Microsoft KB Archive/251398

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Duplicate Name Error Message When You Connect to a Windows 2000 Server By Using an Alias

ID: Q251398

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server


When you connect your Windows 2000-based client computer to a Windows 2000-based server by using an alias name, you may receive the following error message:

System error 52 has occurred.
A duplicate name exists on the network.


This problem can occur when you try to connect to the server by using a CNAME alias created in the DNS zone. For example, with a command similar to this

net view \\alias.domain

where alias is a CNAME record created for the server in the domain zone. The server is not "listening" on the alias, and because of this, it is not accepting connections to that name.


Use the primary computer name to connect instead of the alias.


This behavior is by design. A Windows 2000 server can only have one computer name, and will only listen on that one name. If you require the ability to connect to the server service with more than one name, you must use Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) and add a shared resource.


You may however be able to connect from a down-level client (such as Windows NT) by using an alias name in the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) format, instead of the primary computer name. This is because, when you connect from a Windows NT-based computer using an FQDN, it first tries to resolve the alias by using a HOSTS file or by using DNS name resolution. It then uses the alias name and the IP address to connect to the server. If the server is not listening on that alias or that alternate computer name, it sends a negative session response indicating that the server will not accept connections to that computer name.

A Windows NT-based computer will then send a Node Status Request for the name *<00...(15)> to the server. The Windows 2000 server then responds with a list of names that the server is listening on. This list includes the primary computer name of the server. Windows NT then uses this primary computer name and continues with the session-establishment process. Please note that you will not be able to connect if NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) is disabled on the Windows 2000-based server.

Additional query words: nbt netbt smb local

Keywords : kberrmsg kbnetwork
Version : WINDOWS:2000
Platform :
Issue type : kbprb
Technology :

Last Reviewed: October 11, 2000
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