Active Directory: Domain Name Rename – Single DC for Windows Server 2012

This tutorial will show steps to rename Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) for Windows Server 2012.

In this tutorial, I divides the process into 5 steps.

Step 1: Rename ADDS Domain Name

S1-1. Open Command Prompt in Administrator Mode

S1-2. Execute RenDom /List to generate Forest Naming Context in XML file

Execute RenDom /ShowForest to view auto generated xml of current domain


S1-3. Update the current domain name with new domain name and save the file.

In this tutorial, rename domain name RX2012 to RX1201


S1-4. Execute RenDom /ShowForest to view the new domain name in xml file


S1-5. Execute RenDom /Upload to the domain name changes from xml file

S1-6. Execute RenDom /Prepare to start prepare domain name rename


S1-7. Execute RenDom /Execute to start domain name rename process.

After this process completed, the server will be automatically rebooted.

S1-8. After the server reboots, please take note to switch user to logon with new domain name


Step 2: Fix Up Group Policy After Domain Name Rename

S2-1. After rename process completed, GPMC will need to be fix up to use the new domain name. You will encounter the following error:

S2-2. Execute two commands to fix GPMC (DNS & NetBIOS Name):

  • Execute gpfixup /OldDNS:<OLD_DOMAIN_NAME> /NewDNS:<NEW_DOMAIN_NAME>
  • Execute gpfixup /OldNB:<OLD_NETBIOS_NAME> /NewNB:<NEW_NETBIOS_NAME>


Step 3: Rename Server Domain

S3-1. After Domain Name Rename completed, the server domain info still reflects old domain name


S3-2. Execute the following command to rename Computer Name:


S3-3. Restart server


Step 4: Finalize Domain Name Rename

S4-1. Execute RenDom /Clean to remove domain rename status

S4-2. Execute RenDom /End to unfreeze Directory Services


Step 5: Fix DNS for new Domain Name

S5-1. Open DNS Manager

S5-2. Open File Manager and Navigate to %WINDIR%\System32\Config and backup DNS netlogon file as shown below

S5-3. Delete the new zone created automatically during Rename Domain process

S5-4. Create Two Active-Directory Primary Integrated DNS Forward Lookup Zone

S5-5. Open Properties of new zone and set Dynamic updates to Secure Only

S5-6. Restore DNS Netlogon file into %WINDIR%\System32\Config

S5-7. Restart Active Directory Domain Services Service


S5-8. Delete Old Domain Name DNS Zone as highlighted in red box.


S5-9. Test DNS using DcDiag Tool and execute DcDiag /Test:DNS /DnsBasic


Updated: 14/12/2014 — 11:30 AM

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