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Why can't Microsoft tell me ALL STEPS to change a username and email address after marriage ?? RRS feed

  • Question

  • This post makes me sound whiny and aggravating, but I'm really just desperate, so please have some compassion !! :-)

    All I want to do is change a username and email address because the user got married.

    It's next to impossible to find a reference document with step-by-step directions.

    Can someone here please tell me how to do it step-by-step in the correct order?  Please don't just send me links to several other documents: I already have them and they're confusing, incomplete, and don't really tell you the correct order to make the changes.

    We have one of the most common or "vanilla" network systems: Windows server, Exchange server, Windows client PC.  I'm sure that lots of other System Administrators would appreciate the same instructions that I'm asking for.  I'm also guessing that the steps are very similar across the different versions of Windows and Exchange.  This is what we have:

                 Windows Small Business Server 2008

                 Exchange Server 2007

                 Windows XP client PCs

    I had to try this previously for a different user, and it ended up as a disaster with lots of errors and hassles.  Ultimately, I had to create a brand new Windows user, brand new Exchange mailbox and email address, log on to the client PC as the new user, and then copy, export, forward or re-create all kinds of necessities such as the old username's emails, old username's desktop profile, old username's IE favorites, old username's home folder, etc.

    I need to know all the steps, but the most critical step I'd like to do correctly is: after changing everything correctly in SBS console and/or Active Directory, and changing everything correctly in Exchange Server Management, then can I log on to the user's client PC using the new username and will it automatically connect to the same profile that the user had before, with the same desktop, same IE favorites, same Outlook settings, etc? Or do I need to do something on the user's client PC to make that happen?

    Hello, Microsoft, can you please create one reference document that explains the basics of "username and email address change because of marriage" in a step-by-step correct order?  Can someone here at TechNet submit this as a formal request to the Knowledge Base people? 



    • Edited by REBECCA1190 Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:02 PM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:24 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Microsoft cannot give you all the steps, because what "all the steps" are will depend on how you set up and manage your user's identity attributes.

    User name, displayname, samaccountname, primarysmtpaddress, UPN, and alias are all different identity attributes, and they may or may not be related, depending on how you assign and manage those in your domain. 


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    • Proposed as answer by Jamestechman Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:14 PM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:03 PM
  • Agreed.
    But there really isn’t much too it and “all the steps” are relatively straightforward.
    Go into AD Users and Computers and/or (don’t have your Exchange version) the Exchange management tool. Change all of the names that you need. You will see them quite a few times. Change everything. Then add the new SMTP address you need (new name) and click the button to set it as primary. Leave the old address there.
     
    Without knowing your version of Exchange and whether you are using SBS that’s as much as anyone can give you.
     
    "mjolinor" wrote in message news:258db574-1f13-444a-8066-bd1ff89c3efa...

    Microsoft cannot give you all the steps, because what "all the steps" are will depend on how you set up and manage your user's identity attributes.

    User name, displayname, samaccountname, primarysmtpaddress, UPN, and alias are all different identity attributes, and they may or may not be related, depending on how you assign and manage those in your domain.


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    Mark Arnold, Exchange MVP.
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:31 PM
  • I did put the versions of my products in my original post.  Here they are:

                 Windows Small Business Server 2008

                 Exchange Server 2007

                 Windows XP client PCs

    Are you saying in your answer above that if I just do that, then walk over to the user's PC and log on using the new username, that her desktop will look the same, her Outlook will look the same, IE will have all of here Favorites, and all email sent to both her old and new username will go to her Exchange and Outlook correctly?

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:37 PM
  • Now their home folder path has changed, they have a brand new (default) Windows profile on their workstation, and no Exchange profile.


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    Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:45 PM
  • Mark, I see that you're an MVP and your previous answer seemed knowledgeable and friendly, so I'm going to ask you a few more questions about this topic if that's okay with you.

    I previously said "Don't send me any links to other articles because they're not helpful" but I'm going to relent and pose this question to you:

    pretend that you're a System Admin who needs to change a username and email address and you don't know how to do it. 

