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Renaming a domain in Server 2008 R2


jcarle
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I'm preparing on doing a domain rename (I'm changing a domain from "domain.com" to "network.domain.com") and I've been reading on the documentation provided here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc738208(v=WS.10).aspx

One part has got me a bit nervous : "Be sure to avoid any possible name conflicts with the new names that you choose. Name conflicts can cause unpredictable and severe results. For example, a conflict with the NetBIOS name can render a domain controller unusable because you might not be able to properly remove AD DS from it."

Now, even though "domain.com" will be changing to "network.domain.com", the NETBIOS name of "DOMAIN" will still be "DOMAIN". Is that in itself a conflict?

Also, this is a single DC domain without Exchange or DFS shares. Can someone please check over my notes and see if I've missed anything?

Prepare DNS

Create new DNS zone for "network.domain.com"

Prepare the domain rename

rendom /list

edit DomainList.xml

check DomainList.xml using rendom /showforest

Do the actual rename

rendom /upload

rendom /prepare

rendom /execute

Update group policy

gpfixup

Clean changes

rendom /clean

Update DC DNS

Use My Computer and change primary DNS suffix

ipconfig /registerdns

Update DHCP information

Change all domain related paths in DHCP configuration to clients

Update computers

Reboot all domain attached computers twice

Edited by Tripredacus
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Never did a domain rename, indeed if you keep the same netbios name, it shouldn't proceed properly.

Also, when you choose the dns suffix domain name be sure not to use something already registered in the internet. It might cause wrong resolution and create a lot of problem if your dns are configured to also cache/resolve external adresses. The right way is either using something that can't exist ( ex: Mydomain.internal )or buying a domain and make it point on your dns.

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The domain DNS does resolve to external DNS and the domain is an internet registered domain which we own. However DNS resolution is properly setup and does not conflict.

If the NETBIOS name does not change and it is in fact a requirement that it does change, does that mean I'll have to do a double rename? Once to a fake and temporary domain, then a second time to the final desired domain?

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Have you looked into adding a child domain and migrating the objects to that?

I have but you can't remove the parent domain from the forest after doing so. Since I am going from a parent domain as the forest root to a child domain as the forest root, the only options are to either rename the existing domain or create a new forest all together.

When you restructure a forest, you can move a domain (except the forest root domain) anywhere within the forest in which the domain resides.

Edited by jcarle
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The domain DNS does resolve to external DNS and the domain is an internet registered domain which we own. However DNS resolution is properly setup and does not conflict.

If the NETBIOS name does not change and it is in fact a requirement that it does change, does that mean I'll have to do a double rename? Once to a fake and temporary domain, then a second time to the final desired domain?

Yep a double rename might be the way but you may be stuck with the temporary domain for a long time.

The best way should be to test it with a few servers and workstations (cloned from the real ones) in an isolated virtual/physical environment. I'd test and validate all the steps there (and working with virtual machine would help a lot as you can create snapshot at each step). You'll need at least 2 DC and 1 workstation to make useful tests. If possible, i'd try to have more than those.

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