DBA Sensation

March 17, 2010

How to migrate sql cluster between domains

Filed under: 3. MS SQL Server — Tags: , , , — zhefeng @ 4:54 pm

Migrating SQL Server 2005/2000 cluster from one domain to the other domain is not supported by Microsoft. However, here is the way how to do that.
i used this way to migrate our production cluster sucessfully.

1. Current settings (active – passive mode)
Cluster name: clustest
Cluster management IP:
Virtual server Name: clustestvip1.test.com
Service account: test\service.product
Cluster group: test\sqlcluster
Name –dbnode1.test.com
Physical IP:

Name – dbnode2.test.com
Physical IP:

2. Objective
(1). To change the domain from test.com to test1.com
(2). To change the service account from test\service.acc to test1\service.act
(3). Make sure the sql cluster is still functional after changing

3. Testing steps
(1). Take all cluster resources offline (except the quorum, which cannot be taken offline)
(2). Stop the cluster service on both nodes and change startup type to “manual”
(3). Change the domain of each machine to the new domain and reboot
(4). After reboot, on each machine, change the cluster and SQL service accounts to accounts in the new domain (test\service.acc ->test1\service.act).
Note: according to MSKB 915846 it should be “On one of the cluster nodes, use SQL Server Configuration Manager to change the service account to the new account.”
That’s not true, and you got error from there, have to do it on both nodes in services.msc.
(5). Add the cluster and SQL service accounts to the local Adminstrators group.
(6). Run gpedit.msc to grant the following rights to the new service account:
Path: “Local Computer Policy” -> “Windows Settings” -> “Security Settings” -> “Local Policies” ->”User Rights Assignment”
*Act as part of the operating system
*Adjust memory quotas for a process
*Back up files and directories.
*Debug programs
*Increase scheduling priority
*Increase quotas (not in windows 2003).
*Load and unload device drivers.
*Lock pages in memory
*Log on as a batch job
*Log on as a service
*Manage auditing and security log
*Replace a process level token
*Restore files and directories
7). Update the domain groups SID for cluster services (sql 2000 skip this step)
There are domain groups related to old domain name as below which couldn’t be changed in AD(you can’t find them! They only appear in register as SID at this branch: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.X\Setup).
So what we need to do is just find the old group sid in registry and replace it with new group sid. Here are the steps:
a. find old cluster group sid by logging in as old service account, then run “whoami /groups” in dos prompt
b. in this case, the service account is service.acc, and cluster group is : test\sqlcluster
c. find the sid for test\sqlcluster is:
d. same way to find the new group sid for test1\sqlcluster is:
e: replace the old sid with new sid under branch (do a small search there) : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\
8). Reboot both nodes
9). Start the cluster service on both machines (put them back to “automatic” mode again)
10). Bring cluster resources online

1. Changing the Domain for a SQL 2005 Cluster

2. How to move a Windows Server cluster from one domain to another

3. Best practices that you can use to set up domain groups and solutions to problems that may occur when you set up a domain group when you install a SQL Server 2005 failover cluster


  1. Hi there,

    May I know if anyone has tried this on SQL2008 cluster?


    Comment by Chee Heng — March 11, 2011 @ 1:05 am

    • never tried this on 2008.
      shouldn’t be much difference.
      i will do the test on VM someday

      Comment by zhefeng — March 11, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  2. Dear sir,
    I neet to change server domain, but using the same account, do I need to update the SID?
    my example : Old domain migrate to New domain
    Old : test\Server 1 using Ntest\Account
    New : Ntest\Server 1 using Ntest\Account


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