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How to change workgroup/computer name in Windows Home Server 2011/Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials RRS feed

  • Question

  • The standard installation process does not provide an opportunity to change the workgroup name.  It does allow for setting the computer name. Sorage Server 2008 allows for joining a domain, but does not allow for change the workgroup name should one chose not to join a domain.  There must be a way to go in after the installation and make adjustments and regenerate the security certificate or whatever that gets messed up when making these sort of changes.  Please advise how we can do this without starting over and doing a full install.

    Thanks

    Lee Baehre


    Lee

    Saturday, April 14, 2012 2:56 PM

Answers

  • WorkGroup name changing.  Okay, I found some documentation here and there and can verify that change the workgroup name is not very difficult, just not doucmented.  Here are the links if you want to look them up.

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-GB/whsvailbeta/thread/9562b42c-a252-4c96-8e3d-c2ebbef35275

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/how-to-change-a-workgroup-name-on-windows-home-server-2011-and-windows-storage-server-2011-r2-essentials.aspx

     You can do this during setup...

    When the setup gets to the part where you are asked to name it, simply hit SHIFT-F10

    you'll get a command prompt.

    Type "control system" and press enter

    use the system control panel that pops up to change the workgroup name but leave the server name and everything else alone.

    close the window, don't reboot the system. Continue with the setup, and once it's all going you'll have that workgroup name and the certificates in certificate services will be named properly too so you don't have to re-build that junk after the fact, which is possible as well but a real PITA.

    You can do this post installation as follows:

    The process involves using remote desktop to remote into the server and then using an elevated powershell to enter in a couple of commands. It’s as simple as that, but up until recently the process of doing this hasn’t been clear as the guide from Microsoft was not available.

    Commands to type into the powershell:

    Log on as administrator

    Launch powershell with elevated permissions



    $sysinfo = Get-WmiObject Win32_ComputerSystem
    $sysinfo.JoinDomainOrWorkgroup("workgroupname")

    Note: workgroupname is limited to 15 characters, you must truncate any remaining characters…


    Lee

    • Marked as answer by Leon Baehre Monday, April 16, 2012 11:17 PM
    Monday, April 16, 2012 11:17 PM

All replies

  • Do a Forum search - people have claimed to have done it. However, there is no real reason to do so.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Saturday, April 14, 2012 3:02 PM
  • Because certificate services are dependent on the workgroup and the machine name, changing them once you've installed is unsupported and recommended against very strongly. There are workarounds for the workgroup name, and as you've noted you can change the machine name during setup, but honestly, there's no need to change the workgroup name in any case. It has no effect on server functionality.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Sunday, April 15, 2012 2:01 AM
  • Ken (or Phil, or anyone who has the answer), why is it that the server Workgroup name is irrelevant? I seem to recall that at one time in the life of Windows, the Workgroup name was important. Perhaps it was back in the days of NetBIOS, and these days, the Workgroup name is like a vestigial organ - the Appendix of the network world...

    I'm just curious to learn the rationale behind the statement that Workgroup name no longer matters...

    Sunday, April 15, 2012 10:09 AM
  • The workgroup or domain name controlled what showed up immediately in "Network Neighborhood" on Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows with built-in networking. In the Windows Home Server world, it's irrelevant because:

    • XP is on life support; extended support will end in 2 years, it hasn't been available for retail sale since 2008, and it hasn't been available preinstalled since 2010. (For more information on Windows product lifecycles, see here.)
    • Windows Home Server places an icon on every client computer's desktop when installed which allows direct access to the server shares, no matter the version of Windows the client is running, and no matter the workgroup.
    • Newer versions of Windows use different methods to determine what specific computers show up when first viewing networked PCs, which means that the local workgroup is no longer a factor.

    I highly recommend that, for something like this, folks go find the answer for themselves. This will give you a sense of accomplishment, improve your Google-fu, and (if the people who tend to answer a lot of questions are busy) get you a complete answer to a question that's of marginal utility in these forums. In other words, you nearly got a link to Let Me Google That For You as an answer. (If you follow my LMGTFY link, you'll notice that the product lifecycle link I gave above is the #1 result. :) )


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Sunday, April 15, 2012 12:42 PM
  • Ken, did you get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning? :-)
    Sunday, April 15, 2012 2:38 PM
  • WorkGroup name changing.  Okay, I found some documentation here and there and can verify that change the workgroup name is not very difficult, just not doucmented.  Here are the links if you want to look them up.

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-GB/whsvailbeta/thread/9562b42c-a252-4c96-8e3d-c2ebbef35275

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/how-to-change-a-workgroup-name-on-windows-home-server-2011-and-windows-storage-server-2011-r2-essentials.aspx

     You can do this during setup...

    When the setup gets to the part where you are asked to name it, simply hit SHIFT-F10

    you'll get a command prompt.

    Type "control system" and press enter

    use the system control panel that pops up to change the workgroup name but leave the server name and everything else alone.

    close the window, don't reboot the system. Continue with the setup, and once it's all going you'll have that workgroup name and the certificates in certificate services will be named properly too so you don't have to re-build that junk after the fact, which is possible as well but a real PITA.

    You can do this post installation as follows:

    The process involves using remote desktop to remote into the server and then using an elevated powershell to enter in a couple of commands. It’s as simple as that, but up until recently the process of doing this hasn’t been clear as the guide from Microsoft was not available.

    Commands to type into the powershell:

    Log on as administrator

    Launch powershell with elevated permissions



    $sysinfo = Get-WmiObject Win32_ComputerSystem
    $sysinfo.JoinDomainOrWorkgroup("workgroupname")

    Note: workgroupname is limited to 15 characters, you must truncate any remaining characters…


    Lee

    • Marked as answer by Leon Baehre Monday, April 16, 2012 11:17 PM
    Monday, April 16, 2012 11:17 PM