Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Have a small network of Windows XP machines set up where everyone's files are on a machine named M99. Recently, I've built a Windows 2008 R2 machine, and would like to move the files to it, but...this server is named FMS. All the other computers have configuration pathnames that would have to change from \\M99\whatever to \\FMS\whatever, and I don't want to spend all day (or days) making this change. What I would like to do (for now), is just change the name of the M99 computer, and somehow make the FMS computer look like it's M99. This fix will solve things nicely until the larger project of re-working everything into an AD domain is completed. How can I make FMS take on M99's identity?

share|improve this question

Create your shares and move the files as you are planning, then do one of the following based on what your name resolution mechanism is:

1) create a DNS alias (CNAME) record. The name of the record would be M99 and the machine it points to would be FMS. Then M99 would resolve in DNS to FMS.


2) create host file entries on your workstations for M99 with the IP address of FMS.

Note both of these solutions assume that the FMS server is actually not available on the network as FMS anymore so you'll either have to completely take it offline or rename it.

You will also have to disable strict name checking on the FMS server, otherwise connections to the alias will fail (ie- it'll only accept connections using the FMS name and both).

Create a new DWORD and set the value to 1, then reboot the server to make it active.


See this TechNet article for more info.

share|improve this answer
Option 1 is not an option as we do not use DNS yet, just simple NETBIOS B-type name resolution. I considered option 2, but am trying to avoid a solution that requires me to do anything on the clients. One interesting thing you stated was that I could not refer to the server as FMS for either of these options. That puzzles me. Why not? I would need the new server to still be FMS because there are new shares that use the FMS name. Surely there's a way to have the FMS server respond to NB name resoution broadcasts for both FMS and M99... – Scott Sep 1 '10 at 13:44
@Scott I guess another option you might be able to get away with is using WINS, but I feel dirty even saying that and throw up in my mouth any time I do. Also, regarding not using the FMS name, you won't be able to unless you make the registry edit that I mention. You'll be all good with whatever names you want if you make that registry edit, otherwise you'll only be able to connect to shares using the computername you assign to it. – squillman Sep 1 '10 at 14:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.