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Naming Computers on a Network

Peter_Fabri asked
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Why is naming a computer that's connected to a network so important? I had inadvertantly changed the name of a computer which resulted in some software on that machine not working properly.

Explanations would be much appreciated.

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Trygve ThayerIT Director
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In terms of programs working, renaming a computer usually does not have such an adverse effect.  I think you are seeing a unique situation.  You likely have a program that is computer specific for licensing purposes or networking purposes that requires the computer name to be entered into the setup during the installation.

Now if this is a network program, PC A accessing a share on PC B, and you change the name of PC B, then yes, that is not unusual.  If the program was preconfigured to access information in a specific place, and it can no longer see that place, then errors will occur.  Think of it like the witness protection program.  Your neighbor might have lived next to you for thirteen years and you always knew where to find him, but if someone changes his name and moves him somewhere, you will have no way to find him anymore.
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