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Renaming workstation in Windows 2003 domain

Posted on 2006-05-24
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Hello experts, I have to rename a windows xp pro workstation in a windows 2003 domain. It looks like the correct procedure is to change to workgroup - reboot- change name -reboot- join domain. I am wondering that in doing this if the computer will maintain the local and domain accounts.
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Question by:americaster
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by:RiDo78
RiDo78 earned 200 total points
ID: 16756124
Nah, just change the name and leave the domain for what it is. It will prompt you for a username/password for an DomainAdmin account. Enter it and you're done.

Otherwise, use NETDOM.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16756130
The local accounts will not be affected.  While it's a member of a workgroup, the domain accounts will have no affect on the system.  When it's a member of the domain - before the rename begins and after the rename is complete, the domain accounts will have whatever authority they would typically have.
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by:younghv
ID: 16756254
Hi americaster -
The way you describe takes longer and requires an extra re-boot -- but -- if do the 'just name it and go' process, the "NETBIOS" name is not always changed.
I would wait for some more input from some of the Wizards around here before making a final call.
Good Luck
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by:Sanx69
ID: 16756974
You do not have to disjoin from the domain to rename the workstation. Just change the name as normal. The NetBIOS name, and all domain records will get updated accordingly. This will not affect any permissions on the machine itself, any local accounts, or any domain accounts/groups that are members of local groups.
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by:Umbi
ID: 16757123
Rido78 is correct, you can just change the name of the computer.

Right click on my computer, properties and in there you can change the computer name.

Then depending if your using Group Policy you will need to find the new workstation name in AD and move it back to it's proper OU.

Find the old computer name in AD and delete (just for housekeeping purposes)

The local and domain profiles on the computer should not be affected.

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by:Sanx69
ID: 16757163
Umbi, if the process has worked correctly, you shouldn't end up with two machine accounts in the domain. The original account will just get renamed. The account identifier is not the network name, it's the account SID, which will remain in place and intact throughout. If you end up with one account for the old name and one for the new, it hasn't worked properly, and your best bet is to then remove the machine from the domain and re-add it in under the new name.
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younghv earned 400 total points
ID: 16757197
Folks - if it was as simple as 'just change  the name', I would not have made the comment I did.
On multiple AD Domains I have seen the NETBIOS name remain unchanged unless you do the double-boot name change.
I am not commenting on the 'theory' of how this is supposed to work, but the fact of how it does work.
It is possible that the domains I work on have something mis-configured at echelons above where I work (we have 50+ domains), but I tend to find that theories and facts too seldom coincide.

I would like to see leew or one his cronies weigh in on this issue.

Regards,
Vic
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by:younghv
ID: 16757208
americaster -
Back to your original question:  "I am wondering that in doing this if the computer will maintain the local and domain accounts."

The answer is yes whichever way you do it.
The rest of these comments are just folks (me included) airing out their opinions.
Vic
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by:daze71
daze71 earned 400 total points
ID: 16757750
Under XP, you should not need reboot, however I find the Windows GUI somewhat... ehh... faulty? This is my personal oppinion, based on experience. I usually disjoin and then join again after renaming the workstation, thank you very much... In the long run this saves me some time, my experience is that confusion between workstation/domain may appear, especially dropped trust relationships. This is my personal oppinion.

chdom.exe seems to do a better job, even though I personally haven't tested it when renaming a workstation (just moving across domains without reboot).

If you have problems with NetBIOS-names you might want to check what DC that is PDC-emulator, what does the domain master browser say? Do you run wins? Are you seeing the old name via a local master browser? Well... if your NetBIOS-browsing is fubar for more than 15 minutes then I guess you should start another thread since that topic easily can expand into unlimited speculations :)

As for you ?:
"I am wondering that in doing this if the computer will maintain the local and domain accounts."

Obviously when you change domain, membership of administrators will be affected. Domain admins of your domain will be added or removed from the local group administrators. Otherwise accounts are not modified if you change domain within your forest.
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by:pegasys
ID: 16760969
Yes,

The computer will retain any logins (whether the PDC or login servers are or are not available).

Regards

pgx()
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by:younghv
ID: 16794285
americaster -
Thank you for the points.
I hope things worked out on your end.
Vic
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