We have some servers that were upgraded in-place from 2008 R2 to 2012 R2. While they were running 2008 R2 alternate computer names were added to them with netdom computername <computer> /add:<alternate-name>. Now we're in the process of killing the 2012 R2 servers and moving their functionality to new 2022 servers, the problem we're facing is that the alternate computer names cannot be removed from the 2012 R2 servers. Running netdom computername <computer> /remove:<alternate-name> results in:

Unable to remove <alternate-name> as an alternamte [sic] name for the computer.
The error is:

The system cannot find the file specified.

The command failed to complete successfully.

%errorlevel% is 2.

We cannot add the alternate names from the 2012 R2 servers to the new 2022 servers until the alternate name is removed. Removing the computer object in AD allows the alternate name to be created in 2022, but the servers are being gradually decommissioned so this would be a last resort.

I've verified that it's the in-place upgrade is causing the error by

  1. Installing a new clean 2008 R2, not domain joined or anything.
  2. Adding an alternate name, confirming that the remove works.
  3. Running in-place upgrade, confirming that the remove of the name added in 2008 R2 doesn't work.
  • Questions should demonstrate reasonable information technology management practices. Questions that relate to unsupported hardware or software platforms or unmaintained environments may not be suitable for Server Fault. Both 2008 and 2012 are end of life. Dec 6, 2023 at 9:59
  • The upgrade from 2008 R2 was a while ago. We're explicitly trying to leave 2012 R2 but are being hindered by this problem. Dec 6, 2023 at 10:25

1 Answer 1


This is stored in the msDS-AdditionalDnsHostName multivalued attribute on the old host. You will need to remove the value using Active Directory Users and Computers. You may need to select Advanced view to display the Attributes Editor tab on the computer object.


  • In addition to netdom /remove or just remove in AD? Dec 6, 2023 at 11:55
  • Netdom isn't needed to remove the attribute when AD Users and Computers is used.
    – Greg Askew
    Dec 6, 2023 at 12:31
  • Something else you may want to check. A CNAME for the desired name, either create it in DNS or update the record with the new host.
    – Greg Askew
    Dec 6, 2023 at 13:10
  • I've tried just removing the value from msDS-AdditionalDnsHostName now and updating the A record to point to the new host. Running netdom /add on the new host results in Cannot create a file when that file already exists. Running /enum on the old host still returns the alternate name. I've checked with setspn -L <computername> that no SPNs with the alternate name is present for the old host. I can see the old alternate name without FQDN under msDS-AdditionalSamAccountName, but the option to remove it is greyed out. Dec 6, 2023 at 13:42

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