So one of our clients users renamed their machine while it was domain joined. I thought maybe AD was intelligent enough to update (I'm fairly new to AD, an apprentice in fact!) but all that's happened is the following:

The old computer name no longer exists in AD. The new computer has joined the domain and can login to domain accounts, access resources etc. and has updated in DNS so I can ping it via it's new PC name.

But it is no where to be seen in Active Directory, or the SBS Control Panel (SBS 2011) which is posing a problem since I need to configure Remote Work Webplace for a use to have access to their machine which is done through the SBS console, but I can't point it to the new renamed computer!

Any ideas?



If they truly were domain-joined and were simply renamed, that's been updated in AD. You're probably just looking at a stale view. Try refreshing your view or opening/closing whatever app you're using to view AD. (There may also be a replication delay if you have multiple Domain Controllers.)

Incidentally, the best idea you're going to hear is to not let everyone have Domain Admin rights (or delegated rights to rename their machines/modify other AD objects). That's just begging for a catastrophe.


HopelessN00b is correct, AD should automatically update. It is possible that the computer object is now in a different OU than where you expect it to be, and thus, you're unable to find it. Try this:

  1. In Active Directory Users and Computers, select View | Advanced Features. Make sure this is checked.
  2. Select Action | Find. Change the Find: drop down to "Computers". Make sure "Entire Directory" is selected. Enter the NEW computer name and click Find Now.
  3. In the search results, right click on the computer and select Properties. Click on the Object tab. Under Canonical name, it will show the current path to the computer in AD.

After you move the machine back to where it should be, ensure that you review user permissions to prevent this from happening again.

  • I have searched - and it does not exist. – PnP Aug 20 '12 at 18:35
  • Hmmm... are you running multiple domain controllers or federated partners? – newmanth Aug 20 '12 at 18:37
  • Nope - it's a single DC. – PnP Aug 20 '12 at 18:38
  • I'm stumped... the only thing I can think of now is maybe a duplicate SID. When you create your workstations, are they cloned images or fresh installs? Perhaps you can try removing the workstation from the domain (at the workstation), then rejoining it? Oh, and has the workstation been rebooted since the name change? – newmanth Aug 20 '12 at 18:52
  • They are all fresh installs, I've tried rejoining to the domain, I'm as stumped as you are! I think I'll reboot the DC.... – PnP Aug 20 '12 at 18:54

It is SBS, you need to make sure you are running the script from http://connect/ otherwise, it will fail to join the PCs in the correct location.

Next, make sure they are all located in AD under:

Domain.local -> My Business -> Computers -> SBSComputers

If they are in a different OU outside of the MyBusiness OU, then they may not show in the console and you may not be able to add them to RWA.


It looks like people are still contributing to this issue. I have the same issue. (I do not allow users to add computers to our domain.) I have a computer named hollywoodtest55 joined to our domain. The name length is 15 characters. I cannot find it in AD. Refresh does not help. However I can find it using "setspn -l hollywoodtest55". SPN = Service Principle Name. The issue is related to its pre windows 2000 name being the same name. We use mixed mode because we still have a windows 2000 server (if you can believe it). Here is a good explaination of setspn: http://ss64.com/nt/setspn.html. Also, I cannot find it with "dsquery computer -name holly*". What am I doing wrong?

  • Note: I just changed the name to hollywood55 using the Network ID wizard and that fixed the problem. However, I still do not know what caused a 15 character name to cause this problem. – robdog1955 Sep 26 '15 at 14:42
  • Rob, it sounds like you should make this into its own question and reference this one. – chicks Sep 26 '15 at 19:20

Could be that you might need to run as different user and run as admin.

I had the same issue and although I was an Administrator, I also could not see my machines once joined, but choosing to run as administrator let me see them.

Could be worth a try mate.

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