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Change user name in XP without effecting domain/network

Posted on 2010-08-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I n a Windows 2008/2003 active directory doman, I have a user with XP pro. She just got married and wants her name changed in the system. I already added a allias email address for hew new name in Exchange and that works fine.

How do I change her display name in Windows without causing any impact to her pc and the domain?
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Question by:Tony Giangreco
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by:jorlando66
ID: 33521023
You can re-name her account in AD (right click rename) and it will not change any of her permissions or any memberships of groups and will also keep her old email addresses so she can still receive emails from people who are not yet aware of her name change. In AD also go to the email addresses tab, create her new email address and make it the primary SMTP and do not delete the old email addresses. That will change her name on all mail she sends and also when people hit "reply" it will be the new name. Her mailbox content and structure will not change either
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by:Cluskitt
ID: 33521054
You can change the user by going to the user accounts (by right-clicking "My Computer" and browsing to "Local users and groups") and right-clicking the username and selecting "rename".
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33521205
Keep in mind if you make any changes to the account name then it will effect the local profile on the PC she logs in to. if you havent got roaming profiles configured then potentially she will get a blank profile when she next logs into the PC...

The easiest way is to leave the login name the same, change her first and last names and as you have suggested add a email alias.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 33521254
She can log into the domain from any pc in the network, however she does have special apps and files stored on her own desktop.

I need to update her name so it is correct wherever she logs in.

I don't want it to change any paths on her pc, the server or anywhere else.

She has specific domain user rights. They should not be changed.

With this additional, info, please confirm what changes I should make.
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33521266
Ok then don't touch the login / account name, only change the last name as appropriate.
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by:Cluskitt
ID: 33521276
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33521302
Or you can do the above link, but the changes would need to occur on each machine. Best just change the last name and leave the login name as normal.
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TekServer earned 500 total points
ID: 33522261
You mentioned Exchange, so I would assume that you have Active Directory as well.  Given that assumption, woolnoir's and Cluskitt's comments are muddying the waters unnecessarily (no offense, guys, but it's true).

Everything jorlando66 said is accurate and relevant, and exactly what you need.  If you go into ADUC on the server and right-click -> rename on the user, you can change the name as needed and it will have NO effect on the user profile on the workstation; the change will be entirely cosmetic.  You can even change the username she uses to log in; she'll need to log in using the newly changed username, of course, but it still won't affect the profile.

(I can confirm all of this from personal experience; I've done exactly this kind of name change, for the same reason, many times.)

:)
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by:Cluskitt
ID: 33522345
Doesn't XP keep profiles based on username, though? I assumed he wanted to change the profile in Documents and Settings, so the user preferences and programs would stay the same after the username change.
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by:TekServer
ID: 33522473
Technically, XP keeps profiles based on the SID, not the username itself.  You can change the username, but the SID behind it won't change unless you delete and recreate the user.

Now, if the username is, for example, currently "mjones" and you're going to change it to "msmith", the user profile will still be stored as "C:\Documents and Settings\mjones".  If, for some reason, the user wanted to change the profile folder name as well, then the issue gets a little more complicated.  (Most users will be totally unaware of the name of the profile folder, as they won't see it during the course of their normal work; but I've seen a few - usually during divorce name changes, rather than marriage name changes - that are insistent about changing this as well.)

Anyway, I wouldn't touch the profile unless the user insists on it.

:)

P.S.  It just occurred to me, you might also consider a few other cosmetic changes; the registered user name in some applications (especially Office apps) is stored locally on the workstation and independent of AD, so you might want to go into these apps and change the name there as well.  :)
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by:Cluskitt
ID: 33522559
If you change username in AD, does XP still recognize it's the same SID?
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by:TekServer
ID: 33522723
Yes.  There's no way (that I'm familiar with, anyway) to actually change the SID for a user, computer, or group object, short of deleting the object.  The SID (Security IDentifier) is used "behind the scenes", so to speak, to uniquely identify the user for security authentication purposes.  Part of the reason for this is exactly the kind of name change flexibility we're talking about.

If you want to see what the SIDs look like, open regedit and go to the HKEY_USERS hive.  You should see one or more entries there in a format similar to S-1-15-18, and possibly some with a bunch more numbers tacked on the end.  These are the SIDs for each user that has a profile on the computer you're looking at.

:)
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by:Cluskitt
ID: 33522740
Ok, I've learned something today :)
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by:TekServer
ID: 33522828
Hey, no problem; that's the essence of what we're here for, right?  To learn, and to share what we've learned!

(I frequently monitor interesting questions that I don't know the answer to just to see the innovative solutions other Experts come up with.  If you get the chance, check out some of the Big Names like mestha and angeliii.  They earn more points in a month than I have in 7 years, and rightfully so with the work they put in here!)

:)
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by:jorlando66
ID: 33525033
Thanks Tek.  :)
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by:jorlando66
ID: 33525059
If you change username in AD, does XP still recognize it's the same SID?

Yes unless you reset the account or delete it and recreate.

We all learn something here. That is what makes EE such a valuable tool.
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by:jorlando66
ID: 33562457
Thx for the zero pts :)
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