How to rename a Windows Server 2008 domain

Standard

Previously you have been able to use RENDOM utility provided by Microsoft to rename your Window 2000 and Windows Server 2003 domains. However in Windows Server 2008 domain you don’t have to separately install Rendom utility. It gets installed as part of “Active Directory Domain Services” role when you promote a server to the DC role. And It can be found here : %windir%\system32\rendom.exe.

I used it to rename a Windows Server 2008 domain in my test lab environment. The process was pretty straightforward but it may require more tasks if you have multiple DCs in a multi domain environment.

The Forest and Domain Functional Level should be Windows Server 2008 to proceed with the following task.

From the command prompt, I started out by running rendom /list which outputs an XML file (Domainlist.xml) to the directory where rendom resides. You edit that file to change your domain configuration to the new domain name. i.e ForestDNSZones, DomainDNSZones, Netbios name. See referenced link for details.

After you have modified the file you can run rendom /showforest which shows you the future configuration, verify and make changes if necessary.

Upload the changes you have made in the XML file: Run rendom /upload

Verify readiness of Domain Controller(s): Run rendom /prepare

Execute domain rename instructions: Run rendom /execute

After thats finishes up successfully, you should also run GPFIXUP tool to fix up GPO references to your old domain name. See Step 12 of this document.

Here is an example :

C:\Users\Administrator>gpfixup /olddns:08r2.lab /newdns:mcts.lab
Group Policy fix up utility Version 1.1 (Microsoft)

Start fixing group policy (GroupPolicyContainer) objects:
……..

Start fixing site group policy links:
.

Start fixing non-site group policy links:
….
gpfixup tool executed with success.

C:\Users\Administrator>gpfixup /oldnb:08r2 /newnb:mcts
Group Policy fix up utility Version 1.1 (Microsoft)

Start fixing group policy (GroupPolicyContainer) objects:
..
gpfixup tool executed with success.

Lastly, run rendom /clean

The identity (domain GUID) of the renamed domain does not change during a domain rename operation. Thus a computer’s domain membership does not change as a result of the holding domain being renamed.

However, every member computer joined to the renamed domain needs to be rebooted twice. Please refer to “How Domain Rename works” technical reference for more info.

How Domain Rename Works : Microsoft Technet

Other References:

http://dsg.port.ac.uk/~hx/rename_domain/index.php

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Domain-Rename.html (for domains with Exchange)