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Rules for Assigning Computer and Workgroup Names in a Microsoft Windows Network
Last updated: 7/6/2001

Q. What are the rules for assigning computer and workgroup names in a Microsoft Windows network?


1. Each computer must have a unique name.

2. Workgroup and computer names can be up to 15 characters long.

3. Workgroup and computer names may not contain blank spaces.

4.  If the network has a server, Domain Controller, such as Windows NT Server or Windows 2000 Server, than the workgroup name must be identical to the name of the domain that the computer logs into.

5. Larry says: Don’t use any “funny” characters in computer or workgroup names.  All caps is the safest choice.  WORKGROUP is a good workgroup name.

The Resource Kit for Windows 98 states that the following characters may be used in workgroup and computer names:

! @ # $ % ^ & ( ) - _ ' { } . ~

However, Microsoft Knowledge Base Article ID: Q250927, How to Configure a Peer Network, at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q250/9/27.ASP? states that the following characters should not be used in computer and workgroup names:

/ \ * , . " @

There is also a problem using alternative workgroup names with lower case characters.

See also: How do I change my computer and workgroup names in a Microsoft Windows network?

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