enable lmhosts lookup - What does this do?

Posted on 2010-01-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-23
I am running XP clients and they are reporting as being slow to receive patch pushed from the Domain Controller (2003 Server). I took out my handy dandy baseline document and I found that I must have all workstations network advanced properties "uncheck enable lmhosts lookup". yet all my workstations have it as checked.

My questions is simple , what does this setting do? I am trying to understand this instead of just arbitrarily disabling stuff. I appreciate any help you guys can give. thank you.
Question by:morarc
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    LMHOSTS is a file that consists of list of ip addresses and netbios names.
    When you connected to a computer or website, if LMHOSTS is enabled, it will check this file to see if there is an entry for that computer and use the IP address found in this file. If there is no LMHOSTS file it will usually use DNS or WINS.
    It really doesn't make any difference if it is enabled or not, because if you don't have the file it will use DNS/WINS.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    LMHOSTS lookups can cause sporadic slowdowns and pauses.

    It is basically a way of short circuiting the location of devices on a network.

    The official docs from Microsoft are here

    Author Closing Comment

    thank you very much for your answers, this helped :)
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    you are welcome

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