    What keywords would you search on the TechNet site to find an answer that's clear enough to use? 

    Please try the keyword search yourself first before you recommend it to me. 

    Did you find something useful and reasonable, something a less-experienced System Admin like me could use?

    I'm totally willing to search for stuff myself, but on this particular topic it's either me who's pathetic, or the documentation that's pathetic ! LOL

    Thank you, Mark, I consider you my new best friend!

     



    • Edited by REBECCA1190 Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:05 PM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:52 PM
  • Now their home folder path has changed, they have a brand new (default) Windows profile on their workstation, and no Exchange profile.


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    mjolinor: I don't understand at all what you wrote above, I'm sorry.  Is what you wrote a good thing or a bad thing?  Does it imply that I should or should not have done a previous step, or that I should or should not do some new step? To me, it sounds like what you wrote above would be a big problem that would need to be fixed, is that right?
    • Edited by REBECCA1190 Thursday, September 22, 2011 4:03 PM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:56 PM
  • thanks. I’m using a bridge so I didn’t see your original post and am grateful you replied with the fact that you are on SBS. That makes it a little more complex and it’s outside my skill-zone because I haven’t touched SBS for over 10 years.
     
    However, there is a management console with SBS. Use that. Change all the names there. I am going to assume that Exchange will then automatically change the SMTP address. What you would then do is to either use the SBS console to add another email address as a secondary or do the same thing in your Exchange management. (again, SBS can be temperamental in what you do and where you do it.)
     
    If you are using a POP3 connector to get email from an ISP or something I can’t help you with that. I know there was some weirdness when you had extra email addresses.
     
    The only thing I can find is: http://forums.techarena.in/small-business-server/811212.htm  but it contains quite a bit of humour. I know the people making the puns so it’s funny to me but you might sigh and regard it annoyingly irrelevant. Be patient.
     
    On the client you need to do something. When you see on the server that everything is well, including the display name you can have the user come out of Outlook. Then go into Control Panel. There will be an icon called MAIL. Open that and then navigate through it and change the person’s name and click check name. That should come up instantly and you need do nothing else because you haven’t changed the security principal underneath it. Remember that a name field is just boring old text, the real ID underneath didn’t change. OK etc. etc yourself out of it and go back into email.
     
    "REBECCA1190" wrote in message news:4729ba48-bdbb-4d59-bb31-ff1397832ce5...

    Mark, I see that you're an MVP and your previous answer seemed knowledgeable and friendly, so I'm going to ask you a few more questions about this topic if that's okay with you.

    I previously said "Don't send me any links to other articles because they're not helpful" but I'm going to relent and pose this question to you:

    pretend that you're a System Admin who needs to change a username and email address and you don't know how to do it.

    What keywords would you seach on the TechNet site to find an answer that's clear enough to use?

    Please try the keyword search yourself first before you recommend it to me.

    Did you find something useful and reasonable, something a less-experienced System Admin like me could use?

    I'm totally willing to search for stuff myself, but on this particular topic it's either me who's pathetic, or the documentation that's pathetic ! LOL

    Thank you, Mark, I consider you my new best friend!

     



    Mark Arnold, Exchange MVP.
    • Proposed as answer by Sophia Xu Friday, September 23, 2011 8:36 AM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 4:20 PM
  • What's happening here is a mixture of changes to both the user's Windows domain identity and the Exchange mailbox identity attributes.

    Windows profiles are based on the user's logon name.  If their logon name is based on their user name, then changing their logon name results in creating a new profile for the new logon name.  The new Windows profile doesn't have any of the desktop settings, application data, or the Exchange profile that was stored in their old Windows profile.

    If you also mapped their home directory based on that name, and you also change the name there, now their home folder path has changed.

    It's not so much that you should or shouldn't have done the steps, but that you need to understand what the ramifications are going to be when you do. 

