Mac Pro taking another name

Posted on 2011-03-24
Last Modified: 2012-09-06
I have the following in my workplace:
Windows SBS 2008 server (SERVER)
Windows Server 2008 (used for backup - SERVER-BACKUP) - joined to SBS2008
Multiple Win 7 Prof Desktops & Laptops - connected to SBS2008 by share only
Mac Pro Desktop (OS 10.6.6) (MY NAME) -also running Parallels (Win 7 - joined to SBS2008)

Here is the issue:

For some reason, when looking at the System Logs, I found that the Mac Pro is taking the name SERVER-BACKUP and not MY NAME.  Most of the time this is not a problem, but sometimes Time Machine gets confused and the Mac requires a reboot.  The Mac Pro then sees itself as MY MACHINE for a while. The Mac is a brand new machine.  
The Apple people do not seem too concerned about this issue, but I am very curious about this and would like to know why it is doing this and how to correct the problem.
Question by:jonelr70115
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Expert Comment

ID: 35209753
It looks to me that -assuming the Mac Pro gets network settings using DHCP- the name is pre-defined on the DHCP server. I had something similar once, and the DHCP caused it, as it appeared.

Author Comment

ID: 35235095
What should be done about it?

Expert Comment

ID: 35238599
Depends on the cause. I suggest you look for a 'computer record' on the DHCP server, if such a record is available and delete or change it. But verify it first. If the Windows server is DHCP server, I can't help you since I rarely work with Windows SBS server.

You can also change the TCP/IP settings from DHCP to manual on the Mac Pro. I'm assuming here that DHCP settings caused the name change. When you change IP settings, also check the computer name in the 'Sharing' section in System Prefrences.

Expert Comment

ID: 35261052
This is caused by your Mac talking to the Microsoft DHCP server and is a common problem. The DHCP server will not be scavenging out dead records and so you take an address previously used by a different machine and get its host name.

To fix it on your Mac you can hard code your hostname by opening a terminal window and typing the following command:

sudo scutil --set HostName yourhostname

Reboot and you should be set!

Hope this helps.

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Author Comment

ID: 35261327
Thanks.  Is the HostName the name of the SBS2008 server (SERVER) and yourHostName the name of the MAC Pro (MYName) or is this saying that the HostName shoud be = to MYName?  Sorry for the seemingly dumb question, but I have never had this occur before.  Thanks for your assistance.

Accepted Solution

ilarge earned 500 total points
ID: 35266423
Not dumb at all. I should've been clearer. Sorry!

To clarify, the command sets the system setting called "HostName" to yourhostname. The only thing you should change for your computer is what you want to set your computer to be called; MYName in your example. This is purely for your computer and has nothing to do with the SBS machine - other than instead of your Mac taking whatever name the server gives it, it'll say "gimme an address and by the way, my name is MYName". Or computer speak to that effect.  :-)

It'll ask for a password by the way, just in case you've not come across sudo before. That is the password you use to login to your Mac, to confirm you want to run the command as a super user.

Good luck!


Author Comment

ID: 35282028
Thanks, I'll try it and let you know what happens

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35298046
Worked like a charm. Thank you so much for your help in fixing the problem.

Expert Comment

ID: 35325596
Excellent news!

I do it as a matter of course with all of our new/rebuilt Macs because we use an AD backend for shared data and login authentication so it is necessary. I've never actually tried using a purely OS X server backend to see if it is a Windows specific issue or just a DNS/DHCP issue; we run a Mac Mini server and I've extended the AD schema to include the Apple systems management extras so both our Macs and the odd Windows clients are all capable of central control.

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