How to rename Windows Server 2012 domain

There are times, when after creating and setting up domain environment you realize that you made a mistake in naming convention. For example domain with .local or .intranet was used. According to Microsoft and many sources like for example mdmarra.com blog you should avoid TLD and avoid above names since they are now sold by ICANN and might get registered by other companies. Why this might become harmful is a topic for a new book, or at least new blog post. I’m just providing a link to explanation: Domain naming best practices, AD Naming Considerations, Why you should avoid .local in AD.

So, after creating and configuring whole AD environment you have decided to change it’s FQDN or NetBios? You can always reformat controllers and start all over again – if it’s possible. But in most cases it isn’t 🙁

Thanks to Albal’s Blog I was able to rename our freshly created domain environment. Steps necessary to perform are:

1.  Check you are working with the right domain controller (in this scenario we only consider this is one), enable Administrator account and login on this account.

2. Open DNS Manager and add a New Zone Under Forward Lookup Zone.  Select Primary and replicate To all DNS servers running on domain controllers in this domain.  Enter the new domain name.  Then Select Dynamic Update, Click Allow only secure dynamic updates (recommended for Active Directory) and finish the wizard.  You should now see the new Domain name is listed in DNS Manager.

3. Open a Command Prompt as Administrator and run:

  1. rendom /list
  2. notepad Domainlist.xml
  3. change all occurrences of DNSname to match your new domain – do the same with theNetBoisName for ForesetRoot – then save and close
  4. rendom /showforest
  5. rendom /upload
  6. rendom /prepare
  7. rendom /execute – and wait to be signed off

4. Login into the new domain (beware the login will default to the old login for now as it was the last used one) and check that all is well in computer properties.

5. Open Command Prompt again as Administrator and run (replace OLD_ and NEW_’s with your domains:

  1. gpfixup /olddns:<OLD_DOMAIN> /newdns:<NEW_DOMAIN>
  2. gpfixup /oldnb:<OLD_NETBIOS> /newnb:<NEW_NETBIOS>
  3. rendom /clean.
  4. rendom /end

6. Rejoin old domain computers to this renamed DC or whatever you were wanting to do before.

All credits go to Alba’s Blog, thanks for that!

By |2016-12-22T21:35:10+00:00June 16th, 2015|Active Directory, How-To's, Microsoft, Windows Server|0 Comments

About the Author:

I am passionate about Systems Administration. I like to face new challenges and test new environments.Windows and Linux Debian boxes (both physical and virtual) are my favourites. I like solving problems related to Windows Server roles and services as well as Linux but some distributions in particular. I'm not considering myself as Linux master but surely, I always do my best to fit the needs. On the other hand I consider myself as a Windows Server Professional and in terms of WS and Windows Desktops I always follow best practices, good advices and opinions from other admins.

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