It's an activity that all of us will have done numerous times in the past and will do in the future… rename a computer! But what happens when say the organisation you work for changes their workstation naming standard and want to have all the workstations renamed straight away?! Well, a simple powershell script is your answer! 

What you need?

  • RSAT Tools. In particular the Active Directory powershell module. Aka, "Import-Module ActiveDirectory"
  • Rights to rename these workstations assuming AD delegation is set up. It doesn't have to be Domain Admins
  • Permission to run the script from the business (Refer below note).
$organizationalunit = "OU=Computers,OU=Staff,DC=contoso,DC=com"
$computers = Get-ADComputer -SearchBase $organizationalunit | where {$ -notlike "Contoso-*"}
$num = 0001
Foreach($computer in $computers)
	For($num=1;$num -lt $computers.count;$num++)
        Rename-Computer -Computername $computer -NewName "Contoso-$num" -Force -Restart

This powershell script will search the OU of "OU=Computers,OU=Staff,DC=contoso,DC=com", get all the AD computers in this OU that doesn't have the name like "Contoso-*" and will rename them "Contoso-0001" and upwards until all the computers are renamed. It's easy to change the 'Get-ADComputer' cmdlet to get say only Windows XP machines! Just add:

		-Filter {OperatingSystem -Like "*XP*"}

Just to note: This script will restart the remote computers! So do this out-of-hours or when you organisation has approved the change. Removing the -restart switch will cause authenication issues until the workstation is of course, restarted.

Hope this helps renaming all thos computers! 

By Trent Steenholdt

I have developed an in-depth skill set for Microsoft technologies throughout my IT career, and I enjoy sharing my experiences through writing and sharing my story. My personal blog is an opportunity for me to discuss IT and other topics that I find enjoyable. I hope that my experiences and knowledge will be of assistance to others who are interested in these subjects.