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Windows 7 Thread, Answer File for WDS to keep current Computer Name in Technical; Hello, I have created and imaged over 1100 PCs/laptops over the past year using WDS , but the one problem ...
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    AmyJ121's Avatar
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    Answer File for WDS to keep current Computer Name

    Hello,
    I have created and imaged over 1100 PCs/laptops over the past year using WDS, but the one problem I have now that I have to re-image all of them is keeping the Computer Name. I don't want to have to go around renaming all 1100 computers after re-imaging them. I currently have the "*" wildcard, but is there another command that I can place in the ComputerName section to use the Computer Name currently associated with the computer?? It used to be %ComputerName% in Windows XP. Thank you!!

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    teejay's Avatar
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    If they are already in AD with their guid, then they should automatically get the previous name.

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    Do I just take out the wildcard then, because it doesn't work with it.

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    Hi,

    "ComputerName=%MACHINENAME%" in [UserData] works just fine for our Windows Xp Sysprep.inf. There will be something very similar for the Windows 7 Answer file - WDS will substitute the the variable for the actual computer name assuming the computer is prestaged in AD with the GUID or MAC address (check to see if the computers have a "Remote install" tab in their AD properties).

    We currently have a setup for our Xp machines where we can just run a VBScript for a specific image, passing in the desired computer name and the MAC address of the physical machine - this prestages the computer in AD, which lets WDS know to accept boot requests and use the correct WDS unattend file. Boot the machine from the network once, and then walk away for 30m/an hour. You'll have a login prompt when you get back barring a slow network connection

    WDS unattend find takes care of partitioning the drives as needed, WDS modified sysprep.inf takes care of entering the volume license key (or vendor specific keys for our Xp downgrade licenses), naming the computer based on the pre-staged AD computer, setting timezone etc, and automatically joining the domain using non-domain admin user account which the sysprep.inf has the username/password for. This non privileged account was given the specific ability to join this particular computer to the domain in the previously mentioned VBScript (which is just a wrapper for the wdsutil command).

    Naturally you should be set up something even more powerful with less fuss for Windows 7! We're just about to start getting ready to deploy Windows 7 to our infrastructure, so I'll have to get up to speed with the Windows 7 unattend stuff sooner or later.

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