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"Windows cannot connect to printer" error when using server alias

PEI_IT asked
Good day Experts!

I set up a print server a couple of months ago.  I added an alias to the server so that we could have all the client computers connect to the network printers via the alias instead of the server name.  That way if we ever had to rebuild the print server it would be easy to point the alias at the new server and carry on as usual.

To be able to do that I had to edit the print server's registry using the following process:

1.      Create the CNAME record for the file server on the appropriate DNS server, if the CNAME record is not already present.

      2.      Apply the following registry change to the file server. To do so, follow these steps:

      a.       Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).

      b.       Locate and click the following key in the registry:


      c.       On the Edit menu, click new and choose dword, and then add the following registry value:

      Value name: DisableStrictNameChecking

      Data type: REG_DWORD

      Radix: Decimal

      Value: 1

      d.       Quit Registry Editor.

      3.      Restart your computer.

Once the print server was set up it worked perfectly for a couple of months.

As of today, when you run the printer setup wizard, when you get to "Specify Printer" step, if I use the alias, ie \\printers\printername, I get the following error: "Windows cannot connect to the printer.  Either the printer name was typed incorrectly or the specified printer has lost its connection to the server".  However, if you connect via the server name, ie \\servername\printername, it connects fine.

I can connect to the shares on the server via the alias(as the registry fix should allow).  I cannot find a reason for the printers to not connect.  Any help would be much appreciated.
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Nirmal SharmaSolution Architect
Top Expert 2005

How many DNS servers you have in environment?
Have have replicated the zone data with each other?
Can you ping the alias from the same server?
Any event is logged in System Log?
Did you restart the Server Service or restart the server to reflect the changes you made in registry?

Let us know.


Turned out our DHCP server wasn't passing on the DNS settings to clients as it should have been.  I went into the DHCP server and removed the DNS settings in the scope options, restarted the service, put the DNS settings back into the scope options, restarted the DHCP server again.  After doing all that the printer issue was resolved as we could then connect to the share with the alias name once again.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Nirmal SharmaSolution Architect
Top Expert 2005

Good to know that it has been resolved.
PAQed with no points refunded (of 500)

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