Long time no see! I have lots of things to blog about, I just haven’t had the time to do so lately. Last week though I learnt about a tricky NetBIOS computer naming bug when deploying Vista using Windows Deployment Services (WDS). As you might know the NetBIOS computer names cannot be longer than 15 characters and when you in Windows Vista (and all previously released Windows versions as well) change the computer name to a name with more than 15 characters you will get a warning message
that will look something like the screenshot attached to this post.
When using Windows Deployment Services with the new option “Name and approve” the client before pushing out the image to the client, you can as you might have figured name the computer object in Active Directory and then fully automate the installation process. In the unattended answer file in the computer name section for deploying Vista we have entered %MACHINENAME% to make sure that the computer name is not randomly generated with a name like LH-XY45YHGKL and to make sure
that we will not get any questions to answer when deploying automatically.
We have a computer naming standard which obviously sometimes makes the computer name more than 15 characters. The bug is when you name a computer longer than 15 characters during Name and approve in the WDS. Then the unattended installation will fail at the specialize pass, without any particular error message, probably because it wants to show the same error message dialogue as when we are in the GUI version of Vista.