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Windows XP cannot change computer name

February 15th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was trying to deploy some software to a Windows XP SP3 client when I noticed that there seemed to be an issue with network connectivity. For some reason the client hadn't downloaded and installed any software hat had been pushed to it via SCCM. On the off chance, I happened to check the computer name in 'System Properties' (to see who the computer belonged to) and I noticed that the buttons for 'Network ID' and 'Change' were greyed out.


The machine had recently been re-imaged but as the organisation I work for requires that all users be local administrators on their own computer I suspected spyware/malware was to blame. Before I re-imaged the computer again (to be sure the machine was cleaned) I had a quick look at rectifying the connectivity issue. It seemed that Winsock2 (a Windows API that defines how Windows network software should access network services such as TCP/IP) had been corrupted. To manually reinstall TCP/IP and fix the Winsock2 issue I performed the following:

1. Browse Control Panel and then Network Connections
2. Right-click on your network connection, and then click Properties
3. Click the Install button
4. Click Protocol and then click Add
5. Click Have Disk when asked to Select a Network Protocol
6. Browse to C:\Windows\inf (inf is hidden), then select Nettcpip.inf and click OK
7. On the list of available protocols, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click OK
8. Restart computer

Following this process the buttons for 'Network ID' and 'Change' were no longer greyed out.

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