PowerShell: Rename Domain Computers from a List

I needed to rename a bunch of computers in a hurry. As usual I turned to PowerShell. The old and new names were provided to me in a CSV. The systems were spread over a wide area and throughout different departments so I would need to include connectivity testing and some simple reporting to keep track of the progress. I came up with the little gem below. I’m sure I’ll be pulling it out of the toolbox again.

To use this script you’ll need a CSV with at least two columns; one named “currentname”, and another called “newname”. You will have to run the operation from a system that can communicate (ping & WMI) with the workstations. The remote systems need to support remote PowerShell commands and you will require domain credentials with enough permissions to rename domain computers.

Once you have all of that, copy the code below and paste it into a file. Save it as “Rename-Computers.PS1” where you keep your scripts. When you run the script you’ll be prompted for the credentials to perform the rename with. Then an “open file” dialog box will pop so that you can browse to your CSV. Once you’ve selected your file, the script will ping each machine and if they reply, the command to rename will be issued. If they aren’t reachable, they’ll be added to a report.

At the end of the run, three text files will be in your documents folder. One shows the machines that were renamed. One has the systems that couldn’t be pinged. The other is an error log. The same information will be displayed in the PowerShell console as the script runs.

[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName('Microsoft.VisualBasic') | Out-Null
$DomainAdminCredentials = Get-Credential -Message "Enter Domain Admin Credentials to rename computers"

Function Get-FileName($initialDirectory)
 [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.windows.forms") |

 $OpenFileDialog = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.OpenFileDialog
 $OpenFileDialog.initialDirectory = $initialDirectory
 $OpenFileDialog.filter = "csv files (*.csv)| *.csv"
 $OpenFileDialog.ShowDialog() | Out-Null

$ComputerList = Get-FileName -initialDirectory $env:userprofile\documents
$computers = Import-CSV $ComputerList

$renamedcomputers = @() 
$unavailablecomputers = @()

Foreach ($computer in $computers){
$PingTest = Test-Connection -ComputerName $computer.CurrentName -Count 1 -quiet
If ($PingTest){
    Write-Host "Renaming $($computer.currentname) to $($computer.NewName)"
        Rename-Computer -ComputerName $Computer.CurrentName -NewName $Computer.NewName -DomainCredential $DomainAdminCredentials -Confirm:$false -Force
            $renamedcomputers += $computer.CurrentName

        Write-Warning "Failed to connect to computer $($computer.currentname)"
            $unavailablecomputers += $computer.CurrentName


$renamedcomputers | Out-File $env:userprofile\documents\renamedcomputers.txt
$unavailablecomputers | Out-File $env:userprofile\documents\unavailablecomputers.txt
$Error | Out-File $env:userprofile\documents\renamedcomputererrors.txt

The script is not currently set to reboot the computers which is required to complete the renaming process. To add a reboot insert a -Restart after -Force. Removing the -Force will give the user a chance to reject the rename.

About Kevin Trent

IT professional with almost 30 years of experience in Infrastructure, Architecting, Administration, Development, and Communications.

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