Takeaway: Installing Windows Server 2008 Core Edition is easy enough, but configuring it can be tricky. IT pro Rick Vanover shows how to rename a computer with a one-liner.
netdom renamecomputer WIN-94CX1930EF21 /Newname SERVER13
Once this is complete, you get a friendly prompt that renaming a system may cause certain services to fail. Because of this warning, it is a good idea to rename the server early in the build process. Figure A shows this onscreen.
The server is successfully renamed after the requested system reboot.
If you want to join the system to an Active Directory domain, the same command is used except extra parameters are required. If the computer account already has the correct name, a command like the following will join a Windows Server 2008 server to a domain:
netdom join /DOMAIN:RWVDEV server13 /userD:RWVDEV\Administrator /password:*
A few things to note: Some of the parameters have the letter D at the end of them, and the FQDN server name is the DC to authenticate the request against. Again, a reboot is required to take effect. There are a few other parameters with netdom, so check out the Help section to see if additional features, such as organizational unit placement and force reboot, suit you.