Changing computer name on Windows



  • hello… I am running fog to deploy laptops. I deploy 46 at a time and do it many times. I am currently using this method to bypass registration (which is simply irritating):

    [url]http://www.fogproject.org/wiki/index.php/Bypass_Host_Registration[/url]

    I need to be able to change the computer names on each one so as not to have network conflicts. Acronis Snap Deploy has this type of functionality… enter Windows{1, 46} and each computer will be Windows1, Windows2… .so on. How can I do this with FOG?

    oh… I am using it to deploy 8.1 right now… I will use it for XP, 7, and Vista as well.



  • that sounds good :P

    I don’t know if I exactly follow… the menu item sounds good… it’s kinda like what I am doing with unicasting, having a menu item for a particular image? What do you mean about a false task?


  • Senior Developer

    I could, potentially, look into creating a script to make your life a lot easier. As long as you have the FOG Server, create a “false” task for each of the systems. In the script have an argument that sets your hostname convention. Then generates the “task file” You could run this without actually touching any of the systems.

    Then (if this part is okay) create a pxe menu selection to basically just enable the system to image using a port pulled out the session created.

    It would take some time, but it’s doable if you’re willing.



  • [quote=“Tom Elliott, post: 23167, member: 7271”]
    I know it looks like a lot, but this is what will work for what you’re trying to accomplish. I’m sorry it’s not as simple as you’d like, but I don’t think we could make it any simpler for you for what you’re trying to do.[/quote]

    Thank you for your help.

    I think I may have discovered that fog is the wrong tool for me. If I use your method, which is pretty good, I would have to change the boot settings… which means I would have to change them back. It also means I have to boot the computers twice… the second time through WOL… which I would have to enable. All machines are closed at the time of loading. Also, registering the computers takes a long time in itself. This method might take almost as long as renaming the computers manually.

    Ideally, I would like to pick up a computer, network boot, close it, sit it in the rack and move on. Then run a multicast . The network boot should put it in a state that identifies the computer as ready for an image. Acronis came very close to doing this… but it is paid software. It seems like FOG simply isn’t designed for this… and I don’t have the programming know-how to change that :p

    I take it there’s no way for FOG to run a script that changes the registry on each computer after the load? This way, I could do a randomized computer name and it would be just as good… run the same script on every computer

    [IMG]http://www.illogicality.net/image.jpeg[/IMG]


  • Senior Developer

    The method FOG Uses to setup multicast requires the systems to be registered in the first place. I’m sorry that this wasn’t thought of but I wasn’t the one who created fog. I guess, if you’re having to touch each system anyway, it wouldn’t be too much extra time to just register the systems.

    If you want, you can try using FOG 0.33b as the OSID is tied to the Image rather than to the individual host, this way your image is the assigning factor of the OSID and NOT the host.

    If you want to use multicast to do the imaging, that’s fine and completely up to you.

    You have to touch each of the systems anyway to press f12, why not take the extra time to setup PXE boot as a default option on them all, and perform a quick registration and inventory of the system? If you don’t want to okay, but I don’t think you’ll succeed otherwise. FOG changes the hostname based on the database values, so if they’re not registered, there’s not going to be a hostname to assign.

    If you do register the systems, you can create a group of all 46 systems and deploy a multicast job to them. This can be done from the WEB GUI. So ultimately, your one time touch could be maintained.

    1. Steps to perform first (for one time boot methods). IF USING 0.32
      Edit the /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default file and add shutdown=on to the append line under the LABEL fog.reg fields. (THIS WILL SHUTDOWN EACH OF THE HOSTS AFTER THEY’VE REGISTERED.)

    2. Setup for QUICK AUTOPOP
      a) Go to the Web GUI.
      b) Go to “Other Information” (?) icon->FOG Settings
      c) Find the AUTOPOP stuff and enable it.
      d) setup the Autopop image id (not absolutely necessary, but will save time if you want to do it)
      e) setup the naming convention you want to use for each of these systems.
      f) enable Hostname_early if not already enabled.

