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Why do all my workstations have the same name?

I recently upgraded an NT4 PDC to a Win2k DC. All of my Win2k workstations now have the name "workstation.www.domain.com." Is this normal or have I done something wrong? All the workstations can connect to the domain but I get errors in the event log like:
userenv Windows cannot determine the user or computer name. Return value (1722).

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The error you mentioned is typically because the computer account is messed up (i.e., corrupted). All of the workstations in the domain should have the same DNS suffix (e.g., MyCompany.com), but that is it. Each machine should have its own name. To check it out, go to a workstation, log on, open the command prompt and type IPCONFIG /ALL. You should get a display similar to:
Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : smurf
Primary DNS Suffix . . . . . . . .: corp.blueinc.com
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : corp.blueinc.com
blueinc.com
Note the computer name is "smurf." The primary DNS suffix is the domain name "corp.blueinc.com." Together these two make the full network name of the workstation: "smurf.corp.blueinc.com."

Now, if you have been using a disk duplication technique to build your workstations and have not been properly adjusting the machine names (typically done by running a script or option after the system build), then all of your machines would have the same name. This would result in the 1722 error -- but it should also create a host of other errors reporting duplicate names on the network.

This was first published in April 2003

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