Domain rename with Exchange: yes, it works!
Some time ago, I participated in a project where I had to do a domain rename. Domain renames are possible since the release of Windows Server 2003, although it was not possible to perform the rename operation if an Exchange Organization was deployed in the AD Forest. This constraint was soon dropped with the release of XDR-Fixup, a tool that fixes Exchange attributes in the AD after a rename operation.
But there are still some pre-requisites:
- The functional level of the AD Forest must be Windows 2003;
- You must have Enterprise Admin privileges;
- All the DFS Root Servers must have Windows 2000 SP3 or above;
- Exchange must not be installed on a DC;
- Exchange 2003 SP1 or later.
In my case, we found that we had an Exchange Server running on a DC. The solution is to install a separate Exchange server, move all the mailboxes and public folders and then to uninstall the old server. Just running DCPROMO isn't supported.
After correcting that, the rename operation went really smoothly. But don't be fooled, a domain rename operation shouldn't be taken lightly. Although I wouldn't call it complex, please make sure you read all the documentation provided with the rename tools. Also consider all the other possibilities before deciding to do a domain rename.
As a curiosity let me tell you that when I told Microsoft Portugal I was going to do a domain rename, they didn't show much confidence on their own tools.
Here are the links with the tools and documentation. Try this in a test environment, it's fun