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Computer Name change

Created: 23 Jan 2010 • Updated: 09 Aug 2010 | 4 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi there,
I am looking for a way to allocated computer name for new machines
Scenario: we use DS 6.9 spk3 and we need to image new machines. We have a defaul.img to be sent by DS task with sysprep enabled

What I need a way during or after the process to name the computer with the correct naming convention. I was wondering if this can be done by a task in DS or some sort of script or task that will read the computer mac address or ID, then compare this to a list.txt or db and based on that information to name the computer with the correct name...

I will appreciate if anyone have any tip on how to achieve that...or give me some example maybe using sql maybe...

Thanks for your help

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EdT's picture

One approach I have seen used very successfully is to asset tag each machine with it's computername. The computername is thus written into the bios (or wherever the manufacturer stores asset tagging information) and the build process reads this with WMI and renames the machine accordingly. The machine also had an asset tag label attached at the same time, so it could be tracked both visually and electronically throughout its life in the company.
Whether this would fit into your environment only you can judge, but it's a lot easier to implement than maintaining a database of computernames and MAC addresses - especially if machines have multiple NICs.

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bhawver's picture

If these machines are brand new and have never been in the DS console, you could prestage them with the MAC and computer name.

Brian Hawver
Systems Engineer
Yaskawa America, Inc.

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ianatkin's picture

 Sorry for the delay for replying on this one -I was trying to find one of my old import files for staging computers!

bhawver is right, Deployment Server allows you to pre-stage computers by importing skeletal computer objects into the console. This can be done as follows,

Staging Computers in the Deployment Console

1. Prepare a text file with lines like,


The placement and number of commas is important, which  is why I didn't want to rush back with a response.

2. In the Console, Right-Click the folder you want the computers to be put into and select "New Computer"

3. In the 'New Computers' window click the "Import" button and navigate to your text file. Click "OK" when done.

Now drag'n'drop the imaging jobs onto these staged computer objects, and on these computer's first automation boot they should deploy nicely.

Issues to be aware of when Considering Pre-Staging

There are a couple of issues which arise with this method

  1. You might not get advance notice of the MAC addresses so can't build the text file!!
  2. There is the problem of computers with multiple NICs

The MAC address is therefore often left out of the import file, leaving the computer objects very bare with only their name specified. And this isn't a problem.  If there isn't enough information in the pre-staged computer object to identify the computer to Altiris, an automation menu appears displaying all the computer object choices. Just  select who you are, and down the image comes.

The only issue is to ensure the tecchie chooses the correct computer name, but often this isn't a problem as in the cooporate environment where most computers are the same it doesn't matter which computer the user gets. Only that they get one, and its asset information recorded. Whether this happens before the deployment or after isn't a concern.

Personally, i've often fallen foul of vendors packaging machines in the wrong boxes, and even send us computers with MAC addresses which were not even on the list they sent in advance!! This can be VERY annoying when you've gone to the effort of pre-staging entries with MAC addresses.


If you've got lots of computers, write a batch script to create your text file...

Kind Regards,


Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

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pragmmativco's picture

Thank you very much for the respond to my query.....
I am going to test these options and to see If everything going fine with the different approach

Your help, much appreciated