As far as TCP/IP names are concerned, I can always assign more than one hostname to the same IP. It works great, if I use this trick at the client machine, i.e. not "the server with 2 hostnames".

But with NETBIOS computer names, the situation is not that simple: System > Computer name > Change settings > System Properties only has ONE computer name.

There is an article that shows how to assign multiple names for one computer, but they all assume a Windows server. I would like to accomplish the same but on my laptop. Is that possible?

If so, how do I go about this?

BTW, I tried the aforementioned trick of multiple names for same IP in an lmhosts file on a client machine but that didn't work for me. I am not sure whether this is at all the right direction.

Also, I don't mind (re)typing static IP addresses and computer names as I only need to access my laptop from 1-2 other PCs, that's all.

  • Why are you trying to do this? – kinokijuf Feb 9 '15 at 6:08
  • 1
    @kinokijuf Because I have legacy code that accesses 4 different Samba servers and it will take me forever to go and change, rebuild, test etc. all these occurrences. I am now consolidating all these servers into my laptop. If I could make my laptop appear to these legacy programs as those 4 servers that would be the quickest solution. – ih8ie8 Feb 10 '15 at 1:34

According to this article from TechRepublic, Adding multiple NetBIOS names for Windows servers, it is possible to assign multiple NETBIOS computer names to a single machine.

I have not tried this but it seems to be as simple as adding another NetBIOS name in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\LanmanServer\Parameters section of the Windows registry by adding the OptionalNames string value. If three or more NetBIOS names are required, use the multi-string value with the same name.

According to windowsitpro.com follow these steps:

  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"
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Close the registry editor
  7. Reboot the machine
  8. 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 database 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

Another good resource could be this thread but it looks like it refers to Windows servers, not mere laptops.


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