MS provides many options for name resolution such as
local cache lookup, WINS server query, broadcast, DNS server query, and
LMHOSTS and HOSTS lookup. They can be grouped as two categories:
NetBIOS resolution and Host name resolution.
Clients connecting to resources on Microsoft servers, typically through
Windows File Manager or Network Neighborhood, most often use NetBIOS name
resolution. Microsoft TCP/IP uses NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) to
support the NetBIOS client and server programs in the LAN and
In the most cases, NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) resolves NetBIOS
names to IP addresses in workgroup network and can
consist of local subnet broadcasts. WINS resolves NetBIOS names to IP
addresses in domain network and is better to be
used in WAN.
Host name resolution resolves
the names of TCP/IP resources that do not connect through the NetBIOS
interface. The most common example of this is a Web browser such as Microsoft
Internet Explorer. Other examples include Internet applications such as Ping,
FTP, and Telnet. Many modern database and mail applications that connect using
Winsock, the Microsoft Windows implementation of TCP/IP sockets, also use host
name resolution. Examples of these types of applications are Outlook and
If the name is still not
resolved, NetBIOS name resolution sequence is used as a backup. This order can
be changed by configuring the NetBIOS node type of the client.
In conclusion: The default
resolution order for resolving a host name is Local Cached Information ->
Hosts File -> DNS Servers -> NetBt (NetBIOS over TCP/IP). When troubleshooting
name resolution issues, it is important to narrow down whether the application
is resolving a NetBIOS name or a host name.
NetBIOS over TCP/IP name
resolution can consist of local subnet broadcasts.
NetBIOS names must be between 1 and 15 characters long (the names are up to
16 characters, but the last character is reserved as a special characters).
For that reason, you should not give a computer name longer than 15
Symptoms: Event viewer may show Event ID 4320,
Event ID: 4319. You may get system error 52 and a duplicate name has been
detected on the TCP network.
Resolutions: 1. If two computers on the Network with the same
name, use the
nbtstat -n command to find out these two computers, for example,
using nbtstat -n to check the name and ip of the local computer, and then
using nbtstat -a command with the IP address to get the
another computer name.
2. If identical username is logging on to multiple computers, the usernames
will register with a <03h>, and that may cause the name conflict in the
network. Ask the user to log off of all computers and log back on to just one
3. This may be occurred because of inactive or duplicate names in the WINS
Database. Go to the WINS server, check the database and delete the inactive
or duplicated names.
4. This my be occurred because of a possibly corrupted DHCP database. To
clear DHCP related entries or clean out old settings in the registry, delete
any .mib files, and then reinstall DHCP.
5. This may be occurred because of conflicting NICs in a Multihomed
Computer. To fix this problem, you may want to stop Computer Browser service
or uncheck one of Client for MS Network.
6. This may be ocurred because IPCONFIG /ALL returns incorrect host name. To
change computer name in the TCP/IP parameters section, run regedit.exe, and
locate the HOSTNAME value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip
\Parameters, and then edit the string data.
A: NetBEUI is not included on XP by default. To
install NetBEUI, 1) Copy Nbf.sys to the %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\Drivers
directory from Windows XP CD - Valueadd\MSFT\Net\NetBEUI folder. 2) Copy
Netnbf.inf to the %SYSTEMROOT%\Inf hidden
directory. 3) Go to Control Panel>Network Connections, right-click the adapter
you want to add NetBEUI to, and then click
If your have non-WINS machines on a subnet and want to them to be visible
browsing participants, you may have two options to setup WINS for non-WINS
machines. 1) Enable WINS Agent. To setup a machine as proxy agent in NT 4,
run regedit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NetBT\Parameters.
Double-click on the EnableProxy and set vale to 1. 2) add static entries on
WINS Manager. To do this, run WINS Manager>Mappings>Static Mappings and add
To check if the computer has registered a 00, a 03, and a 20
entry, and these correspond to the Workstation service, the Messenger service,
and the Server service, respectively, use nbtstat -n. That will list local
NetBIOS names. To list remote computer name table, use nbtstat -a computer
name or nbtstat -A IP.
How to disable WINS Proxy
To disable wins proxy, go to
change the value to 0.
Value Name: EnableProxy
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Values: Boolean (0 or 1)
1. For W2K/XP, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netbt\Parameters
to make change:
Value Type: REG_DWORD - Number
Valid Range: 1,2,4,8 (b-node, p-node, m-node, h-node)
Default: 1 or 8 based on the WINS server configuration
If this key is present, it will override the DhcpNodeType key. If neither
key is present, the system defaults to b-node if there are no WINS servers
configured for the client. The system defaults to h-node if there is at least
one WINS server configured.
2. Windows 95, go to
Value type: DWORD
Valid range: 1, 2, 4, or 8
Default: 1 (b-node) if no value is specified or no WINS servers are configured
on the network; 8 (h-node) if WINS servers are specified and NodeType is not
otherwise defined in the Registry.
If DNS is enabled (which also enabled LMHOSTS in Windows 95), name
resolution will also follow the mode defined by this parameter. This value can
also be configured using DHCP.
If you can ping a remote computer IP but not the name, and
you have WINS or enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP, this may be an outdated NetBIOS
name resolution in the local NetBIOS name cache. You may want to run NBTSTAT
-r to reset the cache and force the computer to retrieve remote computer name.
Some w2k/xp computer have a difficulty to connect to a laptop
and your company has standardized on DNS for name resolution (no WINS and
NetBIOS enabled). you also find that you can ping the laptop ip but not name.
You may want to run ipconfig /registerdns to renew the ip configuration and
register the laptop's DNS name with the DNS.
Before the XP, the name resolution generally occurs in the following order:
1. NetBIOS remote name cache; 2. WINS server; 3. Broadcast; 4. LMHOSTS file;
5. HOSTS; 6. DNS.
Can ping ip and computer name
but can't see it on My Network Places
you can ping ip and computer name but can't see it on My Network Places even
you have correct DNS and WINS settings. Or you have enabled NetBIOS over
TCP/IP in a peer to peer workgroup network. Or when you may get NetBIOS name
resolution failure message.
1. If you have the ICF running, disable it. 2. Install netbeui or IPX
NetBIOS and WINS name resolution is required only on
mixed-mode (Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000 and XP) networks to provide
backward-compatibility older versions of Windows. If you have a domain
mixed-mode network with DHCP and DNS, you are better to create WINS in your
system. In workgroup mixed-mode network, most people enable NetBIOS over
TCP/IP to resolve NetBIOS name to equivalent to IP addresses. Alternatively,
you can install NetBEUI protocol in the clients.
Point-to-Point node type relies on WINS servers for NetBIOS name
resolution. If the WINS server is unavailable, or if a node isnít configured
to contact a WINS server, the computer will not be able to ping other computer
In a mixed OS (win9x, NT, ME, W2K and XP) workgroup network, you may need
to enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP on w2k/xp. However, you may be in a situation
that enabling netbios over tcp/ip doesn't work, but loading netbeui solve the
name resolution problem. There are many reasons for this. One of the popular
reasons is some software like firewall and NAT disable or block the TCP/IP.
One of solutions is loading NetBEUI on w2k/xp. Note: loading netbeui may be
slower the network and netbeui is not routable.
If you can't browse Network Neighborhood/My Network Places, but you can
connect to file and print shares by using UNC to map the networking resources,
you have a name resolution issue. Your may need to setup WINS server or enable
NetBIOS over tcp/ip,