NetBIOS Name Registration and Resolution
Windows TCP/IP systems use several methods to locate NetBIOS resources:
NetBIOS name cache
NetBIOS name server
IP subnet broadcasts
Static Lmhosts file
Local host name (optional, depends on EnableDns registry parameter)
Static hosts file (optional, depends on EnableDns registry parameter)
DNS servers (optional, depends on EnableDns registry parameter)
NetBIOS name resolution order depends upon the node type and system configuration. The following node types are supported:
B-node uses broadcasts for name registration and resolution.
P-node uses a NetBIOS name server (such as WINS) for name registration and resolution.
M-node uses broadcasts for name registration. For name resolution, it tries broadcasts first, but switches to p-node if it receives no answer.
H-node uses a NetBIOS name server for both registration and resolution. However, if no name server can be located, it switches to b-node. It continues to poll for a name server and switches back to p-node when one becomes available.
Microsoft-enhanced uses the local Lmhosts file or WINS proxies plus Windows Sockets gethostbyname calls (using standard DNS and/or local Hosts files) in addition to standard node types.
Microsoft ships a NetBIOS name server known as the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS). Most WINS clients are set up as h-nodes; that is, they first attempt to register and resolve names using WINS, and if that fails, they try local subnet broadcasts. Using a name server to locate resources is generally preferable to broadcasting for two reasons:
Broadcasts are not usually forwarded by routers.
Broadcasts are received by all computers on a subnet, requiring processing time at each computer.
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