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How to rename a domain controller after you migrated it, keep the old hostname

How to rename a domain controller after you migrated it, keep the old hostname

After a server migration, it can be useful to retain the old hostname of the old domain controller. If you migrated from any Windows Server Essentials or SBS version links, favorites and any shortcut that pointed to the old server hostname will not work if you do not retain the old hostname. For some this is a problem, for some, it is not. If you have a lot of applications that depend on that old hostname here is a small tutorial that explains how to rename the hostname of a domain controller.

You must use this renaming method only if the Domain Controller that you want to rename is your only Domain Controller. If you have multiple domain controllers in your network you should introduce a new Domain Controller, demote the old domain controller and rename it and promote another new domain controller with the old hostname. Although I have performed a rename of a domain controller (in the situation where there are more than one domain controllers) with the steps explained in this tutorial it is the better way to demote and promote in a more complex situation.

Renaming a server with the Essentials Experience role installed is NOT supported.

If you are going to perform these steps after you migrated from any Windows Server Essentials or SBS you must understand that steps to migrate redirected folders must be changed during the migration. You should NOT change the path to the Redirected Folders because they do not change at all. It is also important to shut down any client computer during this procedure. After the steps have been completed run gpupdate /force and check the health of your workstation. You must be able to see a NETLOGON and SYSVOL share and any other share you have.

You must have a full backup of your domain controller before you perform this procedure and you must know how to perform a disaster recovery if things fail.

  1. Start an elevated Command Prompt
  2. Type ‘netdom computername dcold.numinous.local /enumerate’ to list the names of the current hostnames
    netdom computername dcold.numinous.local /enumerate
  3. Type netdom computername dcold.numinous.local /add:dcnew.numinous.local to add the new name of the Domain Controller
    netdom computername dcold.numinous.local /add:dcnew.numinous.local
  4. Type netdom computername dcold.numinous.local /makeprimary:dcnew.numinous.local to make the new name primary
    netdom computername dcold.numinous.local /makeprimary:dcnew.numinous.local
  5. Type ‘shutdown /r /t 0’ to immediately shutdown and restart the computer
    shutdown /r /t 0
  6. Once the server is running again start and elevated Command Prompt and type ‘hostname’. It should show the new hostname you enter in the above steps.
  7. Type ‘netdom computername dcnew.numinous.local /enumerate’ to list the names of the host
    netdom computername dcnew.numinous.local /enumerate
  8. Type ‘netdom computername dcnew.numinous.local /remove dcold.numinous.local’ to remove the old hostname
    netdom computername dcnew.numinous.local /remove dcold.numinous.local
  9. Run ‘dcdiag /test:dns /dnsall /e /v > c:\dcdiag.txt’ to get a report on the health of your Domain Controller
    dcdiag /test:dns /dnsall /e /v > c:\dcdiag.txt
  10. Type ‘notepad c:\dcdiag.txt’ to view the report
    notepad c:\dcdiag.txt
  11. All went well!

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