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Computer Naming

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

When a computer running Windows 2000, Microsoft® Windows® XP, or Windows Server 2003 joins a domain, by default the computer assigns itself a name comprising the host name of the computer (Computer Name in the System Properties) and the DNS name of the Active Directory domain that the computer joined (Primary DNS Suffix in System Properties). The concatenation of the host name and DNS name of the domain is known as the fully qualified domain name (FQDN). For example, if a computer with host name Server1 joins the domain corp.contoso.com, the FQDN of the computer is server1.corp.contoso.com.

If a computer already has a different DNS domain name that was statically entered into a DNS zone or registered by an integrated DNS/DHCP service, the FQDN of the computer is distinct from the name that was registered previously. The computer can be referred to by either name.

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