Do I need different computer names for each OS when dual booting?

Posted on 2007-08-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I would like to know what the rules are for the naming of a computer in a Windows 2003 Active Directory environment in the following scenario.   I installed a new hard drive in my laptop so I could install both XP and Vista to dual boot.  Does the computer running under XP have to have a different computer name than when it's running under Vista or should it be the same?  I seem to have network connectivity issues when going back and forth.
Question by:Tenrags
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    If your talking about having both machines on the same domain, then yes, they need to have different computer names.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Did you load the motherboard lan drivers for each OS?
    Same name should not be a problem with XP and Vista.

    Are the network issues, No connectivity or Random connectivity?
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    Each installed instance of a Microsoft OS, from Windows NT on, that is a member of a domain maintains a unique identifier known as a SID issued to it by that domain.  That SID, the computer name and a secret shared between the workstation and the Domain Controllers comprise the workstations unique identity (you have no control over the SID or the shared secret).  Both the SID and the shared secret are stored on an object within the domain whose name matches the computer's.  Note that the workstation also stores this data locally in its registry.  Knowledge of the shared secret is required for the workstation to successfully authenticate against the domain (it is, in essence, a password).  Since both the SID and the shared secret of the opposing OS will not match its counterpart, were they use the same name, you would be required to repair the association between the workstation and the domain each time you boot the alternate OS ... as a result, I would strongly recommend that you use two different names to propertly represent the two distinct identities.

    Author Comment

    Thank you MSE-dwells.  Great answer.  Working fine now with different computer names for each OS.

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