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Do I need netbios to access other XP machines?

Posted on 2006-06-24
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
Hi-
I am often frustrated with the slow responsiveness when I am trying to browse the xp computers on my workgroup network (peer-to-peer).  I believe this has to do with netbios; and sometimes, the machine that has been assigned 'master browser' status is not available, which I think then results in another substantial time lag before the remaining xp machines are polled and another 'master browser' is assigned (if I didn't get that right, someone please correct me).

Anyway, I seem to remember from a couple years ago that if I had all xp machines, that I was no longer dependent upon netbios.  What are my options for xp machines sharing resources in a WORKGROUP by using what is available in the XP OS (i.e. without adding a server or other software/ hardware)?  I am only interested in alternatives that will be better than my current reliance upon netbios.

With Regards-
Sam
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Question by:SAbboushi
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6 Comments
 
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:itcoza
itcoza earned 100 total points
ID: 16976065
Hi SAbboushi,

Yes - you can turn off NetBios and you will still be able to access the computer.  Your brows list will no longer work so well and you will lose some functionality in regards to pre-Windows 2000 computers.  Please remember that some applications that are network aware require the use of NetBios names. These applications will stop working once you disable NetBios.

Regards,
M
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:itcoza
ID: 16976069
Remember that if you do not have a name resolution server like DNS on the network your computer will also not be able to resolve any names on your local network.

Regards,
M
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LVL 77

Accepted Solution

by:
Rob Williams earned 400 total points
ID: 16976342
If you remove NetBIOS how will your resolve names ? You have no internal DNS or WINS servers. Below are several links to improving browsing. You may also see some improvement if you disable "automatically search for network folders and printers" by opening a browser window and on the menu bar go to tools | folder options | view | un-check "automatically search ...."
http://www.ss64.com/nt/slow_browsing.html
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1722545,00.asp
http://www.compu-help.us/17.htm
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Author Comment

by:SAbboushi
ID: 16976387
Thanks for your posts - it seems that turning off NetBios will NOT be a better situation for me (no browse list, possible app failures, lack of name resolution...).  Looks like I need to learn how to "improve" the performance.  Thanks-

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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 16976423
Thanks SAbboushi,
--Rob
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Author Comment

by:SAbboushi
ID: 16976437
Welcome!
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