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Winpopup stops with conflicting computer name

Posted on 2004-10-01
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I have a small (3 pc's - all on Windows 98 SE & are pretty much up-to date via Windows Update) home network using Ethernet protocol & a Hub.  My PC's are "Dad" (also Gateway pc for Internet Connection Sharing), "Boys" & "Lucy".  I have Winpopup in the startup on all 3 pc's.  Sometimes Winpopup on Lucy's pc gives messgage something like - Winpopup cannot run because there's another PC on the network with the same name.

When you OK the message it seems to run ok anyway.  Any idea why this is - the other pc's don't give this message.

Lucy's PC was recently replaced with a faster      , the old PC was also called Lucy, but probably had a different description.  Might that be stored in some way?

It's not desperate, but i'd like to know!  Thanks
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Question by:cmccanna
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Expert Comment

by:netspec01
ID: 12199783
The netbios computer names on your network must be unique.  Change the computer name to Lucy2 or something unique under My Computer/properties.
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Author Comment

by:cmccanna
ID: 12200852
Thanks netspec01 - I guess you have to go into the BIOS to do that.  Both the Boys pc & Lucy's are GenuineIntel, but Lucy's PC also has PC Parts, then GenuineIntel.
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by:netspec01
ID: 12200920
No, it is not in the BIOS.  It is in Windows.  Netbios doesn't have anything to do with your BIOS which is firmware.
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by:cmccanna
ID: 12201129
Hmm.. I assumed Winpopup used the Computer Name defined in Control Panel's Network-Id, but these don't show under My Computer/properties
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Expert Comment

by:netspec01
ID: 12201239
What is Winpopup anyway?  Is it http://www.smartison.com/winpopup/ ?
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Expert Comment

by:adamdrayer
ID: 12202313
My computer -> Properties -> Network Identification.
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Author Comment

by:cmccanna
ID: 12202732
netspec01: WINPOPUP is a small Windows utility that is part of Windows98 that handles messaging over the local network.
...Right, thanks adamdrayer - in that case the computer names are as I originally stated and the seeming conflict is still as inexplicable to me as ever.  Come on guys, someone out there should know this!
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Accepted Solution

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crissand earned 50 total points
ID: 12211738
To have winpopup work corectly, you have to verify not only computer names, but workgroup name and user names too. All these must be unique: workgroup name, computer names, user names. The error can be seen if a computer called lucy is conflicting with a user called lucy or with a workgroup called lucy.

I hope this help. You can use the nbtstat utility to request netbios names for every computer:

nbtstat -a computer_name

or

nbtstat -A ip_address.

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Author Comment

by:cmccanna
ID: 12213345
Thanks crissand.  Computer names are unique, but all the pc's are on the "HOME" workgroup.  I think all the pc's have to be on the same Workgroup for ethernet.  However, Lucy's pc does not have a username set up, her id is "Default" on the logon screen.  Maybe that's where the problem lies.

By the way, do you know what happens when you cancel the logon screen - i.e. what user name is applied?  I wonder if it's DEFAULT.  When I get a msg from Lucy's pc to mine, WINPOPUP says it comes from DEFAULT.  Messages from the other pc's are shown as coming from the pc names (viz. DAD or BOYS I think.

I will do a little investigation tomorrow in this area.
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Author Comment

by:cmccanna
ID: 12216294
OK - here's what I did:
With Dad's pc running - started Lucy's pc & ran WINPOPUP - no problem
Started boys pc, logged on as Tim - no problem
Suddenly realised Lucy had logon profile to boys pc - as LUCY!
Logged onto boys pc as LUCY - got conflict.

Thanks, it's clear that the conflict is between Lucy's pc - named LUCY & Lucy's logon profile on the boys pc.  Chenged the name of Lucy's pc (via Network-Id) to "Lucy's pc" & get no more conflicts.

By the way, when you cancel the logon screen at startup, then send msg from Winpopup, the msg comes from the PC Name, otherwise it uses the Logon Id.

Points go to Crissand, but thanks for your input Netspec01.  However Crissand, you're quite wrong about the Workgroup having to be unique - it actually MUST be the same.
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Expert Comment

by:crissand
ID: 12224663
I mean workgroup name not to be like computer name or use name. In Windows 98 when you cancel the logon there is no netbios user name registered. But you can avoid cancelling with a little modification in the registry.
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Author Comment

by:cmccanna
ID: 12253351
Thanks crissand - I see what you mean.  In that case I should have graded your answer as A.  Can the Administrator change it?  I'm fairly new here so don't know the procedures.
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