Domain Controller Renaming

Posted on 2007-07-30
Last Modified: 2010-03-18

I'll soon have to migrate a domain controller (which is NOT the primary DC) to another machine and would like to have it keep the same name as various scripts and file shares are using it.
It is a Windows 2003 Domain.

I've read the article there and it seems pretty easy :

but now, I've read on Experts Exchange a thread ( ) where it is said that you can not rename a domain controller without demoting it first, which is a problem since I would like my old domain controller replicate to the new domain controller before I rename the old one to DCOld, and the new one to the name the old domain controller was wearing. If I have to demote the both of them to do the rename, I will lose the result of my replications.

The Experts Exchange thread was written for a question based on Win2000, but it put me a doubt : who is right then ?

Any tip or advice and things to be careful  when renaming is especially welcome.

Question by:Vorenus
    LVL 31

    Accepted Solution

    Hi Vorenus,

    Both are right. Ability to easily rename domain controllers came with Windows 2003. I believe you should not encounter any problems if you follow first article.


    LVL 29

    Assisted Solution


    It is not really possible to rename a DC under Windows 2000 as you've read you need to demote the server then rename and re-dcpromo the box. Windows 2003 fixed this as renaming a DC is something a large number of people want to do.

    If you follow the article you should be fine. As always make sure you back everything up before making changes of this nature so if things go wrong you have a point in time to recover to.

    Just FYI - How to Rename a Windows 2000 Domain Controller

    LVL 29

    Expert Comment

    Sorry Toni you're too quick.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    The way to go about this would be as follows.

    Install Winsows on the new machine

    Assign the new computer an IP address and subnet mask on the existing network. Use a new nane for the time being eg TempDC

    Make sure that the preferred DNS server on new machine points to the existing DNS Server on the Domain (normally the existing domain controller), Then add the new server  to the domain as a member server.

    From the command line promote the new TempDC machine to a domain controller with the DCPROMO command from the command line Select "Additional Domain Controller in an existing Domain"

    Once Active Directory is installed then to make the new machine a global catalog server using the same process as already mentioned.

    Assuming that you were using Active Directory Integrated DNS on the first Domain Controller, DNS will have replicated to the new domain controller along with Active Directory.

    You can then run DCPROMO on the OldDC and remove it from the domain.

    Then use the Domain Controller rename tools to rename TempDC with the name of the oldDCas outlined in

    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your confirmations.
    I've split the point as I tought fair : all the comments were helpful to me.

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