Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I had a workstation back in for rebuild, noted the computer name (PC-001), and reinstalled XP.

Whilst that was happening I reset the PC-001 computer account in AD. The following day (plenty of time for replication) before connecting the workstation to the domain I renamed it PC-001, rebooted, then connected to the domain and rebooted again. I then changed the workstation name to WS-005 and rebooted.

I have since looked in ADUC and found that the WS-005 computer is located in the default Computers OU, and in the original OU, the PC-001 computer is still in there?? I had expected the PC-001 to have been renamed to WS-005 and remain in the original OU location?

Anything to do with not leaving enough time after putting back on the domain and then renaming? or not putting PC-001 onto a Workgroup before reinstalling?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

share|improve this question

Renaming the computer to WS-005 while it is still a domain member will create a new computer object with that name (Assuming you have the rights to add new computer objects).

If you want the computer object to use a particular name:

  • Remove the computer from the domain (if it is on the domain). Reboot
  • Rename the computer to the name you wish to use. Reboot
  • Add the computer back to the domain

By default any computer object added to the domain will end up in the default Computers OU. If you want it to be in another OU:

  • Move it to the OU after you add it to the domain
  • Or create a computer object with the name you are using in the OU you want before adding it to the domain.
share|improve this answer
Thanks, I thought resetting the computer account did take the computer off the domain. So I should have taken it off the domain and put it on a default workgroup beforehand? What if the workstation was broken and unable to boot and therefore I could not log onto it as local admin to take it off the domain? Would I be forced to give the new workstation a new name and then delete the original computer object from AD? – Terry Apr 6 '11 at 12:35
You could then "reset" the computer object in AD by right clicking it and selecting "reset". This will reset the security token and allow you to add the broken PC back to the domain as that name. – HostBits Apr 6 '11 at 12:37
Hmm, I'm confused about where I went wrong now... I did 'reset' the computer object. The reason why I wanted to connect it back onto the domain as the same computer name before renaming it was to retain the GPOs connected to the computer account. – Terry Apr 6 '11 at 12:50
The GPO's are linked to the OUs in your AD structure and not the objects themselves. To retain the same GPOs just place the new object in the same OU as the old one. – HostBits Apr 6 '11 at 13:53
Sorry, my mistake, I meant the security groups that the computer object is 'member of'. I'll take your comments and see if I can create what I had intended to do originally. Thanks Cheekaleak. – Terry Apr 6 '11 at 14:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.