Multiple NetBIOS names for a single Windows Server


Here are some scenarios where you want to add multiple NetBIOS names for a Windows Server. Technically Windows machines can have only one NetBIOS names, but Microsoft brought this feature in Windows 2000/2003 servers.

  1. You want to recover a Dead file server data from backup on a existing server and continue providing published shares to the users
  2. You want to consolidate multiple file servers into one or two servers
  3. When you acquire a company, you want to transfer the file server data to your server and share it to your users with same name and same URL. 

Follow the instructions below on the server you want to add multiple NetBIOS names.

  • Start the registry editor (regedt32.exe)
  • Move to HKEY_Local_MachineSystemCurrentControlSetServicesLanmanServerParameters
  • From the Edit menu select "Add Value"
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Close the registry editor
  • Reboot the machine
  • 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.

    Good luck.

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