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how to configure DNS for peer to peer on Windows 2000 Pro Workgroup - not on internet - using static IPs

Posted on 2004-08-18
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have a new client with a network of 5 Windows 2000 Professional computers, one acting as a server for customized client-management software (program and data). It had been configured with the server assigned and the other client computers, etc. Whoever set it up originally had the 0.1 set in the gateway and DNS fields as well on each of the machines including the server.
Recently, they had a hard-drive failure on the server, which is about where I came in. I configured it as nearly to the way it had been (as far as I was able to determine), but I am ending up with 'browser' errors and recently dnscache errors. They also had NWLink IPX/SPX installed, so I installed it as well. (not sure if it was there unnecessarily, but ...). The browser errors lead me to suspect it is a DNS issue, but as I have recently learned that Windows 2000 Pro does not do DNS, I am uncertain how to handle that part of the configuration. My previous set-ups have always used a router to do dhcp, or in one or two instances I have been configuring Windows 98 computers to connect using static IPs to a Linux server (administered by someone else).
What I would really like to have is a clear idea of the network settings to configure. Will I need to do anything with the Hosts file?
Thanks in advance.
Question by:Ron-computertutor

Expert Comment

ID: 11837779
Generally if you're not in a server type network, usually peer-to-peer will work fine with machines running Windows 2000. Have you gone into Control Panel, Network Connections, Right-click Local Area Connection and go to properties, and click on tcp/ip and click properties. If you specified an IP, Type your ISPs DNS Settings under Use the following DNS Servers. Whats your Subnet Mask set to? Click advanced. Are there any settings in there that look wrong?

Expert Comment

ID: 11837919
are you accessing the internet with the pc ?
if so use the tab share internet connection on the pc
and everybody utilizes the connection this pc establishes.

you can also create a hosts file with every pc in it and you should be able to ping the pc by name

ping server instead of ping
try also nslookup server to find out which dns is used.

Expert Comment

ID: 11838026
if your just going to access them as a work group?

Windows2000 box
NIC#1 ISP SHARED xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
             - Router / Switch DHCP Enable ( gateway )
                                   - Client
                                   - Client
                                   - Client
                                   - Client              

with a mask of

Create Workgroup Names

if you are just using a hub then use a default gateway of
and Client IP range of

All should be communicating now.

I don't know what your specific requirements are so you might need to let us know if there are any.

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Accepted Solution

wtrmk74 earned 500 total points
ID: 11838044
also you should only need
TCP/IP protocol
Client for MS Networks
File and Print sharing

Author Comment

ID: 11838050
Sorry - this is a closed network - it is not connected to the internet, so using the ISPs DNS setting doesn't apply.
Subnet mask is

For the Hosts file, would I just list the computer name and static IP address I assigned? I am familiar with hosts.sam - do I just list the 5 computers there? Will printer shares be accommodated by this? What about the numbers in the DNS settings in network properties - should I leave that blank to get rid of the errors?

I can't access the advanced tab at the moment - I'm not at the machine, but I didn't change anything after electing the services and protocols (pretty well default as done by a clean Windows install)

Author Comment

ID: 11838070
wtrmk74 - good diagramming - this could be helpful if I have to connect one of the machines to the internet (which may happen in the near future.)

Expert Comment

ID: 11838136
use the same principles

Client IP range of
mask of

all connected to a hub

also install NetBEUI protocol along side TCP/IP it can help with address and name resolution problems on p2p networks

Author Comment

ID: 11838204
Forgot to mention - they are all connected to a switch.

Doesn't NWLink IPX/SPX perform similar function to NETBEUI?

Expert Comment

ID: 11848331
HUBS are dumb
SWITCHES are smart
ROUTERS are genius
They are one in the same

a hub will communicate all the time....

a switch will only communicated when asked to do so .....

a router does address translation for you = ( NAT ) FIREWALL


Author Comment

ID: 11852344
wtrkm74 had the right answer with the tcp/ip vs NWLink IPX/SPX - when I removed those from the configuration, everything cleared up. I also removed the  DNS reference that was in the configuration, as there was no DNS server on the network.
The other comments were useful for educational purposes, but I feel that the points belong here - partially for the right answer, and partially for sticking with it.

Expert Comment

ID: 11857137
glad it all worked out !

Take Care and Thanks,

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