Starting with Windows XP the netdom tool, from the Windows XP support tools, can perform a local or remote rename of a domain member computer.
When you type netdom /help renamecomputer, the CMD prompt displays:
The syntax of this command is: NETDOM RENAMECOMPUTER machine /NewName:new-name /UserD:user \[/PasswordD:\[password | *\]\] \[/UserO:user \[/PasswordO:\[password | *\]\]\] \[/Force\] \[/REBoot\[:Time in seconds\]\] NETDOM RENAMECOMPUTER renames a computer that is joined to a domain. The computer object in the domain is also renamed. Certain services, such as the Certificate Authority, rely on a fixed machine name. If any services of this type are running on the target computer, then a computer name change would have an adverse impact. machine is the name of the workstation, member server, or domain controller to be renamed /NewName Specifies the new name for the computer. Both the DNS host label and the NetBIOS name are changed to new-name. If new-name is longer than 15 characters, the NetBIOS name is derived from the first 15 characters /UserD User account used to make the connection with the domain to which the computer is joined. This is a required parameter. The domain can be specified as "/ud:domain\user". If domain is omitted, then the computer's domain is assumed. /PasswordD Password of the user account specified by /UserD. A * means to prompt for the password /UserO User account used to make the connection with the machine to be renamed. If omitted, then the currently logged on user's account is used. The user's domain can be specified as "/uo:domain\user". If domain is omitted, then a local computer account is assumed. /PasswordO Password of the user account specified by /UserO. A * means to prompt for the password /Force As noted above, this command can adversely affect some services running on the computer. The user will be prompted for confirmation unless the /FORCE switch is specified. /REBoot Specifies that the machine should be shutdown and automatically rebooted after the Rename has completed. The number of seconds before automatic shutdown can also be provided. Default is 30 seconds