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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The opinions expressed within are my own and should not be attributed to any other Individual, Company or the one I work for. I just happen to be a classic techie who is passionate about getting things to work as they should do (and are sometimes advertised and marketed as being able to?) and when I can I drop notes here to help others falling in to the same traps that I have fallen in to. If this has helped then please pass it on - if you feel that I have commented in error or disagree then please feel free to discuss with me either publically or privately? Cheers, Dave
Thin Clients, VDI and Linux integration from the front lines.... Raw and sometimes unedited notes based on my experiences with VMware, Thin Clients, Linux etc.

While the deployment we were assisting with today was maybe not that large even by local standards the issue was something that comes up on a some what regular basis.

A customer wants to have a number of Thin Clients imaged to their specifications and then drop-shipped to various locations ready to go. Part of this involves creating and applying Asset Tags to the devices – a small thing to be sure – but for the poor folks in charge of keeping track of the devices this was vital.

The issue was that part of the FBReseal (First Boot Reseal) process renames the devices based on a process that combines the MAC address and the serial number and then comes up with a random name, and of course that was not making things that easy for the “Asset Taggers” ;-)

So we were testing the imaging process at the Integrators site using Altiris as the deployment mechanism and trying to figure out how we might be able to achieve something that would leave everybody happy and we discovered “COMPNAME.EXE”

My hats off to Oli at as this is a great tool that does exactly what we were after, but it clearly has some great functions that make it really well suited for RIS with references to UUID and the ability to create and reference fake UUID’s when needed.

It is so easy because you can easily see the info it can pull out via the summary switch (examples below) and then reference them via the template function – so in our specific case we simply called a job that ran “COMPNAME.EXE /c HP-?s” and this then appended the serial number after the HP- prefix.

Now it was possible for the customer to receive a spreadsheet of all the devices, including a listing of the specific Computer Names so that Asset Tags can be printed and applied ahead of delivery.

Summary switch provides the following info:
Mainboard manufacturer : Hewlett-Packard
          model        : 30C8
          serial       :
Chassis   manufacturer : Hewlett-Packard
          model        : Notebook
          serial       : 2CEXXXXH29
System    manufacturer : Hewlett-Packard
          model        : HP Compaq 2710p (#ABG)
          serial       : 2CE8060H29
Ethernet address       : 00:1F:3B:09:XX:XX
IP address             :
NetBIOS name           : xxxxxxxxxxx
DNS Host name          : xxxxxxxxxxx
System UUID            : 21FFBB999ADCXXXX111XXX8410012529

Switch Examples are:
?u = System UUID                        ?U = Fake UUID (24 zeros plus MAC).
?G = If System UUID is FFFF... or 0000... or null it uses ?U, otherwise ?u.
?i, ?j, ?k, ?l            = 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th octets of IP (decimal).
?I, ?J, ?K, ?L            = 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th octets of IP (hex).
?d = Hostname found by reverse DNS lookup of IP address.
?m = First MAC address.                 ?e = Existing NetBIOS computer name.
?D = day    ?M = month    ?Y = year
?1, ?2, ?3, ..., ?0       = 1, 2, 3, ..., 10 random alphanumeric characters.

COMPNAME /c acme-?s   Changes computer name to "acme-ABCDEF" where ABCDEF is the system serial number.

Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 9:16 PM IT Management , Microsoft Tips , Thin Clients | Back to top

Comments on this post: Renaming a Computer or Thin Client for large scale deployments? Whether you are using Altiris, PXE, RIS, SMS, etc. this is a tool worth checking out

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