Managing NetBIOS Name Resolution

Managing NetBIOS Name Resolution

ALTHOUGH WINDOWS SERVER 2003 IS UNQUESTIONABLY a TCP/IP product, a few vestiges of its NetBIOS ancestors still lurk in the shadows. These vestiges make their appearance when you try to resolve a computer name or service name into an IP address when mapping network drives or using other features of Windows networking.

For example, consider the domain configuration shown in Figure. If the Windows client cannot determine the IP addresses corresponding to the domains and their domain controllers, the client cannot authenticate itself or any of its users. If it cannot resolve the names of servers, it cannot connect users to network resources. Name resolution, therefore, is a vital task. You should focus your attention on designing a solid name resolution infrastructure before beginning an enterprise deployment of Windows Server 2003.

Figure. Sample network configuration for analyzing classic name resolution.


This chapter concentrates on classic NetBIOS name resolution to support downlevel clients and applications that rely on NetBIOS name resolution. Chapter 5, "Managing DNS," covers DNS name resolution. Windows Server 2003 can use either or both methods, depending on the situation and configuration.

Because name resolution is integrated into network protocols, the chapter starts with an overview of Windows Server 2003 networking with a focus on the addresses and ports used for name resolution. The focus then shifts to implementation and covers the following topics:

  • Network diagnostic utilities

  • Resolving NetBIOS names using broadcasts, Lmhosts, and WINS

  • Installing WINS

  • Configuring and managing WINS replication

  • Disabling NetBIOS name resolution

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