We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Re-joining a member server to a Win2011 SBS domain controller

This is a hypothetical question at the present time.

Say if I have a Win2008 Std server joined to a network with a Win2003 SBS Std DC.
Let's further say that the name of the member server is called Server-2008.

If at some point, I unjoin Server-2008 from the network.
And the DC is replaced by a completely new computer running Win2011 SBS Std.
(No migration of anything from the replaced old DC).

Should I re-name Server-2008 (to say Server-2008A for example) before I re-join it to the network, now with the new Win2011 SBS DC ?
And if so, why?

Thanks, Experts.
Watch Question

Distinguished Expert 2018

That is a rather strange question, so I will ask the opposite. Why do you think it *would* be necessary to rename the computer? I can think of no compelling reason to. AD is new. The computer is currently in a workgroup. Thus a new join will result in a new object, regardless of name.



Reason for my asking this question stems from my experience with Win2003 SBS.

Win2003 SBS provides a Server Management wizard to join a client or server computer.
Early on I had chosen not to use the wizard. But merely join an XP/2003 computer directly by simply doing so via the client computer system Properties. Although the join appeared successful, there were issues later on (group policies propagation etc).

An Expert then kindly helped. He strongly recommended that I always
- Remove the client computer account from the SBS DC
- Rename a client computer, even if it is with a fresh OS install
- Delete all contents of the client computer folder, C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server
- Use the wizard to re-join the client computer

Since that time, I had faithfully followed the advice and have been rewarded with nothing but stability.
Then came Windows 7 Pro. Win2003 SBS does not support Windows 7.
With Windows 7 workstations, I had to go back to the previous method of directly joining from Computer System Properties. Since then, in the case of some machines, trust relations is occasionally lost, requiring re-joining each time. I do not know if this is because of the method of joining (the only one I know of!).

The Win2003 SBS is now earmarked for replacement with a Win2011 SBS computer.
You may say that the question ought to be whether the join computer wizard of win2003 SBS is now a thing of the past. Regardless of whether the client computers are XP, Win2003 or Win 7?

My apologies if my answer seems a bit long winded.
Distinguished Expert 2018
It is always best practice to use the wizards where possible, but the process you have described also embraces a few "old wives tales" of SBS that have never been true. At any rate, there will be no need to rename the member server when joining to the new domain.



Thanks, Cliff.
I have always thought that to be the case. But lacking in both knowledge and experience, I thought it best to stick with the suggestion - illogical notwithstanding.
With your input and comments, I think I can now proceed with added confidence.
Much obliged.