Avoid peer-to-peer networking issues

Posted On 2008-01-31 by FortyPoundHead
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Tags: Networking Tip Windows
Views: 1679


When setting up a peer-to-peer Windows network, each computer name must be configured properly. Computers having names that violate Windows guidelines may, for various technical reasons, fail to network with their peers on the LAN. Ensure your computers are named appropriately according to the following rules:

  • No two computers can possess the same computer name. Ensure all computer names are unique.

  • Ensure each computer name is no longer than 15 characters.

  • Ensure no computer name contains spaces. Windows ME and earlier versions of Windows do not recognize computers having space characters in their name.

  • Avoid special characters in computer names. Whenever possible, do not use any of these characters when naming Windows computers: / \ * , ." @

  • Avoid using lower-case letters in a computer name whenever possible. On Windows Vista, the case of letters (upper or lower) is ignored. Older versions of Microsoft Windows, however, treat computer names as case sensitive. Entering computer names in all upper case is recommended to avoid possible name conflicts that would prevent Windows computers from identifying each other.


To set or change a computer name on Windows XP, right-click on My Computer or open the System icon in Control Panel, then choose the Computer Name tab.

To set or change a computer name on Windows 2000, open the System icon in Control Panel and choose the Network Identification tab, then click the Properties button.

On older versions of Windows, open the Network icon in Control Panel and choose the Identification tab.


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