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What's the effect of changing computer names or descriptions RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm setting up an additional PC to connect to my existing WHS network.  In the process, I gave it a rather generic computer name and no computer description.  I loaded the connector software, made a backup and then checked the console.

    At that point I noticed that I didn't really like the computer name and the description was blank.  Since then I've changed the description, but the console doesn't seem to have picked it up.

    My questions:
    1) When/how does WHS pick up changes to the computer description?
    2) Same question for the computer name?  Will WHS see the new computer name as a completely separate PC leaving the other one orphaned?
    3) Should I delete the existing computer backup and then reconnect with a new name or is WHS smart enough to handle this? 
    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 11:47 PM

Answers

  • BlaineMVP said:

    Thank you, both of you.  Given what Olaf said, I went ahead and changed the computer name which obviously required a reboot.  The very interesting thing is that when I went to the WHS console, it already had the new computer name and description. I don't know what "magic" the connector/WHS did, but somehow it kept everything in synch.  And my backup from last night is still there, but under the new computer name; the old name is not there.

    Kudos to the WHS team for handling this scenario even better than I expected!


    It's due to the fact that each client is recognized by the use of a unique ID (assigned by WHS when you install the Connector software).  The computer name changed, but the unique ID didn't.  You saw the benefit of that. :)  The downside of that setup is someone who, instead of restoring last night's backup, decides to do a fresh installation of Windows.  When that user attempts to add that computer back to the server by reinstalling the Connector software, it will be considered a new computer by WHS, even if the computer name is the same as before (because there is no previous trace of the unique ID on the client so WHS just assumes it's new).
    • Marked as answer by BlaineMVP Wednesday, January 21, 2009 8:00 AM
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:36 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,
    run discovery.exe on the client (in c:\Program Files\Windows Home Server) to reestablish the connection between the client and the server.
    This should reestablish the connection and update the info.
    The old backups may stay there under the old name (I am not exactly sure, since I tend to not rename my computers, but I would assume so), but it makes no sense, to delete them, because you may wish to restore something from them, and due to single instance storage the data will not take additional place (only changes are stored, and a renaming is not such a big change).
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 11:56 PM
    Moderator
  • I'll try that out.  Speaking of that, do you know if an inactive backup would count against my 10 allowed computers?  Or is it only active connections?  I think I'll delete the old backup anyway since I've only made one.
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1:09 AM
  • Any computer that shows in the list of computers and backups counts against the limit of 10.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you, both of you.  Given what Olaf said, I went ahead and changed the computer name which obviously required a reboot.  The very interesting thing is that when I went to the WHS console, it already had the new computer name and description. I don't know what "magic" the connector/WHS did, but somehow it kept everything in synch.  And my backup from last night is still there, but under the new computer name; the old name is not there.

    Kudos to the WHS team for handling this scenario even better than I expected!
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 4:36 AM
  • BlaineMVP said:

    Thank you, both of you.  Given what Olaf said, I went ahead and changed the computer name which obviously required a reboot.  The very interesting thing is that when I went to the WHS console, it already had the new computer name and description. I don't know what "magic" the connector/WHS did, but somehow it kept everything in synch.  And my backup from last night is still there, but under the new computer name; the old name is not there.

    Kudos to the WHS team for handling this scenario even better than I expected!


    It's due to the fact that each client is recognized by the use of a unique ID (assigned by WHS when you install the Connector software).  The computer name changed, but the unique ID didn't.  You saw the benefit of that. :)  The downside of that setup is someone who, instead of restoring last night's backup, decides to do a fresh installation of Windows.  When that user attempts to add that computer back to the server by reinstalling the Connector software, it will be considered a new computer by WHS, even if the computer name is the same as before (because there is no previous trace of the unique ID on the client so WHS just assumes it's new).
    • Marked as answer by BlaineMVP Wednesday, January 21, 2009 8:00 AM
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:36 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,
    this reminds me about some experiments around the PP1 Beta, during which I used cloned virtual machines (only renamed, which would explain the usage of the same ID, which is not "unique" any more in this case). This had some strange effects, i.e. one machine replacing the other in the console sometimes (and sometimes not, maybe after running discovery explicitely). In these situations backups have been accessible under the name of the last used system.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 8:06 AM
    Moderator
  • Is there any way to "Defeat" the mechanism that keeps a machine backups together despite computer name changes?

    I got myself into a sticky wicket trying to add Intel Smart Response Technology to my Win6-64 machine (i5 Z68 chip-set).  I failed to specify SATA Mode "RAID" in the BIOS before the build and when I changed the SATA Mode to "RAID" the system became unbootable so I had the bright idea to do a restore to a new harddrive that had been declared "RAID".  Unfortunately I didn't know about the 100MB hidden partition that accompanies Windows7 so the restored hd C: drive did not boot.  So I had the bright idea to "fix" the hard drive by doing a quick clean install then restore over it.  That worked and boots fine.  Now I've seen the knowledge base entry about the correct way to restore Win7-64bit (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979499).  But WHS still remembers the old hidden partition and sees the new hidden partion and so refuses to backup at all.  Because the old hidden partition is not connected.

    Soooo, I thought, why not start a new backup machine and I've tried changing the computer name with the results that please some but prevent me from backing up my machine.  I suppose I could delete the old hidden partitiion especially as it still resides on the old hard drive but then ... there is no second copy.

    I think I'll just do an old fashioned "My Documents" copy to the WHS public space and then go back and rebuild my complete OS from scratch, complete clean install, with the BIOS properly set.  The problems with touchy installs and Intel Smart Response Technology are a matter for another forum, too bad WHS couldn't help rescue me from my mistakes.  Will Microsoft let me validate my Win7 product code one more time?  Apparently two monitors connected to a Win7-64bit machine can cause validation to fail. 


    Eric Robert Lewis, Ph.D.

    Monday, March 5, 2012 9:50 PM