    Because those file names and mappings are based on the logon name you need to be prepared to rename the affected profile and home directory folders or copy content to new folders.

    This is not really and Exchange issue, but a Windows issue.  You would have these same issues with changing a user's logon name even if you weren't running Exchange.


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    • Proposed as answer by Sophia Xu Friday, September 23, 2011 8:40 AM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 4:38 PM
  • Mark:

    Thank you so much.

    The link that you provided above does contain a step-by-step description that I can use, and will use.

    I'll be out of the office this afternoon and tomorrow, so I will try the steps suggested by "LANwench" (great username, she won't need to change it if she gets married or divorced LOL) on Monday, September 26 and then I'll report back here with confirmation that it worked, description of any troubles or tweaks, etc.

    So, don't think that I just dropped out of the thread, I'll definitely be back next week to write the ending of this mystery novel so the next reader can peruse the last page first to find out "who-dun-it", or rather, "how-da-dew-it".

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:05 PM
  • What's happening here is a mixture of changes to both the user's Windows domain identity and the Exchange mailbox identity attributes.

    Windows profiles are based on the user's logon name.  If their logon name is based on their user name, then changing their logon name results in creating a new profile for the new logon name.  The new Windows profile doesn't have any of the desktop settings, application data, or the Exchange profile that was stored in their old Windows profile.

    If you also mapped their home directory based on that name, and you also change the name there, now their home folder path has changed.

    It's not so much that you should or shouldn't have done the steps, but that you need to understand what the ramifications are going to be when you do. 

    Because those file names and mappings are based on the logon name you need to be prepared to rename the affected profile and home directory folders or copy content to new folders.

    This is not really and Exchange issue, but a Windows issue.  You would have these same issues with changing a user's logon name even if you weren't running Exchange.


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    mjolinor:

    Yes, exactly, you do understand what I'm saying and I do understand and agree with the way you described it above: it's a mixture of Windows and Exchange commands on the server and the client. It's necessary to do all changes, and in the correct order.

    So, I'm just asking to go to the next level of specific and detailed description of what to do for all three areas: Windows server, Exchange server and the Windows client PC.

    When you, or someone else, writes generally as you wrote above "Because those file names and mappings are based on the logon name you need to be prepared to rename the affected profile and home directory folders or copy content to new folders." There's no instructional information there if I don't know how to rename a profile (which I don't).  I do know how to rename home directory folders, but when in the order of steps is the correct time to rename the folders without messing something up?  Your paragraph defines my goal, but not how or when to do it.

    What I was hoping for, and what I think I found in the link provided above by Mark Arnold, is something like this:

    A. First, make all your changes for Windows SBS Server

        1. In Active Directory, do these things:

            a. change this

            b. check that

            c. rename this

        2. In SBS Console, do these things:

            a. change this

            b. check that

            c. rename this

    B. Second, make all your changes for Exchange Server

        1. In Exchange Server Management Console, do this things:

            a. change this

            b. check that

            c. rename this

     C. Third, make all your changes for the Windows client PC

        1. Log on as the OLD USERNAME, and do these things:

            a. change this

            b. copy that

            c. rename this

            d. export that

        2. Log on as the NEW USERNAME, and do these things:

            a. change this

            b. check that

            c. rename this

            d. import that

    Now, I wouldn't mind if some of the steps above then included a link to an individual Microsoft Knowledge Base article that described the details for just that one step, such as "How to Rename a User Profile".

    The user "LANwench" in Mark's link above was able to write a step-by-step similar to my outline above, so why can't Microsoft themselves do that?

    What I'm saying is that Microsoft ought to provide a Knowledge Base document that includes an outline like the one above that incorporates Windows, Exchange, the client PC user profile, the client PC Outlook settings, etc. 

    Rename for marriage or divorce happens very often, so lots of System Admins would find an article like that useful and necessary.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:59 PM
  • I wasn't more specific, because as I said originally there are multiple identity parameters involved, and your standards may or may not base all of those parameters on the user name.

