Name resolution within a workgroup

At ny home network behind Linksys router, I have 4 Windows XP Pro machines. All can do printer/file sharing using IP address. All except a laptop can do the same using NetBIOS name too. The laptop also fails to ping any other machine using their NetBIOS names but can ping them using their IP addresses. The laptop was brought to home by my son from his school and we changed its workgroup to match the other machines at home. Its network settings are auto i.e. use DHCP to get TCP/IP and DNS parameters. Tried using wired NIC in place of wireless but still the same problem. The only difference in the ipconfig/all output is that the other three machines show "Node Type" as "Unknown", the laptop shows it as "Peer-Peer". How can I make this laptop to resolve host names within my workgroup?

Who is Participating?
feptiasConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The problem is that NetBIOS name resolution is failing. This makes sense if the "Node Type" is set to Point-to-Point because P-to-P requires a WINS or DNS server, which you almost certainly don't have. The laptop is probably remembering the "Node Type" setting that it received at your son's school. On your other three XP machines the node type is "Unknown" which means it will default to Broadcast - that's why they are working.

To change the node type on the laptop you must edit the registry, so all the usual cautions about editing registry settings apply. There are two registry keys that could be forcing the node type to P-to-P (value 0x02):

The latter trumps the former if both exist. I recommend that you set the value for this key to 0x04 which selects Mixed Node Type - it resolves names by first trying a broadcast. If that fails it will look in LMHOSTS, WINS, HOSTS and finally DNS so something should work in that mode. You'll have to reboot the laptop after changing that registry key.

Here's a link if you want to read more about those registry parameters. (It's a long article: Read the Intro paragraphs, then you could skip forward in the list of parameters by searching for "NodeType"):;en-us;314053
Hi vinod,

dont rely on the DHCP setting, force netbios
vinodAuthor Commented:
> dont rely on the DHCP setting, force netbios

All four machines are have same settings as far DHCP is concerned, I accepted all defaults.

Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Exchange Server

The MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 certification validates your skills in supporting the maintenance and administration of the Exchange servers in an enterprise environment. Learn everything you need to know with this course.

Jay_Jay70Connect With a Mentor Commented:
does this apply at all??

under the properties of your TCPIP config, WINS TAB, enforce netbios
1) Cntl Panel - Sys prop's - computer name tab - make the workgroup name the same on both PCs.
2) Cntl Panel - Firewall - Verify file sharing is permitted
3) Cntl Panel - folder opt's - view tab - adv settings box (scroll to bottom) & check use simple file sharing
4) Network connection prop's - adv button - wins tab - enable netbios over tcp/ip
     --> Try using the IP address instead of the pc name "\\\Shares". If NetBIOS is not properly exchanging info, this method might get around that.
5) With XP Pro, you  need to be logged in to "client" PCs with a Userid/pwsd that matches an Account set up in the "host" PC.

     --> By default, a user account is created with no password.  This means the user may sit down locally at the XP machine and log on without entering a password.
     --> However, by default, Windows XP will not permit a network user to access the XP machine using an account set up without a password!

   Permitting Network Access an XP Pro box w/o a Pswd
   Go to Control Panel | Performance and Maintenance | Administrative Tools | Local Security Policy.
   Expand Local Policies | Security Options.
   Double-click Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console login only, which is enabled by default. Disable this option and click OK.
   * This will permit network access without a password. The user's computer can boot directly to the Windows desktop, and be validated against the corresponding XP Professional user account, without a password.
vinodAuthor Commented:
Jay_Jay70's short answer was just right.
feptias's details and additional suggestion to set registry key DhcpNodeType=0x04 seems to have an added value. I wonder why it is not Windows default.

Thanks to both of you.

no problem at all, thankyou :)
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.