Windows 7 / Networking


Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) is a NetBIOS name resolution protocol. WINS performs a function for NetBIOS names similar to the function that DNS performs for host names. For many years, WINS name resolution was the most common way for computers running Windows to identify each other on networks. However, in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain environments, DNS is used by default, and WINS is primarily used to support older clients and applications.

For environments that still rely on WINS servers, Nblookup is a valuable tool for diagnosing WINS name resolution problems. Nblookup is not included with Windows but is available as a free download from After saving Nblookup.exe to a computer, you can double-click the file to run it in interactive mode within a command prompt. Alternatively, command-line mode allows you to run it from any command prompt.

The following examples demonstrate the use of command-line mode. To look up a NetBIOS name using the computer's configured WINS server, run the following command.

nblookup computer_name

To look up a NetBIOS name using a specific WINS server, add the /s server_ip parameter, as the following example demonstrates.

nblookup /s server_ip computer_name

For example, to look up the name COMPUTER1 using the WINS server located at, you would run the following command.

nblookup /s COMPUTER1

NetBIOS names actually identify services, not computers. If you want to attempt to resolve a NetBIOS name for a specific service, use the /x parameter and specify the service's NetBIOS suffix. For example, the following command would look up domain controllers (which use a NetBIOS suffix of 1C) in a domain named DOMAIN.

nblookup /x 1C DOMAIN

Because WINS is not typically relied on for name resolution by Windows 7 in AD DS environments, troubleshooting WINS name resolution is not discussed further in this tutorial.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Troubleshooting Network Issues
  2. Tools for Troubleshooting
  3. Table-1 Network Troubleshooting Tools
  4. Arp
  5. How to Identify a Problem with the ARP Cacher
  6. How to Clear the ARP Cache
  7. Event Viewer
  8. IPConfig
  9. Nblookup
  10. Nbtstat
  11. Net
  12. How to View Shared Folders on the Local Computer
  13. How to View Shared Folders on Another Computer
  14. Netstat
  15. Network Monitor
  16. Nslookup
  17. Verifying that the Default DNS Server Resolves Correctly
  18. Verifying that a Specific DNS Server Resolves Correctly
  19. Verifying Specific Types of Addresses
  20. Using TCP for DNS Lookups
  21. PathPing
  22. PathPing Output
  23. Routing Loops
  24. Performance Problems
  25. Possible Connectivity Issues
  26. No Connectivity Issues
  27. Performance Monitor
  28. Data Collector Sets
  29. Windows Resource Monitor
  30. Ping
  31. PortQry
  32. Identifying the TCP Port for a Service
  33. Windows 7 Testing Service Connectivity
  34. Determining Available Remote Management Protocols
  35. Why PortQry Is Great
  36. Route
  37. Task Manager
  38. TCPView
  39. Telnet Client
  40. Testing Service Connectivity
  41. Test TCP
  42. Windows Network Diagnostics
  43. The Process of Troubleshooting Network Problems
  44. How to Troubleshoot Network Connectivity Problems
  45. How to Troubleshoot Application Connectivity Problems
  46. Default Port Assignments for Common Services and Tasks
  47. How to Troubleshoot Name Resolution Problems
  48. How to Verify Connectivity to a DNS Server
  49. How to Use the Hosts File
  50. How to Troubleshoot Performance Problems and Intermittent Connectivity Issues
  51. How to Troubleshoot Joining or Logging on to a Domain
  52. How to Verify Requirements for Joining a Domain
  53. How to Troubleshoot Network Discovery
  54. How to Troubleshoot File and Printer Sharing
  55. How to Troubleshoot File and Printer Sharing from the Client
  56. How to Troubleshoot File and Printer Sharing from the Server
  57. How to Troubleshoot Wireless Networks
  58. Network Diagnostics
  59. How to Troubleshoot Firewall Problems