We have an image of a base XP pro system using Acronis. I did the following:
1. Image a computer name it BaseXP
2. Join domain with same computer name
3. Rename computername to ABC01
4. Bring image (BaseXP) to another computer
5. Rename second image to ABC02
6. Bring image on a third machine and logged on to the same domain.
Now I have 3 different computers (BaseXP, ABC01, ABC02) on the same network in the same domain. In Active Directory, even though I just renamed the computers, and not rejoined the domain with any of them, I am showing all 3 of them as a different maching in Active Directory and everything is working like a charm.
Of course, I was only experimenting and I am quite surprised with the end result.
My reason for trying this was because it is a lot quicker than sysprep and it preserve all of the permissions set on logical drives as well as folders. It also preserve domain user accounts.
I was expecting the renamed computer to replace the existing one and not add a new one to the domain.
I am quite happy with these results, but I am also skeptical.
By the way, I tried removing BaseXP from the domain and it did not affect the other 2 in any way that I can tell. As a matter of fact, both are being used right now and no one is having any issues.
What I am looking for is some inputs from experts that could tell me what could go wrong in a long run.
We are running server 2003 SP2 R2 and XP Pro workstations.