Windows 2003 domain rename

Posted on 2011-10-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a Windows 2003 Server Standard that was just built with a ridiculously long domain name. I want to rename it to something else. We have not created any member ID's yet and there is no Exchange Server on this box.This server is replacing an older Windows 2003 Server Standard running in workgroup mode. All the desktops have not seen the new server yet or have ever seen a domoain controller. We are implementing the new server this weekend.

Can I safely rename the domain to another name? If so, what are your recommendations on how to do it?

Question by:mjbegin
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    So you have freshly installed server. It was already promoted to DC or not jet?
    If it was not, you can simply rename the server as you would any client computer.

    If it was, then I would suggest you to demote the server back. (You will loose your domain.) Change the server name (if necesarry) and promote the server again as DC. This will create the new domain and select domain name as you wish.
    There exists also domain rename tool, but Ms don't recommends to use it.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    just look at

    there should be no issues in your case.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    "Renaming a domain is a very involved process and should be done only when absolutely necessary. "
    from You can see a lot of similar articles.

    Why using a domain rename tool, when simply removing the domain form server and create a new one takes the same or less effort than using that tool. Yes, the tool works, but why starting with "dirty" AD just from beginning, if you can have a clean one. If you already had a working production AD environment I would understand...
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Domain Rename in Windows2003/2008

    Abhijit Waikar.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank-you. Sorry about the delay in getting back to you. Many other suggestions talked about using the rename tool. This approach was simple and it worked.

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