Windows server, temporary alias name, only visible from one machine

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A server stack is the collection of software that forms the operational infrastructure on a given machine. In a computing context, a stack is an ordered pile. A server stack is one type of solution stack — an ordered selection of software that makes it possible to complete a particular task. Like in this post about Windows server, temporary alias name, only visible from one machine was one problem in server stack that need for a solution. Below are some tips in manage your windows server when you find problem about windows, networking, domain-name-system, alias, .

Two weeks ago our IT department migrated a huge network folder from an older server to a newer one. For example, the older folder was reachable under


and the new one under


Note the old server is still in use and visible in our companies network, \oldserverourfolder was archived in between and deleted from the server.

Now we found out that there are several files (actually CAD files in some proprietary binary format) having hardcoded references pointing to the old folder location. Since there are several of those files, we would like to write a program to change those references to the new location. Unfortunately, the CAD system’s VBA interpreter will only allow this when the referenced files are visible under the old network path. Otherwise, it will stop execution with an error message

So what we need here is a way to make “oldserver” an alias name for “newserver”. This should be done only temporary, and only for one machine (a Windows 7 client), so our first idea was to use the hosts and lmhosts files for this. But this apparently does not work. We added a line of the form

   <new.server.ip.address> oldserver

to the hosts file and

   <new.server.ip.address> oldserver #PRE

to the lmhosts file. ping oldserver then shows the new IP address, but this does not have any effect on the shared network folders, for example, displayed by the Windows explorer, or other applications like our CAD application.

Second thing we tried was to setup an isolated DNS server on the local machine with the old server pointing to the IP address of the new one, and using “” as preferred DNS (and no, we did not forget to flush the DNS cache by ipconfig /flushdns). After this, nslookup oldserver shows the expected IP address of the new server, but Windows Explorer still sees the old server under its name.

I guess this has something to do with WINS and how NetBIOS name resolution works, but I have no clue what I could try else.

Note this is about the way one client sees the network, so I think it must be possible not to change anything on the involved servers, only the client.

Try this registry key in the newserver

DWORD name: DisableStrictNameChecking
DWORD value: 1

As if not set, your file server will not serve file content on DNS name not as his own, for security’s reason.

Edit: I would desactivate the WINS/NetBios too on the Windows 7, as it bypass your local hostfile / nslookup. A nslookup check against the DNS/hostfile, and if explorer show the bad content, then the computer got is answer by WINS.

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