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I have a group of computers on a domain that I want to be able to remote control via RDP. All computers are WinXP. I changed the "ComputerName"s through the SYSTEM CONTROL PANEL of the computers; to administer them easier- example cea-laneXXX etc....

I can connect to them thru the domain with rdp. Problem is that some of the computers want me to login under my own account, making me log off the current remote user. This didnt happen on all the computers. I downloaded a network scanner and scanned the range. And I found out that some of the computers HOSTNAME and COMPUTERNAME were the same, and some computers the HOSTNAME didnt change. After some testing, the computers where the HOSTNAME and the COMPUTERNAME didnt match I had to log in under my domain account, and the matching computers would allow remote access without the logging on/off of current user.

Here is the image of the network scan showing the results: scan results

so what is going on? Is this DNS problem? We use Win2003 Server for DNS. But I thought when you change the computer name it is suppose to change the hostname automatically. Some of them did change, but not all. All computers were rebooted.

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You imply (but do not state specifically) that you have a Windows domain and that the computers belong to the Windows domain. Please clarify. – tomjedrz Apr 17 '11 at 4:20
yes, they belong to a windows domain. Networking is not my strong suit... – Logman Apr 17 '11 at 4:48
up vote 2 down vote accepted

A computer can have multiple "names" on the network. There is a name that the computer has itself. There is a name in the local DNS system populated through discovery or auto-update or DHCP propagation. There might be specifically assigned "A" records in the DNS connected to the IP address. And there is the name of the computer account in the Windows Active Directory.

Assuming a standard Windows domain, what you should have done is change the computer to be in a workgroup, which deletes the domain account for the computer under the old name, then add the computer to the domain with the new name. Just changing the name results in the kind of inconsistent behavior that you describe, because the names don't properly synchronize.

One workaround ... remove the computers from the domain, manually delete any stray old accounts from Active Directory, manually delete any stray old computer names from DNS, then put the computers back into AD.

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I removed one from the domain, restarted. CHanged the computername and restarted again. Added the computer to the domain and restarted it again. HostName remained the same. No CHange. I checked AD and didnt see anything old there but I was having a busy day sense my boss was off and I was on my own that day (tomorrow too). – Logman Apr 19 '11 at 0:21
It sounds like your DNS system isn't seeing the change. Is it AD DNS, or something else? What happens when you ping newname from another computer? – tomjedrz Apr 19 '11 at 1:47
Network scanner results: IP= HostName=surg ComputerName=CEA-LANE00 If I ping using "ping -a" I get a reply from [] If I ping surg the HostName I get a result from [] !!! – Logman Apr 19 '11 at 13:15
As cheekaleek points out, this is likely a DHCP/DNS issue. There could be a DHCP reservation for that MAC address that includes the host name, or an A record in DNS for that IP that defines a host name. – tomjedrz Apr 19 '11 at 13:27
What about pinging CEA-LANE00? – tomjedrz Apr 19 '11 at 13:27

I would check your DHCP server. It is likely that the DHCP leases have not expired for the PCs who's HOSTNAME have not changed.

On a PC whose hostname hasn't changed run:

ipconfig /registerdns

Then clear the dns cache on the machine running the scan. Then run the scan and try again.

Also check your DNS server for any A record entries of the old name and remove them once the new A record appears.

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removed old A records, and clearing the cache. thanx – Logman Apr 19 '11 at 23:45

Sometimes when you join a domain and change the computer name at the same time, the computer name will not change. We normally change the pc name then reboot the pc, then join the domain this generally ensures your pc has the right name on the domain

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