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NetBIOS names keep changing and workststions drop off the network.

Posted on 2006-05-05
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Last Modified: 2010-07-27
Something odd has happened to the computer names on my office Domain, its seems that a few of the workstations keep dropping of the network for no apparent reason. The NIC’S, patch leads, switch etc are all OK . There are fifteen Win 2k workstations connected to a Windows 2003 SBS server, each workstation is named work01 through to work15. It seems that in a few instances, the full computer name e.g work01.hades.local which has a NetBIOS name of work01 is listed by the Look@Lan utility as work01.hades.local and has a NetBIOS name of work08. This can change the next time the workststion is booted to some other computer name.

Most workstations have the full computer name and NetBIOS names that match and others don’t. The odd workstation has the shortened or NetBIOS name where others have the full name and shortened.

If this makes sense, I would be most grateful for any assistance.
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Question by:bushsubaru
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dooleydog earned 1000 total points
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At each workstation, make sure it has the right computer name, and do an ipconfig /registerdns, and nbtstat -RR (Capitals).

this will make sure that each workstation is advertising the right name and registering with DNS properly.

Are you using WINS? if so, make sure all clients point to the WINS server properly.

Does the WINS console show this same behavior?


try that, or look for more info on your third party utility. perhaps there is an update or a patch.
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by:Leon Fester
Leon Fester earned 1000 total points
ID: 16614686
Sounds like a DNS server issue. Check your event viewer for any DNS update failures. Also check the reverse lookup tables on your DNS server.

It could also be possible that your DHCP server is set to renew the license too quickly. How long before the DHCP server lease expires? Too soon and it could could mean that your DNS server has not yet updated, whereas the DHCP has already issued 2 different IP's to the machine.

But mostlikely a DNS related issue. If DNS is not able to resolve the name then you machines will use the netbios names which is what you're describing above.

Bearing in mind that Microsoft Implementation of TCP/IP uses a hybrid mode, i.e. it will first try resolving names via the DNS/WINS servers and if not resolved it will then broadcast the request.
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