Windows 2000 Does Not Permit All-Numeric Computer Names

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Article ID: 244412 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q244412
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SUMMARY

Windows 2000-based computers cannot have computer names that consist only of numbers. However, Microsoft Windows NT-based computers can have computer names that consist only of numbers.

MORE INFORMATION

The primary reason for this naming convention is that a single-label numeric name can be treated as an Internet Protocol (IP) address during name resolution. Many utilities (such as the Ping command) cannot distinguish a single-label numeric name from an IP address, and may then treat it as an IP address. For example, when you use the ping 123 command, you may receive the following results:
Pinging 0.0.0.123 with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 0.0.0.123:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 0ms, Maximum =  0ms, Average =  0ms
				
Note that this behavior does not occur if a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) is used. For example, when you use the ping 123.test.com command, you may receive the following results:
Pinging 123.test.com [192.168.4.22] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 192.168.4.22: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.4.22: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.4.22: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.4.22: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for 192.168.4.22:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 0ms, Maximum =  0ms, Average =  0ms
				

Backward Compatibility Notes

This restriction in Windows 2000 is for new computer names only. Old computer names (from Windows NT 4.0-based computers) are preserved during an upgrade to Windows 2000. After a computer is upgraded to Windows 2000, any name changes have to follow Windows 2000 naming conventions. Because of this, an upgraded computer can keep a all-numeric name, but that name cannot be changed to another all-numeric name.

For example, a Windows NT 4.0-based computer named 123 can be upgraded to Windows 2000 and still retain its name as 123. If you then want to change the name to 12345, Windows 2000 will not permit this name change.

NOTE: Utilities that cannot distinguish a single-label numeric name from an IP address will behave the same if run on a computer with an all-numeric computer name whether the computer is a Windows NT 4.0 machine or it is a Windows 2000 machine that was upgraded from Windows NT 4.0.

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Article ID: 244412 - Last Review: March 1, 2007 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbnetwork KB244412

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