Utilities to the Rescue

You can change a machine's domain name from the desktop, but the prospect of personally visiting every machine in a renamed domain might not thrill administrators of large NT networks. Luckily, several Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Resource Kit utilities offer assistance in renaming a domain on NT workstations and servers by facilitating remote network configuration changes. One such utility, NETDOM (netdom.exe), lets you remotely administer domain membership configurations on NT servers and workstations. For example, the command

NETDOM /Domain:newdomain MEMBER bdc1 /JOINDOMAIN

adds a BDC named bdc1 to the domain named newdomain. NETDOM offers a variety of other useful functions. For more information about the NETDOM utility, type NETDOM /? at a command prompt or check out the netdom.hlp Help file in the resource kit's installation directory.

The second resource kit utility worth mentioning is sc.exe. Its name stands for Services Controller. SC lets you administer NT services locally or remotely from the command line. SC's QUERY and CONFIG functions are useful when you're performing service-related configuration tasks, because you can use them to list and configure service account and startup information for remote NT systems. For details about sc.exe, see the NT resource kit documentation or type SC /? at a command prompt.

Another utility that is useful when you're renaming domains is Registry Search + Replace (version 2.10) by Steven J. Hoek. Registry Search + Replace is not a resource kit utility, but it has bailed me out on several occasions. If an application or service has liberally scattered your former domain name throughout a machine's Registry and renaming the domain requires you to find and replace all those references, this utility can perform a Registrywide search and replace all instances of your old domain name with your new domain name. Most domain-renaming projects don't require this type of search-and-replace functionality, but some projects do. You can download Registry Search + Replace from http://www.iserv.net/~sjhswdev.

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