How to Rename a Windows 2000 Domain Controller

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Article ID: 296592 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

It is not possible to rename a Windows 2000 domain controller as long as it is in service as a domain controller because of the extensive changes that need to be made to Active Directory if the computer that houses Active Directory is renamed. However, you can demote the domain controller to a member server in the domain, rename the server, and then re-promote the member server to domain controller status in the original domain. This article describes the potential consequences of using this process and how to use this process to rename a domain controller.

MORE INFORMATION

You can use one of the following methods, as appropriate, to rename a domain controller in an existing domain:
  • How to Rename a Domain Controller in a Domain That Contains a Single Domain Controller
  • How to Rename a Domain Controller in a Domain That Contains Multiple Domain Controllers

How to Rename a Domain Controller in a Domain That Contains a Single Domain Controller

Before you rename a domain controller in a domain that contains a single domain controller, make sure that you take the following information into account:
  • If your domain contains only one domain controller and you demote that single domain controller without considering all of the potential consequences, you might lose all of the Active Directory information that is configured for that domain. That information includes all of the user accounts, all of the computer accounts, global catalog information, custom file permissions, and so on. If you lose that Active Directory information, you must manually re-create all of the Active Directory information. The Active Directory information cannot be restored to a member server from a backup. The best practice is to make sure that a domain has at least two domain controllers, to provide redundancy of critical Active Directory configuration information.
  • To rename a single domain controller and retain all of the Active Directory information that has already been configured, you must install Windows 2000 Server or Windows 2000 Advanced Server on another computer, and then promote that computer to domain controller status in the domain. After Active Directory replication has occurred between the original domain controller and the new domain controller, you can demote and rename the original domain controller. Use the Active Directory Sites and Services Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to force replication if necessary.
  • For additional information about how to promote and demote a domain controller, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    238369 How to Promote and Demote Domain Controllers in Windows 2000
    Pay particular attention to issues that pertain to the global catalog and domain master roles before you demote the original server in the domain. The best practice is to manually move the global catalog and operations master roles to the remaining domain controller. Before you demote the domain controller that you want to rename, you must manually make the remaining domain controller a global catalog server and transfer the operations master roles by using Active Directory MMC tools.For additional information about transferring these roles, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    255690 How to View and Transfer FSMO Roles in the Graphical User Interface
To rename a domain controller in a domain that contains a single domain controller:
  1. Install a second Windows 2000 server in the same domain with the server that you want to rename.
  2. Promote this second server to a domain controller either by using the Configure Your Server Wizard or by running the dcpromo.exe command.
  3. Use either the appropriate MMC or the Ntdsutil.exe utility to make the second server a global catalog server and move all of the operations master roles to the second server. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    255504 Using Ntdsutil.exe to Seize or Transfer FSMO Roles to a Domain Controller
    You need to "transfer" the roles; do not seize the roles. See the Help file that is included with the Active Directory Sites and Services MMC for instructions about how to assign global catalog responsibilities.
  4. Before you continue, verify that the new domain controller is functioning correctly. Verify authentications and global catalog searches, run the Dcdiag.exe utility against the domain controller, and perform any other appropriate test to verify that the new domain controller will be able to provide all of the domain functions after you remove the original domain controller from the domain. It is also important that you verify that the \sysvol and \netlogon drives are shared on the new domain controller. Run the following command from a command prompt on the new domain controller's console:
    net share
    Verify the existence of Sysvol and Netlogon in the list that is generated.
  5. Click Start, click Run, and then type dcpromo.exe to demote the domain controller that you want to rename to a member server.
  6. Rename the computer; in System Properties, click the Network Identification tab, change the computer name, and then follow the instructions to restart the server.
  7. Either use the Configure Your Server Wizard or run the dcpromo.exe command to promote the member server back to domain controller status.
  8. Reconfigure all of the operations master roles and the global catalog as necessary.

How to Rename a Domain Controller in a Domain That Contains Multiple Domain Controllers

Before you rename a domain controller in a domain that contains multiple domain controllers, make sure that you take the following information into account:
  • If you want to rename a domain controller in a domain that contains multiple domain controllers, the process is very similar to the process for a domain that contains a single domain controller (you must demote the domain controller to a member server in a workgroup before you rename the computer), but the potential for losing Active Directory information is reduced. The other domain controllers in your domain retain replicated copies of Active Directory, in case a failure occurs or peer domain controllers are removed.
  • The global catalog and the ownership of master roles by other domain controllers must be your primary concern when you rename a domain controller in a domain that contains multiple domain controllers. If the domain controller that you want to rename was the first domain controller that was installed in the domain, that domain controller is the root domain controller. Unless the global catalog and master roles are assigned to other domain controllers, that root domain controller is the current global catalog server, and is responsible for all master roles in the domain.
  • If the domain controller that you want to rename is anything other than the first domain controller in the domain, and you have not manually assigned global catalog or master roles to the domain controller explicitly, you can safely demote and rename that server.
To rename a domain controller in a domain that contains multiple domain controllers:
  1. If necessary, use either the appropriate MMC or the Ntdsutil.exe utility to move all of the operations master roles or global catalog responsibilities to another domain controller in the domain. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    255504 Using Ntdsutil.exe to Seize or Transfer FSMO Roles to a Domain Controller
    See the Help file that is included with the Active Directory Sites and Services MMC for instructions about how to assign global catalog responsibilities.
  2. Before you continue, verify that the new domain controller is functioning correctly. Verify authentications and global catalog searches, run the Dcdiag.exe utility against the domain controller, and perform any other appropriate test to verify that the new domain controller will be able to provide all of the domain functions after you remove the original domain controller from the domain.
  3. Click Start, click Run, and then type dcpromo.exe to demote the domain controller that you want to rename to a member server.
  4. Rename the computer; in System Properties, click the Network Identification tab, rename the computer, and then follow the instructions to restart the server.
  5. Either use the Configure Your Server Wizard or run the dcpromo.exe command to promote the member server back to domain controller status.
  6. Reconfigure all operations master roles and the global catalog as necessary.
For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
238369 How to Promote and Demote Domain Controllers in Windows 2000

Properties

Article ID: 296592 - Last Review: February 28, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
Keywords: 
kbdcpromo kbenv kbinfo kbnetwork KB296592

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