2003 and the NetBIOS name is still around.  I will certainly consider using ABCD.local as the production domain name when the time comes, but for the sake of knowing, is there any way to change the NetBIOS name of a domain without causing disruption to domain users and computers?

mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
Here is a KB Article on how to change the netbios name of your domain while it's still NT4.  Once you change the name then do your upgrade to AD.  Remember to create a new BDC (can be an old pc) and take it offline before starting...this will be your backup.
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