    3. Steps on the client:

    a)Boot the system and go into the BIOS.

    b)Set the BOOT to be Network, CD and/or HD.

    c)Choose quick registration and inventory.

    1. Steps on the FOG Web GUI
      a) Goto host management page
      b) Choose all hosts (or search for the beginning of your naming convention)
      c) Click the checkbox for each of the hosts you want, if you searched and only these systems have this naming convention you can use the checkbox in the table header to select all hosts.
      d) Create a new group and enter a name and choose process group changes.
      e) goto group management page.
      f) search for the group name or list all groups and find the one you just created and select it.
      NOTE: verify all have the same os and image id (if you’re sure this is set already you can skip this part)
      h) On the general page select the os you want for all hosts and click update (it will disappear again, but it should have worked.)
      i) On the general page select the image you want for all hosts and click update (it will disappear again, but it should have worked.)
      j) choose basic tasks.
      k) setup the multicast task and deploy it.

    You should be done after this.

    I know it looks like a lot, but this is what will work for what you’re trying to accomplish. I’m sorry it’s not as simple as you’d like, but I don’t think we could make it any simpler for you for what you’re trying to do.



  • Yes… there is a reason I want to bypass this. it’s simply an extra step. I have to press f12, then select register (wait forever), then I can go into the fog settings, select the OS, then I can repeat this 46 times, then I can start a multicast, where I will again have to touch the computers, press f12, etc. How do you load a crap ton of computers at a time without having to mess with each one? I really want to open all 46 l;aptops, press f12, go to the server and initiate a multicast to ALL hosts, using automatic naming. This is pretty much what I have with bypass registration, only I cannot name them. Is there a script I can run? Even if I populate a random name, this would be fine.

    I tried to use Autopop and it did not like to work… always said host not found. But I guess I was trying to multicast.

    Multicasting is a necessity… i always load 46 computers at a time… that would kill bandwidth otherwise.


  • Senior Developer

    I guess your description of the issue is too vague.

    [quote=“cokewithvanilla, post: 22877, member: 20254”]hello… I am running fog to deploy laptops. I deploy 46 at a time and do it many times. I am currently using this method to bypass registration (which is simply irritating):

    [url]http://www.fogproject.org/wiki/index.php/Bypass_Host_Registration[/url][/quote]

    What specifically is “irritating” about it? You’re trying to bypass host registration? Is there a particular reason? If the hosts aren’t registered to the system, there’s no hostname to assign as FOG pulls it’s information from the record.

    [quote=“cokewithvanilla, post: 22877, member: 20254”]
    I need to be able to change the computer names on each one so as not to have network conflicts. Acronis Snap Deploy has this type of functionality… enter Windows{1, 46} and each computer will be Windows1, Windows2… .so on. How can I do this with FOG?

    oh… I am using it to deploy 8.1 right now… I will use it for XP, 7, and Vista as well.[/quote]

    I recommended the AUTOPOP part as a means to help make your life easier. You would enable this on the FOG Server. Choose a Hostname Convention that’ll work for your setup. Set the image ID to that of the image you’re trying to deploy to the systems. It will rename each of the machines to that of your naming convention (so long as you have a numerical sequence I’m assuming) so network conflicts would be gone. As long as the image ID is valid, your systems will, once registered, reimage to whatever the image ID is set.

    [quote=“cokewithvanilla, post: 23016, member: 20254”]What about with multicasting?[/quote]

    Using this method is quick, but it doesn’t setup for multicasting. That aside, I don’t know what you mean by it. Are you trying to get all systems to be imaged using multicast?

    That’s basically the procedure.



  • I must be missing something with this. What is the procedure here? I set all those settings proper, hit Quick Image? I am trying to deploy without having to touch the computers more than once.


  • Senior Developer

    what do you mean?



  • What about with multicasting?


  • Senior Developer

    FOG_QUICKREG_AUTOPOP


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