Renaming a MOSS Server

Renaming a MOSS server is meticulous job. If anything goes wrong along the way chances are that you need to reconfigure your whole MOSS environment.

Here are the steps to take, and the order in which to take them if you want to rename a server that has MOSS already installed and configured on it:

*** NOTE: Use only letters, digits and minus for the machine name (so no underscores), max 15 characters.

  • Change each alternate access mapping for your MOSS/WSS deployment in Central Administration:
    • Open Central Administration, "Operations" Tab, "Alternate access mappings" link
    • Modify each mapping item to reflect your newly chosen server name
  • Use stsadm.exe to invoke the "renameserver" command option:
    • Open a command prompt window
    • cd "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN"
    • stsadm -o renameserver -newservername <newname> -oldservername <oldname>
  • Rename your Server via Change Name Operation in Windows Server 2003:
    • Start Menu | Control Panel | System, "Computer Name" tab, "Change" button.
    • Input your new server name
  • Reboot the server NOW.
  • After reboot, open command prompt
    • cd C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN
    • stsadm -o updatefarmcredentials -userlogin <domainuser> -password <password>
    • iisreset /noforce
  • Check all application pool identities in IIS, update where the old machine name is still there.
  • If you already have a search index drop this, and rebuild it

Your server is now renamed.

Comments -
  1. Gravatar

    Hi Chris,

    The steps described above are also sufficient for renaming a server with both SharePoint 2007 and SQL 2005 on it.


  2. Gravatar

    That's correct Chris, you don't need to perform any additional actions on the MSSQL 2005 server for renaming your MOSS environment.

  3. Gravatar

    Didn't believe it - but it worked :-)

  4. Gravatar

    Hi bspead,

    In MOSS 2007 there is only one index.
    Unfortunately this means that if you drop it you drop everything including the external content sources that were crawled.

    The only way to create more than one index is by using more than one Shared Service Provider. If this would be the case I don't think you would need to drop the index with the external content in it.

    From TechNet:

    Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports one content index per SSP. Given that we recommend a maximum of 20 SSPs per farm, a maximum of 20 content indexes is supported.

    Note that an SSP can be associated with only one index server and one content index. However, an index server can be associated with multiple SSPs and have a content index for each SSP.

    More info can be found here:

  5. Gravatar

    Hi Ben,

    Yep, you need to actually drop the index. Doing a full crawl isn't sufficient in this case. I'm sorry.. :-(
    I must admit that I don't know exactly why, but I know it causes problems if you don't.


  6. Gravatar

    Thanks for your post,....

    Note: if you have an MSSQL 2005 server running on the same machine aswell, execute the following query on your SQLServer:

    sp_dropserver 'OldServerName\Instance'
    sp_addserver 'NewServerName\Instance'', 'local'

  7. Gravatar

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for answering your question here as well!
    I hadn't heard this one before..


  8. Gravatar

    Hi Vijay,

    Do I understand correctly that the "My Site" link on the top right corner of the portal is pointing to the wrong url?

    I must say, I never tried renaming a server when My Sites were already created, although I would expect it to work normally.


  9. Gravatar

    Thanks for the addition Bryan!

  10. Gravatar

    Hi Vijay,

    did you solve the problem with "My Site"? Same trouble here, no solution yet.


  11. Gravatar

    Hi Mirjam, hi Vijay,

    > did you solve the problem with "My Site"? Same
    > trouble here, no solution yet.

    having said that I stumbled across something called 'SharedServices1' comming from central administration. There we were able to configure MySite. Everything fine now.

    Thanks for this blog!

  12. Gravatar

    Oops, last post didn't make it. Once again, thanks and: the answer to the 'MySite' trouble is to use the 'SharedServices' from central administration. There you can configure the 'MySite's.


  13. Gravatar

    Hi Tom,

    Go to the Central Administration to the Shared Service Provider.
    Next go to Search Settings.
    The last link in the Crawl Settings area is "Reset all crawled content. This will drop the index. Or in Microsoft's own words:
    "Resetting the crawled content will erase the content index. "

    Good luck!


  14. Gravatar


    I changed the machine name (in fact domain name as well as machine name) before changing the server name. So i m gettiing the error: "Can not connect to Configuration Database".
    I tried the method above...but to no avail.
    Is there a way ...i can get my sites working now. As Central Administration is also not working now...i can not create new sites even.


  15. Gravatar


    Thanks for the post. This work like charm. We use this almost everyday.

    Sameer Dhoot

  16. Gravatar

    Thank you very much for this post, Mirjam.
    Right on target! :-)

  17. Gravatar

    Awesome!!! Thank you so much.

    Had the same problem. The only difference was that I renamed my machine and saw this problem. I followed the same steps, but that didn't help. So, I renamed my machine back to the original name and when my WSS came up, I followed the exact same steps as you mentioned and voila!!!!

    Thanks agian.

  18. Gravatar

    Pingback from Hyper-V und Sharepoint | hilpers

  19. Gravatar

    I have done a similar writeup with more explaination and provided images for everything here:-

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    Renaming a MOSS Server

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