WINS Server Software for Windows XP, NON SERVER, NO LINUX, NO LMHOSTS, DHCP is wanted too

Posted on 2004-11-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
My question is as follows....

I want WINS server software that will run on windows xp pro

The point being that most of the small businesses i know of do not have the money or the desire to invest in servers and CALs.

I all i really need is xp pro with a wins server for name resolution.

I have used lmhosts, but it does not  do a good job with network neighborhood in that clients cant browse if there are master browser issues like elections and redirector not available

If you know of a way to get Network neighborhood to work properly using lmhosts or other methods let me know...

I prefer free or open source software. I also want a dhcp server software.

I know linux can do it but small businesses do like to have to rely on ME or other network admins to fix there problems as linux is alot less user friendly

thanks in advance
Question by:jjk16
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    The problem with letting clients do business in peer to peer is that they lose data. In every sense possible. firs they write the excel file, then copy it to joe's PC. then Sarah's. next thing you know nobody knows who has the most recent copy, nor which is correct. Then Sam uses that convenient coffee holder on the front of his PC but bumps it, and suddenly his computer produces strange noises and errors. and nobody knows why they can't access those word files that were hosted on that PC "SamsComputer"

    Ultimately I can build a 2003 SBS server on a dell PE400SC for under a thousand dollars. My personal oppinion is that any client so cheap that they won't safeguard their business is going to be a headache. They WILL lose data - it is only a matter of time. when that happens they will blame me, produce bad publicity and ultimately just be problems.

    That said some people aren't as selective as I am, and money is money. so here's a word to the wise. setup your single XP box as the "server" forbid ANYONE to touch it except 1 or 2 people at the clients location. set that machines IP in your hosts file on each PC and create your network share for "company name" on that PC. create a batch file to map a drive letter to that PC and tell EVERYONE to save their files ONLY in that location. if your fealing particularly ambitious redirect their "My documents" folder to the server - users dump everything in the my docs anyway, so this is a sure fire way to ensure you get em' to use the server. in this way you don't have to have lots of inter-PC links in your qu - err - P -eer to peer network. by only putting files on that one PC you only need to load up 1 host into the hosts file and you avoid the "where'd my file go" syndrome.

    NOTE i did say create a batch file to map the network drives. put a shortcut to that batch file on each users desktop. they will need it b/c that network drive'll get dumped at least once a month or so. XP is not meant to be a server so for whatever reason other computers can't seem to hold open a network share to it, save yourself the headache and preempt the "why doesn't my G drive exist?" problem.
    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    thanks for input but im looking the answers to my above questions...
    also, smb is 1000, 10 cals is 860 and so on..

    xp pro is just for file and print sharing, i look forward to answers to my questions..
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    missing a point - how many computers have files on them? why do we want users browsing the my network places in the first place? my advise was to eliminate the browsing by setting up a single box as the server and setting a static map to that box, thus no need for the WINS mess in the first place. If the users have the ability to store their files in multiple places they will have problems. eliminate these in advance by setting up a pseudo-server in a windows XP box.

    And if you are paying those prices for Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard you are getting raped. I'm not THAT far up the partner line and i only pay 550 for the license with the first 5 CALS and 300 for each addt'nl 5 pack. Considering that allows me to give the users consolodated contacts and calendars in exchange, regenerative OS deploys with RIS and a whole list of other features I've yet to have anyone complain.

    What size networks are you dealing with primarily? less than 20 computers is almost a given but more than 10? it really has been my experience that if users have the shortcuts to the 1 or 2 things they need on the network they won't ever need to browse for anything (And be happier customers for that) and in all honesty a small business like you've described shouldn't have to have more than the one file server.

    While a product like your asking for may exist, i looked briefly and came up blank though, my oppinion is that it's simply not the best solution for your scenario. you asked how best to get your clients' computers to browse the my network places to find their file servers. my answer is "Don't." centralize on one file server, whatever OS you like and be done.

    I'll be watching to see if anyone does find a non-server solution for WINS, it's a rather odd request since W2K and later dumped WINS as a networking requirement. now if you are all > W2K and want a DNS server to run on a workstation that's much more doable and would even allow your neurotic users that insist on browsing about instead of creating a sensible shortcut to browse the network. again this is provided that all the PCs are W2K or XP.

