Rename computer and join to domain


I have a windows XP 32bit system on a Windows 2008 domain that needs to be reformatted. The problem is that the computer is utilized pretty much 24/7 and is almost impossible for me to work on. My plan is to load the OS, software, and group policies on a brand new hard drive and then just throw it into the target system. My question deals with the computer names in my domain. Since the target computer will still be operational in my domain, what are my considerations? I have a computer object in my ADUC that is called "test"; this system does not exist anymore. My plan was to:
1 reset the existing account for computer "test" in my ADUC
2 name the new windows XP install "test"
3 join it to my domain
4 apply all software and gpos
5 dis-join the new "test" system from my domain
5 rename the new "test" system to the name of my target system 
6 reset the computer account for my target machine at the appropriate time
7 rejoin the renamed system to my domain as the newtarget system with the fresh XP install

I hope this makes sense. I just want to make sure that I am doing this properly. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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Answers (2)

Answer Summary:
Posted by: SMal.tmcc 11 years ago
Red Belt

Build the install on a same model computer with a temp name.  Join the computer to the domain and get it all set to go.  Make sure you have netdom on this machine. NETDOM utility is not installed on Windows XP by default. You must install the Windows XP Support Tools from the Windows XP CD-ROM by running SUPPORT\TOOLS\SETUP.EXE.

Do a regedit and add the netdom command to run once.

NETDOM JOIN machine /Domain:domain /UserD:username /PasswordD:password

Remove the machine from the domain and give it the name of the production machine during the removal (as you join workgroup).  Do not restart, turn the machine off.

Go to the production machine and shut it down and swap HDD's and power backup.  I recommend doing a gpupdate /force when it comes backup and reboot once more.

Posted by: AgentMrQ 11 years ago
Senior White Belt

I'm not sure if you're trying to keep the old computer up and running while the new workstation or HDD spins up.

So if I understand you correct, you just want to replace the HDD of one older OS with the new system (preloaded).

When you take down the old HDD just delete the computer object from AD. Put in your new HDD and join it with the same workstation name that the old workstation HDD used. Now your new object with its SID will be in the Computers OU in AD. Move it to the correct place in AD so your GPOs apply.

You just can't have two objects on the domain with the same name. Just understand your old HDD will not be part of the domain anymore. So I would verify the local administrator account is enable and the password is known prior to shutting it down or the last time.


I hope this helps.

  • We have machines that monitor critical functions, I understand the need for minimal down time for a CPU - SMal.tmcc 11 years ago
  • Thanks for the help! - Galvatron8 11 years ago

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