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Does primary DNS suffix change when a user logs on?

I'm doing an upgrade from NT 4.0 to 2000 server.  I've done one and I know that the XP clients are automatically joined into the new domain.  I could tell which joined because the primary DNS suffix had changed on these computers. [Before they were computername.beach.state.hi.us. Aftewards they were computername.surfing.beach.state.hi.us]   This happend for almost all the PCs.  But, it wasn't clear whether this happened - when I user logged on or just by virture of just because the machine was turned on and connected to the network?  One of the PCs that didn't get joined was locked in a user session. This PC's name remained [computername.beach.state.hi.us] just like the ones that were turned off.  I'm wondering whether this was a fluke if the joining occurs at logon.

I will be doing another upgrade and I intend to have the workstations turned off until the Domain Controller is upgraded and then turn the workstations on one at time and test how everything works.   If things don't work right I will rollback, but I was wondering when does the change occur on the client - when a  user logs in or just because it is turned on and connected to the network?

Also, I have a couple of servers I don't want joined until everything looks right.   Would locking a session prevent the servers from joining? Or must they be turned off? I'd rather not turn them off unless I had to.
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imherson
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imherson
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Rob StoneCommented:
I'm guessing the machines that have picked up the new DNS Suffix are picking the data from the DHCP Server?

If so, it would get the new info when the lease is picked up again with the updated information.

For machines logged in, they would already have the IP Address and DNS from the old DHCP Options and thus still be showing them.  When they next get a new IP they would pick up the new DNS suffix, or if they do a IPCONFIG/RELEASE, IPCONFIG/RENEW.

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imhersonAuthor Commented:
There are no DHCP service running in organization.  We only use static IPs here.  
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Rob StoneCommented:
bang goes that idea then!

So how do your clients get their DNS/Gateway data? Do you manually enter them in?
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imhersonAuthor Commented:
Yes, we are still in the stone age.  The different departments in our organization are allowed to have their our domains but no DHCP servers.

  In system's properties/ Computer name/ Change/ More there is an option which says "change primary DNS suffix when domain membership changes".   It said "beach.state.hi.us" and after NT 4.0 domain controller upgrade it said "surfing.beach.state.hi.us"  I'm curious if anyone actually knows *when* the change takes place - when a  user logs in or just because it is turned on and connected to the network?
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Rob StoneCommented:
Although this isn't referring directly to your issue, I think the Symptoms paragraph explains what info your after
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;258503
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imhersonAuthor Commented:
Thanks but you are right.   This doens't answer my question.
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