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Dated: Apr. 03, 2012
Related CategoriesCisco Certifications
Networking In General
Windows Server OS
By Vivek Nayyar
Something About Computer Name
In any computer that runs any operating system of any platform, computer name plays an important role when it comes to its identification. Name that an administrator assigns to a computer must be unique for that computer in the entire network. In case, because of errors or deliberately, administrators assign identical names to 2 or more computers, all the computers with common names stop communicating with other computers in the network. In Microsoft Windows platform computer names are also known as hostnames. When administrators install Microsoft Windows operating systems on the computers, operating systems automatically generate random hostnames and assign those self-generated names to themselves. In client operating systems and pre-Windows 2008 network operating systems, Windows allowes users to specify hostnames during the installation process whereas in Microsoft Windows Server 2008 RTM/R2 operating systems names are automatically assigned to the computers during installation. After the successful installation administrators must change the computer names according to the planned naming conventions.
In order to change computer names in Windows Server 2008 operating systems administrators can either use traditional process in which they must reach System Properties box, by using several menus and mouse clicks, and follow the on-screen instructions to perform the task, or the easiest way to change computer names in Windows Server 2008 is through Initial Configuration Tasks window which provides instantaneous access to the System Properties box from where administrators can define new hostnames for the operating systems.
Types of Computer Names
In pre-Windows 2000 operating systems hostnames were known as NetBIOS names and could be maximum of 15 characters in length. These were single-label names (did not support periods '.') and were not DNS oriented. In order to simplify name resolutions for such NetBIOS names dedicated WINS servers were installed and configured in the networks.
After the release of Microsoft Windows 2000 and above operating systems, the names that administrators assign to the computers are known as hostnames which makes them DNS oriented so that name resolution process can occur through DNS servers. In order to make operating systems backward compatible, hostnames assigned to the computers become their NetBIOS names as well. Microsoft did this keeping in mind that in complex network setups pre-Windows 2000 operating systems might still be used and in such infrastructures Windows 9x operating systems can communicate with the advanced version of operating systems using their NetBIOS names.
Changing Computer Name
Administrators must follow the steps below in order to change computer names in Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems:
- Log on to Windows Server 2008 R2 computer with administrator account.
- Assuming that Initial Configuration Tasks window has already been disabled by the administrator click Start and click Run.
- On the opened Run command box type OOBE command and hit Enter key to re-open Initial Configuration Tasks window.
- Once opened, click Provide computer name and domain option under Provide Computer Information category.
- On the opened System Properties box make sure that General tab is selected and click Change button.
- On Computer Name/Domain Changes box type the new computer name in Computer name field and click OK button.
- On the appeared information box click OK button and back on System Properties box click Close.
- On the appeared box click Restart Now button to restart Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.
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