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Fix incorrect system names in Apple Remote Desktop Network
As a system admin, from time to time in Apple Remote Desktop (ARD), I find a system that is no longer showing the correct name (often the name shown is the IP address reversed ie: This can prevent the system from being controlled or running reports for your task server.

To correct this remotely, you'll need to use one of the following two solutions -- I prefer the first method, assuming you've enabled remote login (ssh).

Method #1:
  1. Open Terminal and ssh to the system in question: ssh Enter the admin password, and if prompted to accept the certificate, type YES then press Enter.
  2. Type cd /Library/Prefrences and press Enter.
  3. Type mv and press Enter. Repeat this command with and -- remember to add _bad to the end of each filename when moving it.
  4. Type cd /Users/username/Library/Prefrences; replace username with the affected user's short username.
  5. Type mv Repeat this step for and if they are present (remember to add the _bad bit to the filename).
  6. If the end user is logged in, pick up the phone and call them, ask them in your nice admin voice to save their work and go get a cup of coffee. You will be force restarting the computer.
  7. Once the user has saved his/her work, type sudo shutdown -r now and press Enter. Supply the password as needed for the admin account.
Wait two minutes for the remote system to restart, go back into Apple Remote Desktop, and rescan the IP address for the affected system. If you are still unable to remote control the system, go to the next, less secure method for correction.

Method #2: This is not as secure, but it gives you access.
  1. Go to (or what ever free remote HTTP/Java-based remote control session software makes you smile).
  2. Set up a Session and email the link to your end user.
  3. Have your end user click the link in the email and open the DMG file that is saved to their downloads folder (if they are on 10.5) or desktop (if they are on 10.4).
  4. Again in your nice admin voice, ask the user to double-click on the green icon that says Co-Pilot for the name.
  5. From the FogCreek site, download the remote control package and open the DMG. Run the blue app also called Co-Pilot.
  6. (If you first tried method #1, skip this step.) In the finder, move all the and files to the trash.
  7. Open System Prefrences and go to Sharing. Re-enter the system name and re-enable remote login and remote management to your organization's specs.
  8. Close Co-Pilot and remote control the system via ARD.
The Reason I am not a huge fan of method #2 is the dependence on an external tool to fix an internal issue. Also, it requires the user to do stuff, which in my experience, can be frustrating for the user and in turn, makes them unhappy/not confident with your IT magic.
  • Currently 1.22 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (9 votes cast)

Fix incorrect system names in Apple Remote Desktop | 4 comments | Create New Account
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Fix incorrect system names in Apple Remote Desktop
Authored by: thehigherlife on Apr 16, '08 08:22:09AM

it seems like the problem originates from an improper setup of rDNS on your DNS server

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Fix incorrect system names in Apple Remote Desktop
Authored by: vogunaescht on Apr 16, '08 02:04:40PM

This sounds more like a stale lookupd (pre 10.5) or dscacheutil (10.5) chache which can be solved by typing "lookupd -flushcache" or "dscacheutil -flushcache" in the shell.

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Fix incorrect system names in Apple Remote Desktop
Authored by: displaced on Apr 17, '08 12:18:09AM
A point on general remote management situations:

I can't recommend Webmin highly enough. I use it on every Linux and Mac system I manage. It can be set up to operate over SSL and require certificate authentication. It can combine many machines into a single interface. Plus, for instances like this, I could set up a custom command which would give me a one-click button to perform the procedure to fix and restart the ARD client without the user knowing a thing.

Of course, as with all network-available software, it's vital to keep it 100% updated for security reasons. Webmin makes this easy - it'll do a self-upgrade on a scheduled basis. Absolutely indispensable and a great compliment to ARD.

(I've got no association with Webmin -- just a very satisfied user of many years!)

[ Reply to This | # ]
Authored by: dzurn on Apr 17, '08 04:53:17AM

Should be spelled "Preferences" in two places in the command lines

Madness takes its toll.
Please have exact change.

[ Reply to This | # ]