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I am trying to consolidate an old file server (named server3) onto a newer one (named server2).

I want to give server2 a second name (server3), allowing every workstations to use it without any change.

I tested with a modified host file on a workstation and it was okay (with the use of DisableStrictNameChecking and OptionalNames registry setting on server2). So I created a CNAME for server3 but it failed because the workstations don't have any dns prefix configured.

As we have many workstations on several places, it is difficult to reconfigure every workstations.

How can I make server2 to register into AD with its second name?

How can I make the DNS to resolve server3 without suffix ?

note: when someone writes an answer, I don't understand how to answer to this.

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If you want to leave comments re: someone's answer use the "add comment" link. You added "answers" to your earlier question when you were really wanting to comment on the answers that others had posted. – Evan Anderson Jan 25 '12 at 23:54
You really need to stop logging in with a new account each time you come here. Is there a reason you keep doing this instead of using your original account that has accumulated positive reputation? – MDMarra Jan 26 '12 at 0:18
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can create a DNS zone on your DNS server that corresponds to the "SERVER3" name. In this zone, create a blank "A" record that resolves to the IP address assigned to the server computer you want to answer for the "SERVER3" name. This will allow clients to resolve the name "SERVER3" with no suffix. (If you had Windows Server 2008 you could use the built-in GlobalNames functionality for single-label names but, since you don't, you have to do it this way.)

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I just tested with a A then with a CNAME: ping server3 --> don't work. ping server3. (with a final dot) --> ok. nslookup server3 --> ok. In explorer, server3 don't work, server3. is ok. – Gregory MOUSSAT Jan 26 '12 at 0:28
Post the output of an ipconfig /all into your question. It sounds like you've got a DNS suffix configured after all. – Evan Anderson Jan 26 '12 at 2:27

There are only so many workarounds that you can do before you need to bite the bullet and fix your environment. Judging by your last question and now this one, you should be spending your time joining the client computers to your domain rather than finding workarounds for the many problems that exist when you have poorly configured workgroup machines accessing domain resources.

I know that you didn't put yourself in this position, but it's your job to get yourself out of it. Managing all of your computers/users through AD had a big initial time investment needed, but after than management becomes a breeze.

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couldn't have said it better myself. – Eric C. Singer Jan 26 '12 at 2:20
Aliasing a server name isn't a "workaround". It's a pretty common thing to do to preserve working "shortcuts" and embedded UNC paths in files (Office documents linked to other documents, AutoCAD XREFs, etc). While I think a patchwork of workarounds is a bad thing this kind of thing is pretty typical even in "well managed" environments in my experience. – Evan Anderson Jan 26 '12 at 2:26
@EvanAnderson Agreed, but judging by his previous question and comments, it seems that he's in desperate need of central management of workstations. He doesn't seem to have a need for this other than trying to go around to every workstation and properly configuring their search suffix, which he asked about in his previous question. Aliasing a server has many legitimate uses, I agree. My answer was in reference to both of his questions, not just this specific one. – MDMarra Jan 26 '12 at 2:33
@MDMarra: I don't disagree at all re: the big picture. – Evan Anderson Jan 26 '12 at 3:23

This isn't that big of a deal, you really just need to update your clients drive mappings so that they access by the fully qualified domain name instead of the netbios name. I haven't looked into the reg modifications you've mentioned, but you'll need to confirm that its a server configuration vs. a client configuration. I would tend to think those are registry settings you'd need on the client, but I don't know off hand.

Secondly, if you have a domain, this could be much easier, I would then reccomend DFS-N and I would also reccomend using a login script (or group policy preferences) to change the drive mapping.

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The registry modifications the OP is mentioning are server-side (see for the canonical Server Fault question about this). He's specifically saying he doesn't want to make changes to the clients, which is what you're advising he do. – Evan Anderson Jan 26 '12 at 0:07
True, and I actually think your idea was good one as well. However, I think MDMarra hit the nail on the head. If its so onurus, that he can't go around and manually change stuff, then it's time to bring a domain controller into the mix. – Eric C. Singer Jan 26 '12 at 2:22

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