I got this error when I was trying to setup logshipping .I was strange
I checked the select * from sys.servers output and i was getting the entry of the server there .......whats wrong then .
I tried to ping that server using the server name .But it was timed out .I then tried to use the IP of that server while pinging with -a option and guess what ...
I found the different servername there ..... :D
this was the issue .Some admin changed the Server name which SQL Server did not pick u automatically .
i used sp_addserver and sp_drop server to add the right server and everything was on track ...