NT4 workstations will not net view server or net use share names.  System error 53.  FQDN or IP works fine.

Posted on 2003-11-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We have a mixed workstation environment.  NT4, 2000, XP.  We have two domains, both with NT4 PDC's and BDC's.  We do not use wins, since our network is all one logical segment.  We set the workstation to use NetBIOS over TCP/IP.  We have no problems with the 2000, and XP clients.  However on any NT4 client, we are seeing that they cannot net view or connect to network resources.  When we do a net view to a hostname, we get a system error 53.  If we use the ip address or the fully qualified name, (\\hostname.xxx.com), it works.  But if we ping the hostname, it is resolved by DNS just fine.  We have tried forcing the node type to H, and tried it with node type B, with no luck.  The problem is also strange in that it is not happening on all servers we try to connect to, even though some that work are identically configured to some that don't.  We have also seen some just start working for no reason at all.  This problem is also causing the NT4 clients to have to logon with cached account information, because the pdc is one of the machines having the problem.  Our current workaround is to install NetBEUI on the workstations, but we would eventually like it to work with only IP.
Question by:pshirmey

Assisted Solution

daJman earned 750 total points
ID: 9827278
>But if we ping the hostname, it is resolved by DNS just fine
You have DNS on the LAN?

If your using DNS you dont need NetBIOS over TCP/IP. Just make sure your NT Workstations have only your internal DNS server's IP listed. Your DNS server should be configured to look past the router for domain names it is not authouritive for.

If you're not using DNS, the inconsistancies your seeing is probably the PC caching names. Running "nbtstat -c" from the command line will tell you the names that PC knows. Try that on all the PC's that are having connections issues and you'll get some insight on why some clients can see some servers.

>Our current workaround is to install NetBEUI on the workstations, but we would eventually like it to work with only IP
If you want to go only IP, prior to Active Directory, WINS is the way. If you dont want WINS, the other reliable way is to use LMHOSTS files. This gets quite tedious with many PC's.

Perhaps one of the 2k or Xp boxes are assuming the master browser role.

More help:

Troubleshooting the Microsoft Computer Browser Service

Whitepaper: Microsoft Windows NT Browser

Domain Browsing with TCP/IP and LMHOSTS Files

Information on Browser Operation

NET USE Attempt Across Domains Fails Without Name Resolution

LVL 16

Accepted Solution

JammyPak earned 750 total points
ID: 9833334
I wouldn't disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP, but I would install a WINS server.

Logging into a domain does not use the browser service or the master browser. It either does a WINS query, a broadcast, or a LMHOST lookup (depending on the node type, the order will change).

Since you don't likely have all DCs hardcoded in everyone's LMHOSTS file, and you don't have WINS, that means that you're relying on broadcasts for the clients to find a domain controller.

My guess is that you will find things to be much more stable and reliable if you install a WINS server on one of your servers (could be the DC, doesn't matter) and then set a WINS server address on all clients (hopefully you're using DHCP, cause that makes it easy).


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