WINS name reverts to original hostname after reboot

Hi ExEx,

Our setup is:
We have setup a suite of Macs in a school which has a Windows domain for user authentication.
An Xserve running 10.6.3 Server is setup as OD Master and authenticated on the Windows domain which issues the user account credentials.
We have deployed a network of iMacs by creating a master image of 10.6.3 client and a NetRestore image from that in the System Image Utility on the server.
The Macs are bound to both the OD and AD.
The Macs are members of a computer group in WGM on the Xserve which controls the machine preferences.
Each Mac has a unique hostname which is reflected in Preferences,Sharing.
The names are MAC-1, MAC-2, etc.

The problem:
Every morning users are unable to login to SOME machines.
The get a shaking login box.
However if they go to another machine, the same user can login with no problem.
On all machines there is the green light for 'Network Accounts Available' on the login box.
The pattern seemed to be completely random and the only way we could get round it was by unbinding all machines from the AD and rebinding. We have to do this every day!

A possible cause:
After much head scratching and banging against brick walls we have now noticed that there is a difference in the System Preferences, Network, WINS settings of those that can and cannot login.

For those machines that allow login the WINS name is the same as the LocalHost and Sharing name: MAC-1, etc...

For those that DO NOT allow login the WINS name is the original name of the original disc image: admins_imac
We know that it is a recipe for login disaster if there are two Macs on the same network with the same HostName.
And we are realizing that the same probably holds true for a WINS name.

So the obvious thing to do is to rename the WINS name and it should work.
Except that I can rename the WINS but when the machine has been restarted it reverts to the original image name: admin's_imac
It seems there is a reference somewhere in the system that isn't changing when we change the WINS name in preferences.
Although it has worked on some machines?!

So how can I rename WINS and get it to hold the rename?
Is there a template or plist file that needs to be modified at root level?

Look forward to any suggestions.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Try resetting the PRAM by cold booting while holding down the Command-Option-p-r combination until you hear the startup chime a third time. Then finish booting, reset WINS name and reboot. See if the WINS name now holds. (My thinking is that it is stored in PRAM.)

If that doesn't work, use the Keychain Access Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities) to see if it is being stored there. If it is delete it.

Finally, you could use something like ONYX to clear the caches

Let us know if any of those steps works.
This link suggests turning off the automatic location in the Mac network prefs by duplicating the automatic location and giving it a specific name:

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
PaudhlLambertAuthor Commented:
Hi strung,

Good ideas, both of them.
We will be back onsite on Monday and will try those out.
PaudhlLambertAuthor Commented:
Ok, I managed to get it to work by unbinding the Macs from the AD, changing the Computer ID to the name for each machine and then rebinding to the AD.

That seems to be holding on reboot and logging on consistently.

The PRAM does not hold network settings now on 10.6.2/3.
There were no references in the keychain either.

The ONYX information is very useful and will be referencing that in future I'm sure, so thanks for that.
You deserve some points for that at least!
Thanks for your help and time
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Apple Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.