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Today I am deploying 20 brand new Dell workstations. These will all be for public use at a local library and will be replacing 20 older workstations, which will be moved to another branch of the library, all today and by me alone.

Once deployed, I have a new image for all 40 machines. Immediately after imaging, I need to change the name of each machine to a name that will be determined shortly before deployment.

Is there a script that I could work into a batch file or wmi which can be run from the desktop and will prompt me to enter a new name and workgroup for the machine? Is this the easiest way to change the name and workgroup of 40 machines? I have to visit each desktop anyway to configure Windows SteadyState Disk Protection.

I'm not a stranger to WMI and batch files and I usually wouldn't ask for help writing one, but it's late and I am running out of time and haven't been able to come up with anything that will suffice.

Any other info would be appreciated also. I have been doing this for years, but could always use some help. Thanks in advance.

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thanks for the clarification DW –  cop1152 Sep 7 '09 at 10:53

6 Answers 6

You can (and you should!) run sysprep before capturing the master image, and then customize the installation using sysprep.inf, leaving the fields for computer name and domain blank; this way, all other installation steps will be automated, but computer name and domain will be asked during setup.

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Thanks for the info...I have read about this in the past and the SteadyState manual refers to and recommends it, but I am not sure what advantage over a quick batch file it has. It looks like it takes 6-10 additional minutes per machine of my time. –  cop1152 Sep 7 '09 at 10:48
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you need to run sysprep anyway otherwise your machines will have the same SID which is bad –  JamesRyan Sep 7 '09 at 14:34
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Duplicate SIDs are actually a non-issue, contrary to conventional wisdom... blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2009/11/03/… –  ThatGraemeGuy Nov 3 '09 at 14:35
    
Nice blog post, but what if a domain computer needs to authenticate against another one as itself? Wouldn't the computer SID get involved here? –  Massimo Nov 3 '09 at 15:38

As has been mentioned, You should use sysprep on the master computer that you're generating the image from. Not only does sysprep handle the generation of a new, unique SID for each machine but it also allows mini-setup to run on each machine so that the hardware can be detected and the correct drivers installed. Using an image without sysprep may lead to hardware issues. For instance, each NIC in the computer has a unique GUID, without sysprep each cloned machine will have the same GUID for the NIC which can lead to flaky network functionallity.

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You should check out the following link. This is a software tool to change your sid and computer name.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897418.aspx

To use NewSID's auto-run option, specify "/a" on the command line. You can also direct it to automatically change the computer's name by including the new name after the "/a" switch. For example:

newsid /a [newname]

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newsid has been retired: blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2009/11/03/… –  ThatGraemeGuy Nov 3 '09 at 14:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Thanks for the advice guys. I really wasnt interested in sysprep, so I didnt use it...and after reading this post I was pretty comfortable with NOT using it.

What I was looking for was a script to change the name of the machine, which I did eventually find.

As always, I appreciate everyones time here.

Thanks again.

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I agree with Bob. I have always used newSid. It doesn't have the option to add to a domain, so I have to call it in a script the will run NewSid without a reboot, add it to the Domain, the reboot. I love this tool.

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And the author of NewSID disagrees with Bob in his The Machine SID Duplication Myth

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