Any potential risk in renaming a computer?

I'd like to rename my PC (which is 6 months old and running Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit), but I am unclear regarding what role, if any, a computer's "name" plays in the functionality of applications and files installed or created on the computer, so my question is this:  If I rename the computer, will the new name automatically flow through to those applications, folders and files previously installed or created that might require a computer name, or will I be setting myself up for potential functionality problems with those applications and files after the change?

 

Many thanks in advance for providing some clarity on this subject for me.

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I haven't heard of any problems and the only warning shown in the following procedure is "Changes might affect access to network resources":  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Change-your-computer-name

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Many thanks.  I'll check with my ISPs.  (And I'll do a restore point no matter what they say.)  And if bad things happen, I'll post it here so others will know what they're facing.

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I think the "network resources" may refer to central servers, drives, printers, etc on internal networks.  Your ISP won't be affected.

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Windows 7's Backup and Restore also stores a user document files in a folder the has the same name as the computer name.

 

J W Stuart: http://www.pagestart.com

Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

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Hi FoxFifth. 

 

Thanks for your further note, but if you'll check the link you provided for me you'll find the following note there from Microsoft:

 

Note

Some Internet service providers (ISPs) require you to use a specific computer name so they can identify your computer and validate your account. If your ISP requires a specific computer name, don't change the name they give you.

 

I checked with one of my ISPs and they reported that it would not impact service.  I am waiting for a response from my other, but I suspect it will be the same.

 

Thanks again.

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Hi JW Stuart,

 

Do I correctly understand your note to mean that previous Windows backups will no longer be viable following a change of names and that I should therefore do a new Windows backup as soon as possible after the name change?

 

Thanks in advance for your further clarification.

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Nope, the backups will still work, but future backups will be placed in a folder named with the new name.  You shouldn't really see any change after adjusting your computer name except for the name shown in network locations and shares (such as the name of your computer as-seen from your Xbox or PlayStation or other media device).

Despite the note from the support article, I've never heard of an ISP requiring the use of a specific machine name.
Shawn "Cmdr" Keene | Microsoft MVP - Windows Insider | CmdrKeene.com | tweet me: @LtCmdrKeene
Microsoft MVPs are independent experts offering real-world answers. Learn more at mvp.microsoft.com.

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Nope, the backups will still work, but future backups will be placed in a folder named with the new name.  You shouldn't really see any change after adjusting your computer name except for the name shown in network locations and shares (such as the name of your computer as-seen from your Xbox or PlayStation or other media device).

Despite the note from the support article, I've never heard of an ISP requiring the use of a specific machine name.

Many thanks for this note, Shawn.  By the way, I had tried to put my Windows 7 backup in a folder of my own making on the external drive because the drive I'm using is 1 terrabyte and has backups on it from other systems (like my laptops and a previous desktop).   But Windows 7 did not appear to give me that option, unlike XP.  Am I missing something, or is that just the way it is; Win 7 just puts it in a folder of its own making, period.

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Backup always stores the System Image and user files in the root of the destination partition.

Your user backups will have a difference folder name as previously mentioned, the Image backups (no matter what the computer name is will still be located in the "WindowsImageBackup" folder.

 

How to create and save multiple image backups:
How you can use Windows 7 Backup and Restore to create and store multiple image backups to a USB drive that has limited free space. This article is based on a Windows 7 user who asked why backup and restore does not maintain multiple versions of system images as advertised.
http://www.pagestart.com/win7bckuprstr06281001.html

 

J W Stuart: http://www.pagestart.com

Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.

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Hi FoxFifth. 

 

Thanks for your further note, but if you'll check the link you provided for me you'll find the following note there from Microsoft:

 

Note

Some Internet service providers (ISPs) require you to use a specific computer name so they can identify your computer and validate your account. If your ISP requires a specific computer name, don't change the name they give you.

 

I checked with one of my ISPs and they reported that it would not impact service.  I am waiting for a response from my other, but I suspect it will be the same.

 

Thanks again.


So I read the procedure at the bottom, watched the whole video where I saw the tiny warning on one of the screens about "network resources" and completely missed the largest warning near the very top of the introduction!  Have never heard of ISP using computer names but apparently it's possible!

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Last updated November 23, 2020 Views 12,011 Applies to: