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Windows 8.1 Network Naming

Posted on 2014-10-09
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Last Modified: 2014-11-09
I encountered a confusing situation yesterday:
Windows 8.1 laptops have both Ethernet and wireless interfaces available - as usual.
We have a single subnet on the site.
There is no DHCP for wired computers - all are manually configured with static IP addresses, etc.
There is a wireless access point that provides DHCP in a small, determined range of addresses on the subnet.
The wireless is secured with WPA2 and the SSID is not broadcast; it's hidden in that sense.

If a Windows 8.1 laptop is connected to the wireless access point FIRST, then, of course the SSID is entered and that connection shows up with that name.  Let's call it "Wireless".

[Now we assume that the static addresses have been configured for the Ethernet interface]

Next, connect an Ethernet cable between the laptop and the LAN.
What happens is there's now a connection called "Wireless 2" which is really the Ethernet connection.
This naming comes automatically.
It can be rather confusing to users.

So, I'd like to know if there's a way to change this behavior when the computers are set up?
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Question by:Fred Marshall
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40370801
Users can rename the connection, but I found it is just not worth it. I allow Windows 8.1 to name the connections. Better they work properly so I just let Windows do it.
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Expert Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 40394326
here is a link from MS that gives you several different ways to rename the network connections
http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2729523
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40395919
It appears there's some misunderstanding.  I'm not trying to rename the network adapter.  I'm asking about renaming the "connection".  
In Windows 8.1, the network connections show up when one clicks on the
- network icon
- in the system tray
- in the desktop mode

or

in the Settings/Network
Connections list.

Please refer to the original question to read the naming issue and what I'm trying to determine.
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Assisted Solution

by:Lionel MM
Lionel MM earned 167 total points
ID: 40396742
The only way that I know of it to do it manually at Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections or to use
netsh interface set interface name=”Local Area Connection” newname=”New Name”
but netsh does not always work and is difficult to advise on because each connection on each PC is unique
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 167 total points
ID: 40396757
Yes, and that is more or less what I suggested. It can be done manually, but I have discovered over time and experience that renaming the connection is not worth the effort.
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Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 166 total points
ID: 40397008
John, lionel, he says
I'm not trying to rename the network adapter.  I'm asking about renaming the "connection".  
In Windows 8.1, the network connections show up when one clicks on the
- network icon
- in the system tray
- in the desktop mode
That's something else.
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40397332
John Hurst:  I tried to explain that this is an unusual but confusing situation that causes trouble:

1) There is a standard wireless connection with a specific hidden SSID.  This is set up when computers are prepped.
2) If the wireless connection is made first, which is likely if this is during prep, then the wireless network name is the same as the SSID.  Let's say the SSID is "Wireless".
3) Thereafter, if the computer is connected to the same subnet that the wireless is on, the WIRED network connection will take on the name of the wireless SSID such as "Wireless 2".

The SSID is a rather distinctive name so when one sees this *wired* connection with that name then it IS confusing and worthy of some pondering: "what to do?".
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40397494
There are about two dozen keys for network names for each adapter and that is why I just let Windows handle it.
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40397561
I could have decided to "just live with it" but instead chose to ask at EE.
Perhaps I should take the advice and just live with it.

Is there a fundamental objection to doing this (that I just researched out)?:

Run: secpol.msc
Select: Network List Manager Policies
Select on the right: Network
Right click and select: Properties
In the Network Name tab / In the Name section: Select Name and enter the desired name.

I don't have multiple NICs on this machine so I'm not sure what happens in that case.
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Expert Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 40398010
This is the same as my previous suggestion to go to Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections and choose to rename the network connection and to answer your latest question, no there is nothing wrong with doing that, no fundamental objection
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40398045
@fmarshall  - As we have noted, living with it is the best option and for me (and my clients), it is not a serious issue.

If you wish, there being no specific answer to your question, you can always delete the question.
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Author Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40398084
lionelmm:  The steps I outlined don't change the network interface name.  They change the connection name - which is a different thing.  It took a reboot for the new name to show up everywhere....
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Expert Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 40399189
The steps I have outlined don't change the network interface name either, they change the network connections names(s), and those are the names that show up in the lower right hand corner either when connected or disconnected to/from a network and changing those names the way I described does not require a reboot.
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Accepted Solution

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Fred Marshall earned 0 total points
ID: 40414106
Hmmmm... my last post got lost.

So here it is again:

Using the procedure I outlined in ID: 40397561 changes the name of the *Connection*.

I used that procedure to change the connection name to Ethernet1
Connection is: Ethernet1 / Private Network
Adapter: Ethernet2X / Ethernet1
Connections in system tray: Ethernet1

lionelmm:  I still think the instructions you gave will change the interface name and not the connection name.  
There appears to be no:  Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections

The Interface name can be easily changed in Network and Internet / Network Connections / [select interface] / Properties/ Rename.  But that wasn't the issue here.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40431039
I believe that I've described the solution pretty well so there we are...
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