So I have some old XP machines that are being kept around to run an ancient DOS based database we still need occasional access to. I decided to instead of dealing with all these old buggy machines to just create a Virtualbox image for them. So I did the following

1 - Converted one physical machine into a Virtualbox image

2 - Added Computer to the Domain

3 - Cloned Virtual Box into 3 identical machines

However now I want to name them Virtual1, Virtual2 and Virtual3 on the domain but I have already added them to the domain because I added the Original image to the domain before I cloned it.

When I go to change the Machine Name, it is trying to rename it in active directory. I realized in retrospect I probably should have waited to add them to the domain till after I cloned them.

So what I am asking is can I "Re-add" the Cloned machines as Virtual2 and Virtual3 or should I just go back to my original image, remove it from the domain, then clone it?

  • 1
    Disconnect them from the network, rename and join to a workgroup, connect to network and join to the domain, Make sure you know the local admin password first
    – Drifter104
    Dec 16, 2015 at 15:44
  • 3
    Any machine/image you plan on using as a clone ought to be sysprepped before deploying other machines from the clone.
    – joeqwerty
    Dec 16, 2015 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


I would suggest modifying your original image to not be on the domain yet (depending on your requirements/restrictions, you may still want to consider sysprep'ing it as well for future cloning).

At the moment, you have 3 VMs all claiming to be the same PC. If you leave them as-is, eventually one will coordinate with a domain controller to update the computers password (typically defaults to every 30 or 45 days?). At this point, the others will stop talking to Active Directory. I'd imagine there are a fair number of other unintended consequences, as well.

For the current setup, the simplest solution to limit unintended consequences may be to just disjoin them all from the domain, rename them, and rejoin them so AD sees them as the separate VMs/PCs they really are.

  • 1
    I agree. I was just hoping for a work-around that doesn't require steps backwards. Thank you for your help
    – Cade
    Dec 16, 2015 at 15:38
  • 1
    That is likely to simplest solution to get you back on track.
    – Eddie Dunn
    Dec 16, 2015 at 16:21

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