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Force workstations to see the new server as the old server's hostname using DNS.

Posted on 2007-12-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-07
I have a scenario where I need to allow workstations in my network to see a newly installed SBS server as an old SBS server name for the sake of accessing share files.
For instance the syntax: \\oldserver\sharedfiles   would access in reality \\newserver\sharedfiles.
I have tried to put in an A record in DNS on the new server for the DNS name oldserver to be the IP address of the newserver, and did the same thing to the host file on the XP workstations, however it only works if I am doing things in a web browser like http://oldserver/exchange will go to the OWA of the new server just fine.
Does anyone know how I can fool the XP workstations into thinking that the old server still exists using DNS or something?
If you are wondering why the weird requirement, it is to make an old database with an unknown number of data sets pointing to the old server name, and updating those names to the new server name is just not an option as I did not write the DB and the author is nowhere to be found.  But this is a mission critical database and I have it on a renamed XP workstation in order to make it work, but obviously I NEED to get it on the server somehow.
Thanks!
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Question by:logicaltechs
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by:weareit
ID: 20397872
IMHO, It would be easier to modify the DB.

-saige-
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by:logicaltechs
ID: 20397951
So is it possible?
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20398051
You need to use a CNAME (Alias) record, not a host (A) record.  The CNAME record would be oldserver.domain.com and it would resolve to newserver.domain.com.  That should work fine.
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Author Comment

by:logicaltechs
ID: 20398118
OK, I tried this on a test server, and I get this error message:
\\oldserver
You were not connected because a duplicate name exists on the network.  Go to System in Control Panel to change the computer name again.

However if I try to access something else using the alias, like http://oldserver/exchange for OWA for example it works.
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20398139
Is there another machine on the network with the same name?  Or are there stale records somewhere - in AD, DNS or WINS, for example - with the old server name?
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Author Comment

by:logicaltechs
ID: 20398532
Actually, I thought the same thing, so just to test I went to whole other network with a different domain and everything.  I created a CNAME record in DNS called Phantom.domain.local and aliased it to server1.domain.local.  Now when I ping phantom, it resolves in a ping request.  But again if I got to run path and type: \\phantom   I get the same error message.  So I KNOW there is are no other computers or stale records with the name in it.  I did all the usual stuff like restart DNS server services and ipconfig /flushdns.
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 500 total points
ID: 20398659
Browsing is a different animal; I don't think it will work if you try to browse or directly open a shared resource like you are doing.  However, I know that it works in the case where a program is looking for the server to connect to a shared resource.  The reason I originally did this on one of my networks has to do with Word and template locations, and adding the alias fixed the problem completely.  I'm not saying 100% that this means it will work with your database program, but is there any way you can test it from the actual program itself, rather than trying to use browsing?
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Author Comment

by:logicaltechs
ID: 20398687
Well, I did test it, and I get the error message, "Cannot find the file the program needs to startup (\\oldserver\db.mdb)"  So I naturally attempt to browse to it.
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20398925
Naturally...well, maybe this just won't work for this program, then.  Are you getting that message when you run the program from its executable, or are you using a shortcut?
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Author Comment

by:logicaltechs
ID: 20398943
From it's executable...  Well, I appreciate your help, if you don't have any other ideas, I will go ahead and accept you previous answer and award your points.
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Expert Comment

by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20399048
I can't think of any other way around this offhand.  Even if you try to fool WINS with a static mapping, it probably won't work.
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Author Comment

by:logicaltechs
ID: 20399059
Thanks for your help.
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