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WINS or No WINS

Posted on 2007-12-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
I was just talking with someone who was explaining to me that WINS is required in a network, with XP and Vista workstations within a Windows 2003 domain, running Integrated Active Directory Microsoft DNS.  

If you have a MS DNS solution, and the DHCP server is updating new leases, using DNS for name resolution, why is WINS still required?  

I have a network in one office/client that doesn't use any instances of WINS whatsoever, so what again, I'm wondering why WINS is required, if what was said it accurate.  
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Question by:mrozman
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11 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:cdesigner
ID: 20399846
You need WINS if you want to use network shares.
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LVL 48

Assisted Solution

by:Jay_Jay70
Jay_Jay70 earned 100 total points
ID: 20399853
WINS is virtually dead these days in a native windows environment....its really not neccesary....some applications still use netbios which requires WINS for replication...but in reality, you can get along without it, i dont use it at all and i have quite a large environment...it simply restricts browsing my network places across sites a lot of the time
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LVL 48

Assisted Solution

by:Jay_Jay70
Jay_Jay70 earned 100 total points
ID: 20399857
you do not need WINS if you want to use network shares.....not in any way shape or form - you need netbios to browse my network places (not good practice really) and you need WINS if you need to replicate netbios info or manage it....
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 20399860
Exchange 2003 still requires WINS if you use it.  Exchange 2007 appears to finally have done away with it and so, if you use Exchange 2007 and a 2003 domain with 2000 clients or later, you should be able to avoid using WINS at all.

http://support.microsoft.com/?id=837391
http://www.mmmug.co.uk/forums/236/ShowThread.aspx#236
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:cdesigner
ID: 20399945
Sorry, I mixed it up with Master browser.
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 20400022
:) no apology needed
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LVL 51

Accepted Solution

by:
Netman66 earned 150 total points
ID: 20400426
WINS is only required if you have more than one subnet (read remote sites) that use your Exchange server.  If everything is on the same wire, then simply having NetBIOS over TCP/IP enabled on all the NICs is sufficient.

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Author Comment

by:mrozman
ID: 20400915
I'm still a bit confused.  For another client, I I have DNS and AD Integrated in place.  Two sties.  SF and NY.  We have our Exch2003 server in the SF site and the users in the NY site access the Exch2003 server over the VPN between the two sites, but they are both in different subnets, and we have No WINs solution in place.  Both offices are using the default settings on the switches.  VLAN1.  Although, Netman66, I think you're onto something?  I'm still researching this and appreciate the feedback.  
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Author Comment

by:mrozman
ID: 20434956
OK, let me ask this.  

XP laptop in San Francisco office in the San Francisco "Site" on broadcast domain 10.1.4.0 opens up "My Network Places" and can browse the network and see workstations in the London site, on broadcast domain 192.168.169.0, with just NetBIOS enabled over IP on the workstations and servers, NO WINS solution implemented?  Is this because these machines have been on long enough that the Master Browsers , all in the same domain, have these workstations in their browse lists, and all the while, NetBIOS although allowing workstations to view each other, is providing a less than reliable and robust solution, whereas WINS would not only allow this to work, but it would be far more reliable and robust?

Cheers
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LVL 51

Assisted Solution

by:Netman66
Netman66 earned 150 total points
ID: 20435293
It's likely that Master Browsers are helping out here - absolutely.

WINS would be a way to ensure it works everytime, yes.

You may want to fire up Browstat to see what your workstations see.

http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/b4bf5ea0-f68d-403a-9194-2612f676d6c91033.mspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:mrozman
ID: 31412480
Thanks all, the combined answers helped me put together some of the pieces to the puzzle and hopefully some other folks can use the info. as well!

Cheers all,
M
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