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How do i convert a single label dns windows 2000 domain to a FQDN windows 2003 domain?

Posted on 2007-11-20
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hi all.

I've got a Windows 2000 AD domain. In this are three domain controllers, an echange 2000 server, some other member servers (file, print, terminal, database) and 50 W2K clients. The domain name is a single label name.

I would like to convert this windows 2000 single label domain to a windows 2003 domain with a fully qualified domain name, so e.g. mycompany.local. Besides this i would also like to upgrade the exchange 2000 server to exchange 2003.

Is this possible? I don't have a clue as how to tackle this issue.

Thanks,
Eduard
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Question by:EduardSmits
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 20318854

Hi Eduard,

I personally think the risk is too great as you have Exchange installed.

In my opinion the best thing to do, if you wanted to proceed, would be to move to a new AD Domain. Then use ADMT to move accounts, and ExMerge or MailMig to move Mailboxes over. Of course that only works if you have the resources to do so.

So...

You can rename a Windows 2000 Domain provided that it is in Mixed Mode. If you've moved to Native then it's too late and you cannot change it without upgrading all DCs to 2003 and shifting to Native Mode there.

There's a long How-To for this here:

http://www.petri.co.il/w2k_domain_rename.htm

You should see that you're basically moving your Domain back to an NT Domain. I've never done it, but I'm pretty certain this wouldn't do Exchange much good. MS cover this in more detail here:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=292541

If you end up going towards Windows 2003 there is a tool, with a fairly large set of instructions here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/windowsserver/bb405948.aspx

Even though it is supported I would still avoid it with Exchange involved, it's pretty horribly complex as these things go.

If you do decide to go ahead backup everything prior to starting.

Chris
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 20318879

I meant to post this as a reference:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300684

I'm sure you already have it, or something similar if your domain is running. I just wanted to make sure it was there in case you were going for the upgrade to 2003 first, then the rename.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:EduardSmits
ID: 20319113
Hi Chris,

thanks for your quick response. I suspected exchange being a factor of trouble in this scenario. I haven't been complete in my information: my windows 2000 AD domain is in native mode. My plan is to completely upgrade my domain controllers and exchange server to windows server 2003 and exchange 2003.

I've had a glance at the information you provided. I'm not sure if the following is possible: upgrade to windows 2003 with a single label domain name, upgrade to exchange 2003 and after this rename the domain from single label 'mycompany' to 'mycompany.local'.

Would this be a feasable approach?

Regards,
Eduard
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 20319134

Hi Eduard,

It is, yes.

It's not without risk though. Domain Rename is complex process and you may find that Exchange doesn't work quite as expected even with the 2003 version of the tool.

This is the only link from above that's needed:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/windowsserver/bb405948.aspx

If you do follow the process read the process through very carefully, make sure you have backups of everything, and ideally test it first.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:EduardSmits
ID: 20319223
Thanks, Chris. This helped a lot.

One last queation though: what would be the approach you'ld recommend? Still the first option (new AD domain, use ADMT, Exmerge etc.)?

If so, do you know of any reference in wich this procedure is decribed in detail?

Regards,
Eduard
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Accepted Solution

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Chris Dent earned 350 total points
ID: 20319264

That method is really safe, but involves more work and requires more hardware.

You would setup a new domain to run beside the current one. Form Trusts between your current domain and the new one (remember that both the DNS and NetBIOS Domain Names would have to be different from the current domain).

Once you have that you can install and configure ADMT and use that to copy the User Accounts, Groups, and Computers (including joining the computers to the new domain):

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=6f86937b-533a-466d-a8e8-aff85ad3d212&displaylang=en

There's a KB Article "How-To" for Version 2 and extra information all over the place:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326480
http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/e70c3799-22e0-4385-8b36-f6f00b9c2f9b1033.mspx?mfr=true

Not sure why they don't have the same for Version 3. Still, the process should be roughly the same.

You would need to duplicate your Exchange environment onto the new domain. Then you can either use ExMerge to export mailboxes to PST then re-import. Or use MailMig to move the mailboxes from the old domain to the new one. That's probably best discussed here:

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-Migration-Wizard.html

As I say, a lot of work. But you do end up with a clean domain without the worries of the other methods.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:EduardSmits
ID: 20319313
Thanks again Crhis. You've definitely earned your points. This has set me on the rigth track.

Regards,
Eduard
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 20319391

Good luck, I hope it all goes well.

Chris
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