Fun With Windows SMB Share Migrations

Posted by Carson       Trackback

Let’s say that you get funds approved to put some new Windows file/print servers in place. While planning the migration, you have a few simple requirements:

1. You want to migrate files and printer config to a new server
2. The new server will have a new hostname and IP address (in my case, I wanted to get rid of underscores in the hostname)
3. The old SMB paths and shortcuts must continue to work so users don’t panic

Seems easy enough – a simple DNS alias ought to do the trick, right? Not quite. While a DNS alias will allow clients to resolve the old hostname to the new IP address, and simple operations like icmp requests will work, access to SMB shares on the server will return “A duplicate name exists on the network” errors.

According to Microsoft, this occurs because Windows is not “listening” on the new alias! I’ve never seen anything like this with any Linux or Unix servers I have aliased, so I was a bit perplexed by this behavior. Fortunately, the problem can be eliminated by adding a registry setting which will allow SMB shares to work via the alias. However, the setting does require a reboot, which is a bit of an inconvenience.

1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
2. Locate and click the following key in the registry:


3. On the Edit menu, click Add Value, and then add the following registry value:

    Value name: DisableStrictNameChecking
    Data type: REG_DWORD
    Value: 1

4. Quit Registry Editor.
5. Restart your computer.

After thorough testing, I rolled out the first of many new servers, and to my delight, SMB access to the new servers works flawlessly! Users can still have shortcuts to the old server and SMB paths and everything is redirected properly. As planned, the changeover to the new server is completely transparent to end users.

MS KB281308

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