Wednesday, December 02, 2009

SBS 2008, WDS and Computer Names

Just in case anyone hasn't played with Windows Deployment Services under SBS 2008 using Windows 7 as the deployment option, you can configure WDS on SBS 2008 and remotely deploy Windows 7 to your client desktops a lot faster than installing via DVD.  What will happen is that the computer name of the deployed system will be in the form of UserNamex where UserName is the name of the administrator account used to deploy the image and "x" is an incremental number for the images deployed under this user.

Once the image has been deployed, the computer is joined to the domain, saving the need to run the Connect Wizard.

Now, as this isn't normally the way we like to name systems (and most people seem not to do this either), we need to rename that deployed computer so that it fits in without preferred naming scheme.  So, on the computer all you need to do is go to My Computer\Properties and click on the "Change settings" link for the Computer name, domain and workgroup settings, change it to what you need, then reboot the computer when prompted.  This will change the computer name and update the record in AD so that the system is seen by SBS 2008 with the new name, allowing Updates and all other SBS Console functionality to work as it did had you installed the computer manually and then run the Connect Wizard.


The Outspoken Wookie


Chris Knight said...

Run WdsMgmt.msc, pull up the Properties for your WDS server, go to the Directory Services tab and change the client naming policy format accordingly.
You probably also want to specify the SBSComputers OU for computer account location, unless you're using different GPOs for WDS deployed clients.

Hilton Travis said...

G'day Chris,

We use CLICodeOSSystemTypeSysNum as our machine names. An example is a desktop in Finance at Example Pty Ltd which would be called "EXA017UFIN01" showing us that this is ClientCode = EXA01, OS = Windows 7 Pro, SystemType = Finance, SysNum=01. There's no way that the client naming policy will get this right for any computers we add, so I'm happy to leave it at the default and massage the name later as per the info in this blog post.

In addition to this, WDS deployed clients have (so far) ended up in the right OU by default on a WS2K8 system, just as if you had run the Connect Wizard, so there's no need to change that, either.

Both points you raise are good points for non-SBS 2008 systems, however, and for situations where PC names are able to be handled by WDS.