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Is the first domain created in active directory always the Forest Root?

Posted on 2014-03-25
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Last Modified: 2014-04-08
When creating the first domain in active directory, it is set as the forest root.

Can a second domain created after the first be converted to now act as the forest root.

For example:

Domain 1: test.ad.example.com

Domain 2: ad.example.com
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Question by:elchermans
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by:Mike Kline
ID: 39954988
No unfortunately  you can't  change the root
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Mahesh earned 500 total points
ID: 39955230
You cannot restructure forest root domain, its by design

However you can have tree root domain which will be having different name space in same forest

You can use the domain rename process to reposition any domain in the domain tree hierarchy of a forest, with the exception of the forest-root domain. Remember that although you can rename the forest root domain (you can change its DNS and NetBIOS names), you cannot reposition it in such a way that you designate a different domain to become the new forest root domain.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc738208(WS.10).aspx

Mahesh.
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Expert Comment

by:N-W
ID: 39955237
You can reposition any domain in the forest except for the forest root domain. Although you can't reposition the forest root domain, you can rename it.

So if you haven't already created "ad.example.com" (or you can delete it), you could rename your forest root domain to be "ad.example.com" and then create the child domain "test.ad.example.com".
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by:Mahesh
ID: 39955243
There are limiting factors as well you must be aware before proceeding domain rename

If you have Exchange 2007 \ 2010 deployed, you simply cannot rename domain

Domain rename is supported in a forest in which Exchange Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) is deployed. However, domain rename is not supported in an Active Directory forest in which Exchange 2000 Server is deployed. When the domain rename tool detects this condition, it will not proceed with the domain rename process.

Also if you have any AD integrated applications where domain name is hardcoded (very rare case) , those applications will not work after rename

Mahesh.
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