Updated: January 21, 2005
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
The ability to rename a domain provides you with the flexibility to make important changes to your forest structure and namespace as the needs of your organization change. Renaming domains can accommodate acquisitions, mergers, name changes, or reorganizations. Domain rename allows you to:
Change the Domain Name System (DNS) and NetBIOS names of any domain in the forest (including the forest root domain).
Restructure the position of any domain in the forest (except the forest root domain).
You can only rename domains in a forest where all of the domain controllers are running Windows Server 2003 and the forest functional level has been raised to Windows Server 2003. For more information, see Domain and forest functionality.
Using domain rename, you can also restructure the hierarchy of domains in your forest so that a domain residing in one domain tree can be moved to another domain tree. Restructuring a forest allows you to move a domain anywhere within the forest in which it resides (except the forest root domain). This includes the ability to move a domain so that it becomes the root of its own domain tree.
You can use the domain rename utility (Rendom.exe) to rename or restructure a domain. A domain rename will affect every domain controller in your forest and is a multistep process that requires a detailed understanding of the operation. For more information about this process and to download the Rendom.exe tool, see the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Domain Rename Tools page at the Microsoft Web site.