How do I change my Windows 2000 domain’s NetBIOS name?

A. Although Windows 2000 domain names are DNS based (e.g.,, when Win2K launches the domain controller promotion program DCPROMO, this program also specifies a NetBIOS name for backward compatibility with older clients and domain controllers. This NetBIOS name is typically the leftmost part of the DNS name (e.g. savilltech), although the user can specify a different NetBIOS name.

After DCPROMO sets a NetBIOS name, you must demote all the domain controllers and recreate the domain if you want to change the NetBIOS name. However, doing so would cause you to lose all domain objects. To prevent this problem, you can dump out the objects before you recreate the domain, then reimport the objects.

If you’re upgrading a Windows NT 4.0 domain to Win2K, you can’t change the NetBIOS name while DCPROMO is running. You must use the NT 4.0 domain’s NetBIOS name, although you can have a different DNS name.

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