Windows Server 2012R2 Essentials - how to set the extension for the local domain name

is there a way to set the extension of the local domain in Essentials?  we're replacing an SBS 2003 box and people have said to use the local domain name on the new box like domainname.lan rather than domainname.local

After a clean install of the OS, I get a screen asking for company name, local domain name and server name.  If I type domainname.lan, it complains about illegal characters.  I change that to domainname and it accepts that for the local domain name.
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAsked:
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
The only way to do this with essentials is to go the route OEMs do and create a custom answer file. It's a right pain and unless you absolutely are dead set on it, .local is fine for almost all essentials-sized networks.
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Cris HannaCommented:
And of course, why would you want to go to all the extra work of disjoining workstations from the sbs domain and then rejoin the new domain.  Even at my enterprise day job, the internal domain is .local
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
Chis - as a 'forklift' install of an essentials box to replace an SBS 2003 machine? It's only 5 - 6 desktops, they weren't using Exchange, it's a pitifully slow machine from 2006 so it's a pain to work on.

I looked - it's a xeon 2.8GHz with 2GB RAM (not even the 4GB max for SBS 2003).

Looking at:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Xeon+2.80GHz&id=1317

It gets a rank / rating of 400?!  

But an atom gets something over 600 or so.

Anyway, rather than carry 10 years of old LOBs, etc. we're going to use forensit app to backup profiles, disconnect machines from the domain move files on old server to the new box, put the new box on the LAN, join the machines to the new domain, restore the profiles.
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Windows Server 2012

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