The following are the steps needed to rename a domain controller; the steps have been tested up to Windows Server 2016.
Note: If your DC is also acting as a Dfs nameroot server, make sure you remove the nameserver from Dfs first!
From an elevated command line, type the following commands:
- Add the new domain controller name NEW_DC; we’re replacing OLD_DC
NETDOM COMPUTERNAME OLD_DC.companydomain.com /ADD:NEW_DC.companydomain.com
- Designate the new name as the primary computer name; OLD_DC gets removed and NEW_DC is new primary name
NETDOM COMPUTERNAME OLD_DC.companydomain.com /MAKEPRIMARY:NEW_DC.companydomain.com
- Reboot domain controller
- Now, let’s remove the old domain controller name from Active Directory
NETDOM COMPUTERNAME NEW_DC.companydomain.com /REMOVE:OLD_DC.companydomain.com
- Sync all DCs
In the event that you didn’t notice the warning on top and you went ahead and renamed the domain controller and you had Dfs services running on it, here are some instructions on how to manually remove Dfs nameserver and fix the issue.
- Log on to the recently renamed domain controller
- Open Regedit.exe
- Go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\DFS\Roots\domainV2
- Delete the key found under domainV2 and reboot your server
- Next, remove the Dfs share from the server
- Now you can delete the Dfs folder