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Duplicate Name Exists Error While Connecting to a Network

Have you ever received an error message Duplicate Name Exists while trying to connect your computer to a Local network? If yes, it is because another computer in the network is already using the (hostname used by NetBIOS) name of your computer. You can fix Duplicate Name Exists error by simply changing the NetBIOS name (Network Basic Input/Output System) of your computer ( it should be unique in the Local network ).

Sometimes you may receive this error message even if your computer has a unique name. The reason is the outdated WINS Server.

It is because WINS server is responsible for verifying the NetBIOS names of the computers in the same network. So the possible solutions to fix the error Duplicate Name Exists are provided below.

How to Solve Duplicate Name Exist Error

  1. Change the name of the computer (assign a unique name) and reboot.
  2. Update WINS server
  3. Update to the Newer version of Windows Operating System

It is important to have a unique name for every computer in a network created as Windows Workgroup. If you have manually given the same name for more than one device in your Local Area Network, it will result in the duplicate name exists error.

It happens when two computers with the same name start operating at the same time. Another reason to get the error message duplicate name exists is the outdated/corrupted WINS server. WINS server manages the NetBIOS name map.

Any error in it will result in the total misleading information. So, It is important to update the WINS server.

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This issue usually appears on the older Windows version. So if you are consistently receiving this message, it is the time to upgrade your computer with the latest Windows Operating System. This error does not appear on newer Windows OS versions.

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As we see one of the major reason for getting the error message Duplicate Name Exists is the outdated WINS server. To learn more about it, click on the link below.
How to Configure WINS From Command Prompt

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You have seen how much influence NetBIOS has in generating the error message Duplicate Name Exists. To learn more about its effects, you need to go through its very basics.

 It works in the session layer of the OSI reference model. To read more about it click on the link below.
Session layer and Its Importance in The OSI Reference Model


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Alex George
Alex George has Engineering graduation in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. He had been working as a senior Network Engineer for ten years. His specialization is in Cisco products. Traveling is one of his hobbies and visited various places as part of his onsite work. He visited different places as part of his onsite work like New York, Dubai, London, etc. Right now Alex is a director of one of the leading career development firms in India, which trains students for UPSC, SSC, and PSC examinations. He guides a lot of students to get selection for various prestigious institutions like CBI, Income Tax Department, etc. Alex George is a stock market investor and a very active intraday trader. Engineering Background: He has a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering and passed different network and security courses like CCNA, CCNP (Security), CEH, and various Microsoft certifications. Finance Background: Alex has an MBA in Finance. He is an active intraday trader and a Share Market Investor. Webmaster Skills: Alex is a blogger since 2004. He has a working knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScrip.