Name Resolution Order

Posted on 2003-02-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
The name resolution order on Win2K as per Microsoft' documentation says try DNS first and then WINS.

But when i run a capture tool i made the following observations -

- If a net command is used, ex: net use \\NetBIOSname, WINS is tried first and then DNS
- If a ping command is used, ex: ping hostname.domain.com, DNS is tried first and then WINS.

Can anyone tell me what exactly is the resolution order on Win2K?
Question by:gunavelu
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 8010148
What you're saying is correct - the order will depend on what 'type' of command is used - a "Windows Networking" command (net use, net view, net send, logging on, etc) or an "IP" command (ping, ftp, tracert, or using a browser).

The first is "NetBIOS name resolution" and the second is "hostname resolution".

Also, for NetBIOS name resolution, the 'NetBIOS node type' will modify behaviour. It's not always WINS first, sometimes it will use a broadcast first. There's also a checkbox to enable or diable LMHOSTS file usage.

For typical sitautions (using a Hybrid node type) it's like this:
NetBIOS name resolution:
1)NetBIOS name cache
4)LMHOSTS file
6)HOSTS file

Hostname resolution:
1)checks localhost name (ie. am I trying to find myself)
3)Hosts file

There are a bunch of twists to this - Here's a great article with flowcharts for you:

Checkout the entire section called "Configure TCP/IP name resolution.


Author Comment

ID: 8010591
So i would assume the order specified in Microsoft documentation is valid only for FQDN / shortnames used by typical TCP/IP applications like ping, telnet.

For all "Windows Networking" commands, the order would be WINS first and then DNS. Is this correct?
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

JammyPak earned 150 total points
ID: 8011109
Essentially, yes.

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