     Some organizations assign an employee ID number and then use that as the logon name.  That standard then, might or might not carry over into their naming policy for assiging smtp addresses. 

    My original comment was intended to try and explain why there isn't a boilerplate "this is everything you need to do if you change a user name" because what does or doesn't need to be changed can vary widely from one organization to another, and there is no "one size fits all" answer to this question, since the absence of such a document seemed to be your primary concern.

    As far as renaming a user profile, it's relatively easy to find instructions on doing so, once you understand that's what you need to do to get all the user settings back.

    Here's one specific to renaming profiles in XP.

    http://windowsxp.mvps.org/userpath.htm

     

     


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    • Edited by mjolinor Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:33 PM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:29 PM
  • mjolinor:

    Thank you so much for answering my posts.

    I do appreciate your help, and I apologize that my response appeared to be critical that you personally had not provided the step-by-step recipe that I was hoping for. I wasn't insisting that you ought to be the person who should provide a specific list, but that may've been how I sounded.  I'm sorry.

    I do understand the challenges or impossibility of creating a document that would be 100% accurate and foolproof for any and all sites and situations.

    It would've made more sense if I had asked for a "sample" or an "example" that might be similar to what I probably need to do, rather than asking for a "guaranteed-to-work" instruction document.

    I'm a former teacher, so I come from a mindset that even the most complicated processes can be broken down into smaller steps, and then written into a study guide, a tutorial, or a "handout" that a student could read and learn from.

    If I hired an expert consultant to come to my office to change the username and email address for me, and I sat with him or her and wrote down each step done, the result would be an excellent outline of an example of specific steps that've been proven to work in at least one situation.

    I could then provide my outline to other System Administrators, with a disclaimer "your site may vary, but this works for Windows SBS Server 2003, Exchange Server 2007 and Windows XP clients".

    I think other System Administrators would find that quite useful, even if it was not 100% of the steps that they would need at their own site. 

    I was just hoping that some other System Administrator had already created a sample that I could locate via Microsoft TechNet forums and then use.

    Next Monday I'll be trying the sample that was written by "LANwench" from Mark's link above, and that one may be a success for me.

    Again, thank you for your help.

     

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 7:43 PM
  • I've always considered it better to explain how it works and why changing "X" did "Y" well enough for the person to be able to figure out that now they need to do "Z" to fix it. 

     Just telling them "If you did "X" go do "Z", without understanding why they need to do that and why it's going to fix it isn't really teaching them a lot.


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    Thursday, September 22, 2011 8:51 PM
  • My usual way to deal with newly married people who change their name is create a new account. That saves any hassles.

    All data and settings are moved to the new account, the old account is forwarded to the new account. This ensures that old emails and other references in Outlook/Exchange continue to work correctly because they go to the new account.

    It is possible to change names, but getting everything changed without either breaking things or having the old name still appear can be problematic. Changing newlyweds is easier though, it is the newly divorced who are a bigger headache, as they want all references to their old name removed (which is not always possible).

    Simon.


    Simon Butler, Exchange MVP
    Blog | Exchange Resources | In the UK? Hire Me.
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 10:09 PM
  • I DID IT SUCCESSFULLY!!  I did a "rename" rather than creating a brand new username!!

    THANK YOU, MARK!!

    Thanks to everyone else who answered my post and helped me.

    I submitted my step-by-step instructions as a separate message in this forum, message title

    RENAME A USER AND EMAIL ADDRESS DUE TO MARRIAGE OR DIVORCE

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Sophia Xu Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:56 AM
    Monday, September 26, 2011 6:39 PM
  • Hi,

    The link ofRENAME A USER AND EMAIL ADDRESS DUE TO MARRIAGE OR DIVORCEis as following:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/exchangesvradmin/thread/0a3a20fa-85d2-414e-aff2-267d5f2ca80c

    Thanks for sharing :)


    Sophia Xu
    • Marked as answer by Sophia Xu Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:56 AM
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:54 AM