Renaming “My Computer” in the Windows 7 Beta

One trick I learned years ago starting with Windows 95 and NT 4 was renaming “My Computer” to something truly useful: the name of the computer and user currently logged in. I’ve used it since on every Windows workstation I’ve built or had to maintain.

Unfortunately, when I installed the Windows 7 Beta I found I could no longer do this as easily as I had before. I found it had nothing to do with the UAC being on or off. No, instead it’s a permissions issue. I found when you navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} and check the permissions, the only user with the ability to modify (Full Control) is TrustedInstaller. In fact this applies to a lot of the CLSID keys. To modify the key you need to take ownership of the key, I prefer giving ownership to Administrators instead of a specific user, and then granting the owner Full Control access.

Once you’ve modified the permissions you can change the “My Computer” label to whatever you wish. For me, I rename “LocalizedString” to “LocalizedString.Original”, create a new “LocalizedString” REG_EXPAND_SZ key, and assign it the value “%ComputerName% (%UserName%)”.

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~ by bwsd on February 22, 2009.

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