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Replacing a Primary Domain Controller Server with a new Server with different Domain name.


We are looking to replace a Dell PowerEdge 1800 that has Windows Server 2003 with a new Dell PowerEdge T410 that has Windows Server 2008.

The Server is our Primary Domain Controller and DNS Server.

We are looking for the easiest way with proper best practices to replace the server with the new one.  The new server, once finished, will have a DIFFERENT domain name due to a name change in our company.  (file.abc.local to file.xyz.local)

We are thinking of adding the new 2008 server into the environment with a dummy name with the old domain name and promoting it and demoting the old primary domain controller 2003 server. Then renaming the domain to the new domain name using rendom.  Are these the proper steps?

Then we have the question of how can we have everyone in the domain log into the new domain name and keep the same local profiles.

I read a blog that restarting twice would automatically change the domain name to the new domain name but in a test environment I was unsuccessful changing over.

Can anyone please guide me with the proper steps to replacing this new server with new domain name and having the profiles change to log in to the new domain.  Step by step would be awesome.
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Generally when I've perfomed an upgrade to a new server it is joined to the domain, promoted to a DC, all FSMO roles are transferred, all data is transferred, logon scripts are updated to reflect the new server name and then the old server is demoted.

If it was me in this situation I would rename the domain and make sure it's all working properly before performing the migration to the new server. Once the rename is performed, 2 reboots of the clients should automatically pick up the change. Local profiles should not be affected since the domain GUID is not changed.

MS have a guide for how to perform the rename in Windows 2003.

If you want to perform the rename after migrating to Windows 2008, this blog post details the steps.
liranp1IT and .net developer
i find this

but this is a delicate situasion, i think you should install the new server with the same configuration and name of the old server (the old server must be disconected) , of upgrade like ghodder wrote.

but if you are making big change like this i think it is better to start clean, you probably have a 2 weeks nightmare of stuff that don't work but it will pass and the network will work best.



I tested this process in a test network and everything works except this part:

Once the rename is performed, 2 reboots of the clients should automatically pick up the change.
The client PC's still have the old domain after rebooting twice.  Any ideas?

Hi brian,
              This is personal experince i gathered from microsoft,never use rendom to rename domain name,it creates hell lot of a problem,unless and untill there is no other  option.
i would recommend to create a new domain with the new 2008 server and then create a trust releationship between the two domain and use "admt tool" to migrate user and computer on the new domain.


please refer this step by step guide


When you are promoting the new domain make sure you dont raise the FFL to 2008 ,let it be 2003 native.
This will absolutley work welll without any doubt.


I would still have the problem of manually moving all of the client profiles though, right?  That is what I am trying to avoid.
No you will not face any problem migrating profiles read this
however if you face difficulty uisng admt this ADMT  there is also a really good free tool that I've used in the past for profile migrations   http://www.forensit.com/downloads.html

PLease read this article to understand profile migration on technet

 please fell free the ask any confussion


Thanks Sushil.  I will review and let you know how it goes.

PberSolutions Architect

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