Configuring the Computer Name and Membership

Whenever you access resources on another computer, you do so using the computer's name. Generally, when computers are in the same domain, homegroup, or workgroup, you'll have an easier time accessing and working with them. When your computer is a member of a domain, it uses a different naming scheme than when it is a member of a homegroup or workgroup. At the office, the full computer name is essentially the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of the computer, which identifies the computer's name as well as its place on the network. At home, your computer has a computer name and a homegroup or workgroup associated with it.

As Figure 20-1 shows, you can determine the domain or workgroup membership for your computer on the Computer Name tab in the System Properties dialog box. If you have appropriate permissions, you can also use this tab to modify the computer's name and its domain or workgroup membership.

You can access the Computer Name tab in the System Properties dialog box by completing these steps:

1. Click Starts System and SecuritysSystem.

2. In the System Console, click "Change settings" under "Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings." Alternatively, click Advanced System Settings in the left pane.

3. Click the Computer Name tab, if the tab isn't already selected.

Figure 20-1. Viewing the computer name

You can use the options on the Computer Name tab to join a computer to a domain or to change a computer's name. To join a computer to a domain, follow these steps:

1. On the Computer Name tab of the System Properties dialog box, click Network ID to start the Join a Domain or Workgroup Wizard.

2. Click Next three times to accept the default options.

3. As shown in Figure 20-2, enter the name of your domain user account, the password for this account, and the name of the domain. You will use this account to connect to the domain.

4. When you click Next, the wizard will search for a computer account in your user account domain. If the wizard can't find a computer account, you'll need to specify the computer name and computer domain to use, and then click Next.

5. As necessary, type the domain username, password, and domain of an account with permission to join the computer to the previously specified domain, and then click OK.

6. If you receive an error stating that the computer could not be joined to the domain because your computer couldn't resolve the DNS name of the domain controller, click OK and then do the following:

• Click Starts-Control Panels-Network and Internets-Network and Sharing Center.

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