WINS Registrations in Windows 2003

WINS (Windows Internet Name Service) Registration

Always remember that there are two processes with WINS, registration and query.  In the case of registering, your mission is to enter the clients IP address into the WINS server database.  When querying, you need to find the WINS server with the resources you are looking for.  This page examines how DHCP help clients add records to the WINS database.

Topics for WINS Registration in Windows Server 2003


WINS RecordsWINS Records for Windows Server 2003 type [20]

WINS clients can register more than one type of resource record in the WINS server database, for example File Server [20h], or Messenger [03h].  Another famous WINS service is [00h] Workgroup, or some call it the redirector.

So that clients can find their WINS server, remember to add a record for each server as to their own WINS Database.  Either add a static record, or simply add the servers own IP address to the network connection, TCP/IP properties, Advanced tab.

When I first investigated the new WINS server interface in Windows Server 200x, I could not find any records even though I knew that clients had registered.  What could be the problem?  Well it seems that unlike NT 4.0, the later WINS servers do not display any records unless you specifically ask for them.  So, from the WINS server, right-click the Active Registrations folder and select Display Records.  The secret is to click: Find now, (and not bother with the filter).

WINS DHCP Registrations

Clients either register in the WINS database via the TCP/IP properties, or better still through their DHCP scope options.  The idea is that DHCP gives the client not only its IP address, but also the IP of the Router and the WINS server.WINS and DHCP options 044 and 046 h-node, m-node.

The first DHCP Scope option is type 044, which tells the client the name of its WINS server(s).  The second option is type 046, this is more complicated, and deals with the clients query behaviour.  If in doubt chose type 0x8 H-Node.  Let me explain a little more about option 046:

H-node tells the client to try WINS first, if that fails broadcast for the IP address.

M-node which means Broadcast first then ask a WINS server.

P-node means only use WINS.

B-node, simply means broadcast, do not use WINS.

Why would you want M-node?

WINS gave me a tricky moment on one of my training courses.  I was explaining the merits of H-node name resolution.  I told the delegates that the client uses WINS first, then broadcasts if there is no reply from the WINS server.  H-node should stand for heads-up, because it’s a great play.

Then I went on to say that M-node is limited.  The reason is because M-node broadcasts first and only when that fails, do M-node clients query WINS.  So far, so good, but then I overplayed my hand and said no sane person would use H-node.  You’ve probably guessed what happened next, a delegate put up their hand and said, ‘er.. Guy we use M-node and its great’.

The delegate went on to explain that they have only have 5-10 computers in their regional offices and the WINS server is only accessible by a 56K link to HQ. (This is an old story).  After I removed the proverbial egg from my face, I got the point; mostly these clients wanted to connect to a printer in the same room, if the name resolution went all the way to HQ and back, merely to find a machine only meters away, it made no sense.  Much better in that case to broadcast.

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WINS Registration Summary

When you integrate WINS, DHCP and DNS, they are better than the sum of the individual parts.  What DHCP can do for WINS is give out the IP address of the WINS server.

Basically, WINS in Server 2003 is much like NT 4.0.  However there are neat improvements and new ways of displaying the resource records.

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