PC Nomenclature?


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Computer Names Why Use One?

Computer names have a few uses...

Some reasons for using them:

  • It identifies the PC to other PCs and to a person using the PC.
  • It makes it easier for the human to find a PC  on a network, very few humans can remember a sequence of numbers (me included).
  • It makes each PC unique on a closed or even an open network (open as in the www or internet).

Naming conventions vary from network to network.

  • Some companies use a numbering system, others use the function of PC, others use department name and then a number.
  • Home Computer Names are normally generated at random by the installation process although some use the first letters of the first user's ID.
  • Naming a PC cuts down on duplicate names and identifies a PC that maybe having problems or causing conflicts on a network.
  • Computer Names also aids in finding the right PC to connect to for sharing files, folders, printers, or other resources.

What if you are replacing a PC on a network such as a server and want to use that same name for the new server?

Duplicate names and/or IP address will cause conflicts on the network, these types of conflicts will stop a network from functioning.

If the server is in a Domain you defiantly don't want to have duplicate names and IP addresses.

Note: If you have a network and a Domain with DNS installed for the Domain then duplicate names and IP addresses will not be allowed, see page 70 of the Build a Server for DNS installation and configuration techniques.

One way to accomplish this task is to rename the old server and change the IP address before bringing the new server on the network.

By doing the task this way the new server's name and IP can be what the old server was.

Need a server? You can build your own!

This maintains the continuity of the DNS Records, the users of the network will not notice any change (maybe faster access to resources) and the old server will still be available to copy files/resources from until you power it down.

When I did server replacement I would do it after business hours when the access to the old server was at a minimum. I also would do the OS installation while the server was not connected to the network, doing all the installation, optimization, and hardening of the security before adding the Server/PC to the network keeps the conflicts to a minimum.

Once the server was ready to add to the Domain I would remove the old server from the Domain, rename it, change the IP address, then add the new server to the network. Once it was on the network I would add it to the Domain, complete the security and begin the process of moving files/resources from the old server to the new server.

For a desktop the process would be the same with the exception of the user profiles on the old desktop, you can 'migrate' the profile but it is better to just migrate (copy) the files from the old desktop to the new one and let the user(s) log on then complete the profile changes.

How did you name your PC? Did you specifically pick a name or did your OS installation process do it? Can you remember it if you had to find it on a crowded network? :)

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