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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

By shoe4rent ·
A company that I just started working with has a big problem. I inherited the mess, and now I need to fix it because it is causing some problems.

The last admin used underscores ("_") in naming some of the servers and the domain.
Example: "Domain_Name"

I know I am going to have to jump through hoops and will loose some stuff.
Windows 2000 AD domain, Exchange 5.5, IIS 5.0, about 50 clients/workstations, 10 servers, etc...

What is my "best" course of action?
What will I have to do over?
What exactly will be effected?

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by LordInfidel In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

First off. It does not matter if he used _ in the server names. It is a valid character.

I personally prefer to use the - between names like domain-dc-1, in any event it does not matter in the grand scheme of things.

Fixing the server namesand workstations names is not a big deal. Simply remove them from the domain, rename them. Reboot and rejoin the domain with the new name.

Exchange is trickier, it does not like it's machine name renamed. I would leave that one alone unless you are *very* well versed in exchange. (I am and I would not even try it)


IIS, does not matter.

Changing the AD domain name has severe consequenses. You just can't arbitrarily change IT (domain name) or the DC's machine name.

In fact, the only way to change it is to remove the domain using dcpromo and rebuilding it.

Doing the above will break/cripple exchange access.

Changing Server Names (such as file and print servers) will mean remapping each person to the new server name.If I was you. I would wait, bide my time, and document the network thoroughly before changing anything.

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by shoe4rent In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

Thanks for the info, but I need to know how to fix it. :)
Complete documentation of the domain is already underway. I cant wait and bide my time, its not my choice, I dont have that luxury.

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by shmaltz In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

I couldn't agree more with the previous answer. However, regarding renaming AD DCs it can be done and you don't have to rebuild AD (I'm talking about the machine name and not the Domain name). To do that take any Win2K Server run DCPROMO on it. Makethat computer take over the FSMO roles. Run DCPROMO on the original Server, rename the Server run DCPROMO again, take over FSMO roles. Run DCPROMO again on the second machine. However he is right about renaming. The underscore is an invalid name on the Internet. However, microsoft decided to allow underscores in its DNS.

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by shoe4rent In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

Renaming the servers is easy enough. The real problem of the original question more relates to is renaming the domain.

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by henrywi In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

make a backup and use dcpromo install windows 2k on it and create a new AD then migrate the users with ADMIT

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by henrywi In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

what i tried to say unfortunately is not way of rename AD Domain after been setup you have to uninstall it and do it all over again

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by shoe4rent In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

Poster rated this answer

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by shmaltz In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

Answer 3 has a solution for you, I believe this will work. However as I stated in my previous answer there is no need to do that.

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by shmaltz In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

LordInfidel is wrong, the underscore character is not allowed on the Interent, only a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and hyphen (-) are allowed on the Internet, However Microsoft DNS does allow any character.
The following is a copy of the Windows 2000 Resource Kit book (MS Press):

Internet standard characters for DNS host names are defined in Request for Comments (RFC) 1123 as A?Z, a?z, 0?9, and the hyphen (?). Using only Internet standard characters ensures that your Active Directory will comply with standards-based software. To support the upgrade of earlier Windows-based domains to Windows 2000 domains that have nonstandard names, Microsoft clients and the Windows 2000 DNS service will support almost any Unicode character in a name.

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Changing Domain and Server names in AD?

by shmaltz In reply to Changing Domain and Serve ...

See RFC 1035, and 1033

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