Removing Underscore from AD Domain Name - Best Practice

lawatts used Ask the Experts™
We're in the process of upgrading our systems and introducing Exchange 2010 into the mix. One problem: our domain is "" which is incompatible with Exchange 2010. Exchange will not install on a domain including an underscore ("_"). We would like the domain to be "" to correspond with our websites and other services. Thus, I'm wondering what the best practice is for solving this issue.

I'm concerned about the 300+ workstation on our campus and extension centers that log into AD regularly and how to migrate them with the least blood shed possible. I'd like to not have to visit each workstation but will if no better solution exists.

I'm really not sure what direction is the best route. Your help is greatly appreciated!
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Hi Lawatts,

The process you are referring to is known as Domain Rename. Here are the notes for best pratices and also a step by step guide published by Microsoft Corp.

Download :

Cheers !


Will renaming the domain to an already established dns forward lookup zone create problems or will it transfer all the objects and merge the two zones?
You'll have to create the new forward lookup zone before you start the renaming process.

It will not merge the two zones, but before you run the last step of the rename process, you'll have to reboot every domain member twice. Then the new zone will be populated.

Here are the steps I did some time ago. This also included Exchange 2003.

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