Windows Tip Sheet
What's in a Name?
Rename standalone computers and also get all kinds of computer info with the free Compname.exe tool.
This tip is part 4 in a series of 4 on cool command-line freeware.
You know Netdom.exe (included with Windows’ Support Tools) can be used
to rename domain computers, but what about standalone ones? Compname.exe by
Ole Restorick does the trick. The tool is templatable (trust me, that’s
a word), meaning you can create a whole file full of new computer names and
have the tool match based on things like mainboard serial numbers, IP addresses
and so forth. (I wish Windows’ unattended installation answer files were
Compname.exe will change the NetBIOS computer name and can display the current
name, serial number or a summary of system information. Run the tool with /?
to see command-line syntax. This would be a great tool in a configuration center
dealing with new, pre-installed computers from a manufacturer like Dell. Just
fix up the template file the way you want it and run the tool through a command-line
script on each computer.
Don Jones is a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft’s MVP Award, and is an Author/Evangelist for video training company Pluralsight. Don is also a co-founder and President of PowerShell.org, a community dedicated to Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell technology. Don has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, and specializes in the Microsoft business technology platform. He’s the author of more than 50 technology books, an accomplished IT journalist, and a sought-after speaker and instructor at conferences worldwide. Reach Don on Twitter at @concentratedDon, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ConcentratedDon.