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I've been having a random problem over the last couple years and I can't figure what causing it. Every so often a 10.5 computer's name will have a set of parenthesis concatenated to the end of the computer's name with a number in the parenthesis [ i.e computername(1) ]. Usually, it's just the number 2 or 3 but I have seen it go as high as 3000 something.

The computer's name shows up fine in ARD but the hostname command returns the name of the computer hyphen number (computername-2).

Renaming the computer in the Sharing Preference pane or reinstalling the OS fixes the problem. For normal day to day operations it's not a problem but it has been throwing our inventory system off after we reinstall the OS. I'm not sure when it happens because it's so hard to notice so I've been unable to find any helpful log messages.

Has anyone seen this behavior before and better yet does anyone know of a solution?

Thanks,

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It's a duplicate name issue. It can't use the desired name on the network as it believes a device is already on the network with that name, so it adds the number at the end. –  RobM Oct 18 '11 at 14:03
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@Robert, do you want to add that as an answer so I can accept it? Do you know if the user of the computer would get an error message when this happens? The network these computers are plugged into has had multiple problems so I can see it happening. :-) –  Scott Warren Oct 21 '11 at 12:24

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's a duplicate name issue. Mac OSX can't use the desired name on the network as it believes a device is already on the network with that name, so it adds the number at the end.

I've seen this happen quite often with machines built from a netboot type image, where the name is part of the image and isn't changed during the build process.

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