I'm replacing a sever and wanted to know if there's a way the new server can have two names. For example:

What we have now:

Old server: srv
New server: srv-new

What I'd like to have after we cut over to the new server:

Old server: srv-old
New server: srv-new, srv

Ultimately I want to phase in the new name ('srv-new') and abandon the old name ('srv') but I'd like both names to work for a while.

Do I just do this in active directory somewhere?

We're using Active Directory. srv-old is Windows 2000 and srv-new is Windows Server 2008. Please pardon my possible misuse of terminology--I'm on the fringe of my comfort zone!

  • Are you referring to NetBIOS names or DNS? You can have multiple DNS names per IP but I'm unsure about NetBIOS.
    – osij2is
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 16:30
  • I'm looking to keep other apps that are configured for "srv" to keep from breaking. This is for internal use only. Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 16:36
  • Apps can use either DNS or SMB so I've posted a NetBIOS solution. I've never done it before but it should help out.
    – osij2is
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 16:39

5 Answers 5


If you want the servers srv and srv-new to point to the same physical machine, you can do this with DNS by just adding another A record in your DNS server.

If you wanted to set up two GUIDs for it, that's not possible. GUIDs are unique to each machine, and cannot be moved or copied to multiple machines, nor can multiple GUIDs be consolidated into a single machine.

Also, if you wanted to go with multiple NetBIOS names, you can follow this tutorial to do so.

My suggestion for your situation is this: Set up the DNS record. It should really only take you about 1 or 2 minutes. If things fail after taking down the old server, then set up the NetBIOS name, and things should work fine then.


Kerberos will not work correct if you just add an DNS-Alias. Meanwhile there is a Technet-Entry about the topic. Please take a look at Option 2.

NETDOM COMPUTERNAME YourServer /ADD AlternateName1.contoso.local
NETDOM COMPUTERNAME YourServer /ADD AlternateName2.contoso.local
NETDOM COMPUTERNAME YourServer /ADD AlternateName3.contoso.local
IPCONFIG /registerdns

The Commands above registers three alternative names to the Server "YourServer" and add the correct DNS- and SPN-Records. "IpConfig /RegisterDNS" will force an update to the DNS-Server to register the new names dynamically.

  • In 2017, this should really be the top answer. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 18:51

Please note, I've never done this before, but this comes from a reputable source. Multiple NetBIOS names for Windows network here: http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/14475/how-can-i-define-multiple-netbios-names-for-a-machine.html

For the lazy..

How can I define multiple NetBIOS names for a machine?

A. A. This would be useful if, for instance, you wanted to migrate a number of shares to a different machine and rather than having to switch all clients to the new machine instantly you could define the new machine to also answer to the old machines NetBIOS name and then slowly migrate the machines. To define extra names for a machine perform the following:

  1. Start the registry editor (regedt32.exe)
  2. Move to HKEY_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters 3.From the Edit menu select "Add Value"
  3. Set the type to REG_SZ is you want one extra name or REG_MULTI_SZ if you want more than one and enter a name of OptionalNames. Click OK
  4. You will then be prompted for a value. Enter the other name (or names if type REG_MULTI_SZ, one on each line) you want it to be known as and click OK.
  5. Close the registry editor
  6. Reboot the machine
  7. There may be a WINS resolution problem. The entries for the additional NetBIOS names will have been dynamically added to the WINS database complete with IP number. However, a "real" server machine in the WINS dbase normally has three WINS entries, 00h, 03h and 20h. Your aliases may only have one, 03h. Therefore you may need to add static entries for the additional NetBIOS names, which created all three entries. You should now be able to ping by NetBIOS name.
  • This is the text of the tutorial I linked to.
    – phuzion
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 16:40
  • Whoops! Sorry phuzion. Ya beat me to it.
    – osij2is
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 16:45

Assuming Microsoft DNS in your domain:

You probably already have an A record for Old Server, matching srv to its IP, and an A record for srv-new matching it to the New Server IP.

Create a new A record, titled srv-old. Assign it to the Old Server IP.

Rename the old server to srv-old

Create a CNAME record for srv, matching it to srv-new A record.

Now both srv and srv-new will resolve to New Server IP, and srv-old will resolve to Old Server IP.

It may take a short period of time for the DNS records to update on each host, so its best if this change occurs at the end of a workday, or during non-working hours.


As Jeff Miles indicates, if you are using Microsoft DNS, then you shuld create an Alias. However, you should be aware that you will probably need to disable Strict Name Checking on the new server, per the instruction for strict name checking on MSDN

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