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Under Windows XP, is it possible to change the computer name without rebooting? If so, how?

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2 Answers 2

I don't believe it is possible. Even Windows 7 still requests a reboot when changing the computer name.

You can say restart later when you change it but I have a feeling the machine will still identify itself as the old name until the next reboot(?).

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+1 You are 100% correct. –  KCotreau Jul 19 '11 at 3:28

It's not possible to do it in 100%, but there's a hackway for doing it partially.

This trick changes some registry keys to achieve it.
It helped me to change computer name in network (remember to run it as admin and restart network adapters after it). It also changed the computer name in System Properties window and in some other places.

If you change computer name, new name is stored in registry and is applied on next reboot.
And windows applications/services/drivers get computer name on start, so you must restart them all (is it possible? partially yes). Or if you can search all the RAM (without BSODs) and replace computer names with new name, then the job will be done - practically impossible.

So the only real way is rebooting.

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