I am wondering how and what people are using to set their computer names when deploying images?  I am a newbie and not very good with vbs scripts or bats.  Any info you could provide would be great.  You can assume I am starting at square one!
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Are you looking for the technical process or a standards implementation?  A technical process would depend on a great many things, starting with the number of systems you support, their locations, if you have a management system, if you have an automated deployment process, etc.  For setting standards, there's a few ways to determine naming conventions, commonly determined if you have a management system or not.

If you have SCCM, Altiris or other management tools, the name doesn't really matter (as much as it does with an environment without a mgt. tool) so you can use the serial number or a MAC address.  Some will add model number or geographical location codes, but the more management & automation you have, the less importance you'll find in the name.  If you are a small environment and commonly find yourself remote controlling a system to troubleshoot, the more important it may be to have an easy-to-remember name.  Keep in mind; using information to name a computer that cannot be pulled as a variable creates a more complex process to automate the deployment process.

For example, if you name computers based on Department Name followed by a users phone extension (for example "HR-0348"), you'll have to manually name each computer - or develop an extremely complex process (which no one in their right mind would attempt!).  But, if you go with a simple asset tag or serial number that's pulled from a WMI query, the whole process is easily automated.

Gone are the days where a computer name has to be 'legible' to a human.  I've not seen a client environment in the last decade where someone said; "We need..." when discussing a naming convention.  It's always been; "It'd be nice if we could..."

Answered 03/17/2015 by: vjaneczko
Eighth Degree Black Belt

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In addition to the well written answer of vjaneczko, you can use the Naming Rule Post Installation Task using a namedb.dat File with the MAC addresses and the computernames and the tool wsname.exe.

Example for namedb.dat

00058bxxxxxx = USPC01
0015f2xxxxxx = UKNB01

And then use the wsname script. eg.

wsname.exe /RDF:"namedb.dat" /DFK:$MAC /EXCLUDEADAPTERS[WIRELESS WLAN WIFI 4965 5100 5300 6200 6205 6300 BLUETOOTH PPP IPSEC] /LOGFILE:"%TEMP%\wsname.log"
Answered 03/18/2015 by: aragorn.2003
Red Belt

  • Aragorn... this is exactly what I am looking for. except using serial numbers. Would all i need to change is the $Mac to $Serial?
    • As you can see here, you have to use $SERIALNUM. Check this link to find more command line parameters: http://newstuff.clarke.co.nz/wsname#CommandLine
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