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Changing client computer names


budman01
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Recently, I upgraded all of my Windows 8.1 clients on my home network to windows 10 and got them re-connected (keeping in my "WORKGROUP", no domain) with the new connector software. There were a couple of minor bumps, but things seem to working fine. And by the way, if you want to re-connect to the Server but not on the domain, you must do the registry entry under the command prompt as an admin:

 

reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

 

I learned the hard way on one of my clients.

 

My question is, all of my client's computer names are, for example "Buds-Win81-Lap" or "Buds-Win81-Tab" etc,, and I want to change the computer names to "Buds-Win10-Lap" etc. When I was setting up the connector software, it let me change the computer "description" on the server, but each computer still has their original name. How can I change the computer name without losing my connection (backups etc.). I've searched hi and low for this answer, but I guess I am one of the few people who actually want to do it. I am afraid the only way to do it would be to change the names and add new clients, then I would have to delete the old to make room on my server backups.

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My guess is the "somewhat troubling" character "-" has something to do with this.  A good practice is to never using anything but Alpha & Numeric characters.

 

How about BudsWin81Lap?

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"the hard way"???

 

You make it sound like it can never leave the domain once it's joined.  That's not the case. Just leave it (the same way you change the workgroup name... ) and it goes back to being a non-domain computer.  

 

It's just that the domain setup adds like an extra ten minutes to a 5 minute install.

 

 

 

 

As for the name, it should change in the dashboard, once you've made the change. Rebooting should have ensured that the name got updated on the server side (the "WSE Registry Provider Service"... that's it's job actually).

 

If not... I'd recommend posting in the TechNet forums and see if you can get the attention of a Microsoft Employee to escalate the issue.

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Recently, I upgraded all of my Windows 8.1 clients on my home network to windows 10 and got them re-connected (keeping in my "WORKGROUP", no domain) with the new connector software. There were a couple of minor bumps, but things seem to working fine. And by the way, if you want to re-connect to the Server but not on the domain, you must do the registry entry under the command prompt as an admin:

 

reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

 

I learned the hard way on one of my clients.

 

Do you use the "SkipAutoDNSServerDetection" from False to True as well?

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Thanks for your replies:

 

jmwills, I was only putting them in quotes, they are not part of the computer name. I wasn't having any problem with the name, but wasn't sure if I would lose connection to the server if I changed it.

 

Drashna, It wasn't that hard, I just changed back to workgroup. At first, after that, though, it was still asking for my user name and password, which was a pain because it's my tablet. After a couple of re-starts, I was able to get my "pin" sign-in again. I will try to change the name on one of the clients and see if the server picks it up. I guess I can always change it back again, if it doesn't work.

 

Poppapete, I forgot all about the skip DNS detection registry entry. I changed it afterword, and all of the clients are now on "auto DNS". I was reading on another forum that said to keep the server for DNS, because the server will run better...any thoughts on this?

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Poppapete, I forgot all about the skip DNS detection registry entry. I changed it afterword, and all of the clients are now on "auto DNS". I was reading on another forum that said to keep the server for DNS, because the server will run better...any thoughts on this?

If you are on a Domain it is obligatory I believe. I am not using AD and let my router do it all (Sophos). I have never had a problem with the DNS even when I did not instigate the skip DNS but I follow Tinkertry's advice which is to change it to true (I believe MS unofficially agree).

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Poppapete, I dont use domains either, just a Workgroup.

 

I have changed the Client Computer name a number of times (on the client just go into System and change it where you setup the Workgroup name, etc. and it just automatically changes on the server side.

 

The backups are retained and life goes on. I have had no trouble doing this.

 

As an example I changed one from XXXN40L02 to XXXWIN10a, after I had installed and connected to the server.

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I was referring to the -. I believe the server pays no attention to the hostname and relies on the GUID tied to the hostname.

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