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Making a spare domain pc

Posted on 2013-05-15
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Last Modified: 2013-06-27
PC xy is in  the abc domain and works fine. I have installed the ghost image  of PCxy on one of my spare PCs. Spare PC was tested in the domain by physically removing the PCxy from network.But "System can not log you on to this domain because the systems computer account in its primary domain is missing" is the error message I got.
Possible solution I can think of is to rename the pc with PCxyz and join the domain, as I do not want to delete the PCxy account from the domain .Is here any way that I can use the same computer name for the spare PC and connect to the network  and continue to work as PCxy with out getting any error message.
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Question by:sand1
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39170261
It will probably be out of date when you try and access it if pc-xy fails. There will be problems with using an image process because the SID will remain the same and this will cause endless problems with the domain later on.

Is the is really for Windows 2000 Server?
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by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 39170359
Run sysprep before taking images of golden builds.

In this case you can run it now and then join the domain with another name.
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by:web_tracker
ID: 39170421
When joining the domain make sure the pc has a unique computer name that is not used by any other computer on the network, as this can cause problems logging onto the network.
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Author Comment

by:sand1
ID: 39172993
HI Ve3ofa
What do you mean by out of date?
Please tell me how to find the SID of a domain PC.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39177775
Everything in Active Directory has a lifetime. Same with DNS if scavenging is turned on (best practice).. What one does normally is backup the machine... restore to a different machine and then pull the plug on the working machine.. to simulate a disaster recovery. everything should work. If it doesn't then you need to investigate your backup policy and procedures.  Having more than 1 domain controller is also a best practice in case one goes down or is unavailable then the other will take up the slack.

As for being out of date.. every backup is out of date after it is created as things change all of the time.. how far out of date is acceptable is a business decision that has to be made with agreement of management.
psgetsid http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897417.aspx
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Author Comment

by:sand1
ID: 39186362
Is SID sticked to the computer name or the username(account).At the moment two PCs (say PC1 & PC2)has the same user name and password  &  loging to the same domain.Both can access the server .
PC1 s cloned to a another PC and  getting an error when log on  to domain.Error message is
"The system cannot log you on to this domain, because of the systems computer account in its domain is missing or passwordon that account is incorrect"
(PC1 is shut down during the clone PC is connected)

What do I need to create in the domain to ,access from the clone PC while the PC1 is not available in network.
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39190088
The bottom line is that you cannot do what I understand you want to do.

Every computer account MUST have a unique ID - a SID - and a UNIQUE computer name.  you cannot have a "spare" computer with the same name.  An image based backup is fine, but when it's restored, if the backup is new enough it will generate a name conflict.  And the if the backup is old enough, it will generate a name conflict AND tell you that the computer password is incorrect.

When a computer is joined to the domain, a random password is generated between the COMPUTER and the domain.  This password is changed automatically every (I believe) 30 days so when you restore a computer image, the older it is the higher the probability the computer's password has changed.

If you want a "spare" PC, fine, but why must it be the same name?  DO NOT clone it (that's potentially dangerous) but setup another PC and give it a different name - add a 1 or call it SPAREPC.  If and when it needs to replace another PC, rename it (you'll have to delete the existing computer account and/or reset the account in AD.
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Expert Comment

by:Brian B
ID: 39190956
Perhaps we can step back a little and talk about why you want to do it this way? Do you just want a spare computer you can spin up if the original fails? Or is there more to it? Perhaps building a virtual machine to run on any PC would be a better solution.
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by:Steve
ID: 39208215
you cannot clone a domain PC. it simply doesn't work.

There are two ways to do what you  may want:

a) set up the PC as you want it and then run sysprep before imaging. this does mean some setup needs doing each time you roll out the image, but it would work.

b) setup the pc as required and use a generic hostname (eg IMAGE) and DO NOT add to the domain and then take the image. when you roll out the image you'll need to assign an appropriate name and add it to the domain. voila!

c) setup the pc and add to the domain. get everything as you want it, then remove it from the domain, change its name to a generic name and then reboot. you can now take an image and proceed as with B above.

Note: you can only legally image a pc with an activated copy of Windows if you have a volume license and have sufficient licenses available to cover all images rolled out.
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