Rename Windows 2012 AD server

I have about 10 servers. Everything from win 2003 to 2012. Soon I must replace two of them.
The problem is that one of them is a Windows 2003 AD server with all the FSMO roles.
And it works as the main file server.
Now they want me to replace it with a Windows 2012 AD server (already installed)
And the new server must have the same name and IP as the old 2003 server.
And to make it more interesting, the old server must remain as a demoted member server (with a new name and IP) because it holds a program that I can´t move.
Is it possible to rename a Windows 2012 AD server to a name already used?
And how do I do this the best way?

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Renaming domain controllers is very ugly and should only be done in the most extreme of circumstances. If there is *any* way to avoid it, do so.

2003 is also end of life. Beyond the many problems that demoting a DC often causes to applications still on the server, the fact that 2003 will no longer get security patches should scare you immensely. Find a way to move the apps. At * least* to 2008. You'll avoid multiple issues with that simple decision.
FutureITPartnerAuthor Commented:
I thought it was easier to rename a Win 2012 AD server?
And it is a lot of references/links to the old server (name and IP)

About the 2003 server, it must remain but only until we replaced the program on it and it will take a few months.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
You can in fact rename a DC and it is not hard to do at all and is completely safe to do this. I just posted on a similar question last night. Below is the question, and also a technet reference.

You use Netdom to rename the DC. Now it is not exactly the same as renaming a workstation or a member server but it only involves 3 commands. If you follow them it is completely safe. The technet link above references 2008R2 but the command is the same for 2012R2.


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Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

However, before you just go changing the name and the ip address of the existing 2003 server and the new 2012 server, you might want to make sure that *unmovable application* does not depend on either the name or the ip address.

If it does depend on the name or the ip address, then you will want to rethink your strategy here.  AD, is not a big deal because you can have it on any supported server.  What is an issue is that you have an unmovable application and file shares all on the same server.

If the file shares are referenced by name only, no problem, you can modify a login script to remove the old mapping(s) and add new mapping(s).  But what about references (shortcut and infile) or ip based mappings, these will have to be dealt with (I honestly have not found a method that works one hundred percent of the time in this situation).

Ideally, you might want to separate your concerns here (depending on how many DC's you currently have).  And then use a member server for your files.

Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
If there is an application that is dependent on a specific name or IP of a domain controller this is either one of 2 things: a poorly designed application that has to point to a specific name or IP, or poor architecture design by the application owner.

If you do find that you have this dependency with a  specific application what I would recommend trying is rather than pointing to a name or IP point it to the FQDN of the domain like

What this does is it will query any DC that is online which now does not rely on a name or IP dependency.

As stated you CAN do this but you need to take all of the precautionary measures when you are performing a change in production.

FutureITPartnerAuthor Commented:
Of course I have to find out if the application is dependent on name and IP. But I do not think so.
(The support team is working on it now)
So I dont think that is my main problem.

My worries is about changing the names.
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Windows Server 2012

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