Replacing A Windows Serv 2003 Domain Controller


  • I have a Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller that I need to replace with a Windows Server 2008 device that I need to be a domain controller.  My problem is that I need to maintain the server name because it is an application license manager and I want to prevent having to touch all the workstations accessing the license manager to change the license manager's name.  I've done some research and cannot find the best process of doing this.

    If I add the new server to the domain, can I rename a new server's computer name without causing problems with my domain?

    Should I demote the existing 2003 Domain controller, remove it from the domain, add the new 2008 server to the domain as the same computer name and IP address and promote it?  Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Friday, January 31, 2014 2:34 PM


All replies

  • Really wouldn't advice that process. Unless you have multiple AD servers, doing that would mean essentially starting a new domain, and you'd then have to re-join all the machines to it since even if it was the same name the various IDs and things would be different.

    You'd need to setup the 2008 server with a new name and then promote it to be a DC, move all the FSMO roles from the 2003, and only once everything's been moved from 2003 to 2008 should you demote the 2003 server and then remove it from the domain. See for the steps for moving the FSMO roles.

    Once that's been done the 2008 server will be the only DC and you should have removed references to the 2003 servers name from AD. Now follow the process here to rename the 2008 AD server to the name you gave the 2003 server previously.

    Friday, January 31, 2014 3:54 PM
  • Sorry for omitting some information.  The existing domain has a total of 4 controllers.  So there are two other controllers capable for maintaining the domain so I can make the change to the other.
    Friday, January 31, 2014 4:23 PM
  • Ahhh, cool, in which case double check none of the FSMO roles are currently on that 2003 box first obviously, and then demote and remove it like you suggested. Might be worth having a read through after you've removed it from the domain. While it's directed at removing orphaned DCs I'd suggest it's a good guide with which to check that all references to the old server have been removed, otherwise you're likely to hit issues (possibly not immediately) when you add a new server with the same name.
    Friday, January 31, 2014 4:53 PM
  • Great!  Thank you very much for the assistance.
    Friday, January 31, 2014 5:32 PM