    TreeWALK DNS for 2K, XP etc.
    Misc. DNS servers, misc OS's
    Simple DNS+ -=NON Freeware=-
    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    i can buy a dell xp pro w 512 ram, 40 gig hd,  refurb for 300 bucks at the dell outlet.
    i can then load all printers, file sharing on that one printer.  for 300 bucks, I do not even need a monitor and just use VNC.

    why pay thousands for SMB, and even if you have say 10 computers for 40 people. i,e real estate office couple staff and a bunch of workstations for web/rpinting

    unable to license per user as that would be too much, now add 5-8 printers/faxes/multifunctions and license per device

    i need 20 cals, and, i do not own the serveri am "renting" , i.e license

    so for 300 bucks i get everything, no cals, no worries
    when linux gets easy enough to use for the general people and has support for many printers etc its over for microsoft, until then ill take my 300 dollar server

    ***End Needless Rant***

    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    I like your dns idea, fettigcj07, i forgot about that

    the question is, i use an in house DNS server, will network browsing work, i,e my network places...

    where do you buy 5 cals for 300 bucks?

    are those dns servers free for commercial use?

    any good/free/easy to use DHCP servers for xp pro out there as well?


    My original question still stands, if anyone knows of such software,  if not ill award points to  fettigcj07 and split points to those who answer the above questions...

    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    Turn off (disable) the computer browser service on all PC's exept the one that you want to act as a server. This PC will now serve as the Master Browser for you local network and no elections will take place. You can also use BIND DNS Server on Windows XP on your Server PC to support DNS requests. Bind supports dynamic updates and it can succesfully replace windows DNS. You can download the latest version of bind from:

    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    I agree fully with fettigcj07, dion't sell anyone a p2p network based on windows xp. If you want something small and cheap I suggest another approach, for instance the server appliances of (sorry, the site is in german, but the PDFs describing the products are english). These are small boxes based on linux and administered through a webbased interface, so the users won't notice linux is used (on rom). You can put one harddisk inside and use that for network storage. There is a model with mail server etc. These appliances start at a cost of about $150.-- (without disk).
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Beautiful product that, at least from the description. might even be able to give SNAP appliances a run for the money, although the new LDAP integration with SNAP storage appliances (which allows active directory integration for authentication and data access control) is a huge advantage to mid-large to large companies (enterprises using SNAPs need to be shot) but the trick is that the end-users still access the NAS (SNAP, CLAXAN or other) via network access, which is ultimately where jjk16 was having the problems, network name resolution to access the storage-server (NAS or PC)

    KOTIS has a very good suggestion for resolving problems in NETBIOS world, but I would evacuate that planet post haste, unless you have Win98 boxes still living there that require you to stay.

    BIND DNS is also definately the server you'd want to use if you can, they've kept the internet running on the BIND compatible servers for how long?

    Alternatively you can (in Win2K and later) map a network drive directly to the IP address. \\\sharename would connect to the share on whatever PC held that IP. go back to the batch file to re-map on loss and your users can keep access to the storage without overly much headache. (none of which will come from NETBIOS issues.)

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    How your wiki can always stay up-to-date

    Quip doubles as a “living” wiki and a project management tool that evolves with your organization. As you finish projects in Quip, the work remains, easily accessible to all team members, new and old.
    - Increase transparency
    - Onboard new hires faster
    - Access from mobile/offline

    The purpose of this article is to fix the unknown display problem in Linux Mint operating system. After installing the OS if you see Display monitor is not recognized then we can install "MESA" utilities to fix this problem or we can install additio…
    This is an article about my experiences with remote access to my clients (so that I may serve them) and eventually to my home office system via Radmin Remote Control. I have been using remote access for over 10 years and have been improving my metho…
    Viewers will learn how to connect to a wireless network using the network security key. They will also learn how to access the IP address and DNS server for connections that must be done manually. After setting up a router, find the network security…
    This video gives you a great overview about bandwidth monitoring with SNMP and WMI with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're looking for how to monitor bandwidth using netflow or packet s…

    760 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    7 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now