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 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830578. 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.
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 192.168.1.222, you would run the following command.
nblookup /s 192.168.1.222 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.
In this tutorial:
- Troubleshooting Network Issues
- Tools for Troubleshooting
- Table-1 Network Troubleshooting Tools
- How to Identify a Problem with the ARP Cacher
- How to Clear the ARP Cache
- Event Viewer
- How to View Shared Folders on the Local Computer
- How to View Shared Folders on Another Computer
- Network Monitor
- Verifying that the Default DNS Server Resolves Correctly
- Verifying that a Specific DNS Server Resolves Correctly
- Verifying Specific Types of Addresses
- Using TCP for DNS Lookups
- PathPing Output
- Routing Loops
- Performance Problems
- Possible Connectivity Issues
- No Connectivity Issues
- Performance Monitor
- Data Collector Sets
- Windows Resource Monitor
- Identifying the TCP Port for a Service
- Windows 7 Testing Service Connectivity
- Determining Available Remote Management Protocols
- Why PortQry Is Great
- Task Manager
- Telnet Client
- Testing Service Connectivity
- Test TCP
- Windows Network Diagnostics
- The Process of Troubleshooting Network Problems
- How to Troubleshoot Network Connectivity Problems
- How to Troubleshoot Application Connectivity Problems
- Default Port Assignments for Common Services and Tasks
- How to Troubleshoot Name Resolution Problems
- How to Verify Connectivity to a DNS Server
- How to Use the Hosts File
- How to Troubleshoot Performance Problems and Intermittent Connectivity Issues
- How to Troubleshoot Joining or Logging on to a Domain
- How to Verify Requirements for Joining a Domain
- How to Troubleshoot Network Discovery
- How to Troubleshoot File and Printer Sharing
- How to Troubleshoot File and Printer Sharing from the Client
- How to Troubleshoot File and Printer Sharing from the Server
- How to Troubleshoot Wireless Networks
- Network Diagnostics
- How to Troubleshoot Firewall Problems