Earlier I wrote an article about what happens if you have two computers with the same IP address on the same network: an IP address conflict However, what happens if you have two computers with the same name on the network?
If you are using newer versions of Windows like Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7, everything will work fine. Only on older versions of Windows such as Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, etc. that use NETBIOS and WINS, you might run into problems.
In the second case, you may see the following message:
Duplicate name exists on the network
At first, you might think that the obvious answer is to just rename one of the computers, right? Well, you can also get this error even if there are no two computers with the same name on the network!
The problem may be caused by an old network adapter that is no longer on the system. Here are a few ways to fix this problem before you rename computers.
The first method – ipconfig
First, simply releasing and updating the IP address can fix your problem. Go to Start, then Run and type CMD. At the command line enter
ipconfig / release ipconfig / refresh
If the error still occurs, go to the next possible solutions.
Method two – remove hidden network adapters
Go to Start, Run and type DEVMGMT.MSC in the field. Now in Device Manager, click View and select Show Hidden Devices.
Now scroll down to network adapters and delete whatever appears with transparent icons. If nothing is grayed out, then your problem is also not with the old network adapter.
The third method – renaming the computer
If neither of these two methods worked, you may have to simply rename the computer. This can happen for one of two reasons:
- In fact, you have two machines on the network with the same NETBIOS name
- One of the computers has the same name as the workgroup name
You can go to Start, run, type CMD and then type nbtstat n at the command line and it will show you the conflicting workstation, if any.
Be sure to look at the one used for the network connection you are currently using, that is, a local network connection or a wireless network connection.
You can rename your computer by right-clicking the My Computer icon on your desktop, choosing Properties, and choosing the Computer Name tab.
Click the Change button and enter a new name for your computer. Restart your computer and the problem should go away. If you still have problems, leave a comment here and I’ll try to help! Enjoy!