Choose your Active Directory Domain Names Wisely

I can still remember way back when Microsoft introduced the /renamedomain option for the Netdom.exe command-line utility so enterprises could rename their Active Directory domains when things like company mergers and acquisitions occurred. Those of you who still look back with affection towards Windows NT may want to take a trip back memory lane with this KB article:

However, in a real enterprise is domain rename ever a wise thing to attempt? Probably not. The simple reason is because domain rename is no longer supported by most (if not all) current versions of Microsoft server applications. For example, if you have Exchange or SharePoint deployed in your forest and you try renaming the domain, you might end up having to flatten and rebuild everything.

What should you do then if your company is merging with or acquiring another company and their existing domain name is unsatisfactory or won’t work for you? Use the Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) to migrate the old domain and its resources to a brand new domain or into an existing domain:

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see


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