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Duplicate Name Error Accessing a Network Share – Windows 2003 and Windows XP

You’ve added an alias name to a Windows file server but when attempting to access shares via the new name from a Windows 2003 or XP machine, you receive an error “You were not connected because a duplicate name exists on the network. Go to System in Control Panel to change the computer name and try again.” Connections from later versions of Windows work without giving this error.

Solution

The problem here is that Windows 2003 and XP have a security feature where they do not access servers by any name other than their actual hostnames.  There’s a couple of ways to resolve this:

  1. Rename the file server to use the new name.
  2. Edit the registry on the Windows 2003/Xp client per MS KB 281308:
    1. Run regedit
    2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesLanmanServerParameters
    3. Add a new REG_DWORD value DisableStrictNameChecking and change the value to 1.
    4. Reboot the Windows 2003/XP client

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