I struggled for quite a little while trying to execute this:
Select top 1 * From [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx].[db].[owner].[table]
In SQL2005 Management Studio against a SQL2000 box.
And receiving this:
An error occurred while executing batch. Error message is: Processing of results from SQL Server failed because of an invalid multipart name "xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.db.owner.table", the current limit of "4" is insufficient.
I was unable to link the servers by name since there was no DNS to resolve it.
I finally discovered that I didn't receive the error if I simply used SQL 2000's Query analyzer. I was a little surprised to find that this issue in backwards compatibility existed in the Management Studio. I have not had a chance to test a SQL 2005 linked server to see if an IP address causes the same issue on it, though I would hope that it wouldn't.
Note: I just discovered that I was able to use OPENQUERY in Management Studio to run my query from one SQL2000 server to a linked SQL2000 server.
SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY([xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx], 'SELECT * FROM [db].owner.[table]') AS tablename