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DNS Host Name Substitutes "-" for Invalid Characters

This article was previously published under Q149044
A hypen (minus sign) is substituted whenever you use a percent sign, poundsign, or underscore in a computer name during an initial installation ofWindows NT. For example, %MYNAME, MYNAME#1, and MYNAME_1 become,respectively, -MYNAME, MYNAME-1, and MYNAME-1.

It is not possible to add a percent sign, pound sign, or underscore intothe DNS Host Name even though the Server Installation Guide does not listthem as invalid characters.

If you try to insert an invalid character, the following error isdisplayed:
The parameter is incorrect.

Another symptom occurs when you attempt to connect to a newly created Webserver with an invalid character in the computer name. You are unable toconnect to HTTP://SERVER#1, but you can connect to HTTP://SERVER-1.
The cause of this error message is given in RFC 952, which states:
A "name" (Net, Host, Gateway, or Domain name) is a text string up to 24 characters drawn from the alphabet (A-Z), digits (0-9), minus sign (-), and period (.). Note that periods are only allowed when they serve to delimit components of "domain style names". (See RFC-921, "Domain Name System Implementation Schedule", for background). No blank or space characters are permitted as part of a name. No distinction is made between upper and lower case. The first character must be an alpha character. The last character must not be a minus sign or period. A host which serves as a GATEWAY should have "-GATEWAY" or "-GW" as part of its name. Hosts which do not serve as Internet gateways should not use "-GATEWAY" and "-GW" as part of their names. A host which is a TAC should have "-TAC" as the last part of its host name, if it is a DoD host. Single character names or nicknames are not allowed.

This RFC is the official specification of the format of the Internet Host Table. This edition of the specification includes minor revisions to RFC-810 which brings it up to date. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

By design, the Microsoft Windows NT DNS Hosts Configuration utilityreplaces all invalid characters in the DNS host name found in the NetBIOScomputer name with a hyphen. If you want your NetBIOS and DNS host names tomatch, you must use the DNS naming standard outlined in RFC 952 whencreating your NetBIOS computer name.
In the DNS Configuration dialog box for the TCP/IP Protocol in ControlPanel Network, change the host name to a valid string of characters.
For further information on RFC Documents, reference:

prodnt computername hostname IIS

Article ID: 149044 - Last Review: 11/01/2006 03:34:14 - Revision: 1.2

  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • kbnetwork KB149044