Renaming Project: how many reboots are necessary?

Posted on 2007-07-29
Last Modified: 2007-08-06
I'm new at rolling out images so I don't know much.  I receive instructions from our "CIO", who works out of another city.  The advantage I have over him is that I *know* I don't know much.

He would like us to rename all of our location's workstations and then reimage them.  They are running Windows 2000 and Active Directory.

So that he can rest assured that there will be no errors in the future, he wants us to use three reboots in this process: 1)unjoin from the domain and reboot.  2)rename and reboot  3)join the domain, reboot.

I have 500 workstations, these reboots add up to alot of time.

Three question:
1) is he right to require three reboots?
2) if he isn't, can someone tell me what's happening in the innards of Active Directory and why fewer reboots would work just as well?  
3) if I wrote a script where Sysprep prompts me to enter the new Computer Name, could I safely get away with only one reboot?

The more definitive the answer, the easier it will be to convince him.  He's very conservative and would prefer to err on the side of safety, nevermind that he wastes all of our time.


Question by:amserv
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    If your just renaming the pc on the same domain your can change the computer name and reboot only once, the catch is you have to be domain admin.  Otherwise 3 boots is required, no way around that.

    1st boot. removes from AD, otherwise you'll be trying to change the name in AD which will fail if you don't have the proper permisions, domain admin.

    2nd boot.  you have to change the name and reboot because you can't change the computer name and join to the domain at the same time, try it, you'll get a error.

    3rd boot.  now the you have the correct computer name its time to join, which requires a reboot.

    As for the last part of the question, yes this will save you time, it will  prompt for your credentials once you select the domain you want to join on the sysprep boot.

    Hope this help.

    by the way, it is possible to give someone permissions to rename pc's in active directrory without giving domain admin rights, and it is possible to still get an error even if you have these permissions depending on the situation.  Then its the 3 boot process, never fails.  

    Author Comment


    Thanks for the good information, it all makes sense, unfortunately.  

    Since I'm fishing for the best answer (and I've only gotten one so far...) I'd like to wait a day or two before I accept this as a solution.


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