Mapping network drives without NetBIOS

I'm a little out of my element here. I'm a software developer, not a network administrator.

I've been instructed to disable NetBIOS on our network for security reasons. I found this simple 3 lines that does the trick.

net stop netbt
sc config netbt start= disabled
sc config lmhosts start= disabled

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Great! NetBIOS is disabled. Except that now none of my network shares are accessible. Is there any way to map network drives without re-enabling NetBIOS?
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Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperAsked:
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Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
Use UNC as in:


where ipaddress takes the palce of [computername].

From there you can map a drive so maybe using the first example will serve best in doing that.  Then you can right click on a share and Map.
Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperAuthor Commented:
That's what I'm doing. It doesn't work with NetBIOS turned off.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
Well, that seems most strange.  
For example, we have 3 sites connected via MPLS where there is no inter-site NetBIOS traffic.
Yet, we can access shares from site-to-site with UNC using the IP addresses and only that way.

Starting simply: how does this change affect the ability to ping from one computer to another?
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Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I've heard that it's possible to set up network shares using SMB rather than NetBIOS. Any idea how I might set this up?
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
Those are two different things.  
You set it up as I've described.
Can you ping those IP addresses?  I think I asked that before.
Here is the list of Windows firewall things (starting with Windows 7) that are normally needed:

File and Printer Sharing (LLMNR-UDP-In)       Private
File and Printer Sharing (NB-Datagram-In)       Private
File and Printer Sharing (NB-Name-In)             Private
File and Printer Sharing (NB-Session-In)             Private
File and Printer Sharing (SMB-In)                   Private

These should already be set.  But notice that the network says "Private".  If that's not the case, then there could be problems (as in if the network type is "Public").

So, you can check the Windows firewall settings for incoming.
The "Scope" of the rule should be the local LAN so that's generally not needing editing.

Also, I turned off the "NB" rules and the UNC method of addressing the computer shares continued to work.
Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Firewall rules are all fine. Ping works fine. RDP works fine. Network shares (by IP or by NetBIOS name) don't work.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
What are the operating systems, specifically?
Are you requiring passwords in the Advanced Sharing settings?
Are you setting both Sharing permissions AND Security permissions in the share folder properties?
What users should be able to access the shares?

And, when you say that NetBIOS names don't work, I presume that NetBIOS is still turned off, is that right?  So this one would be no surprise?
Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Still getting my head around it but I think I've been able to disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP and still get shares working.

We have a combination of Windows 7 and WIndows 8 workstations. All the servers are 2008 R2.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
Ah!  That's good news!

I don't see in this question thread that we discussed the "Network" window contents.
With no NetBIOS, there won't be any computers listed there.  That's no indication of a problem - it just means that NetBIOS isn't working - which is your objective.
But, when you do this:
eventually a window should open showing all the shares on the machine at that IP address.
And from that window, you can map things.

Alternately, a login dialog may appear which gives the opportunity to log into the share.  If you save the entries (there's a check box for that) then the local computer should save the credential for follow-on connections / sharing.
Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I immediately get a Network error saying Windows cannot access \\

I've tried the IP address of both our file server and the local IP.

In other words \\ produces a network error.

There's obviously something wrong there.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
Is this just on one computer?  It sounds like it.  
I agree there's a problem with it.
I'd be thinking of using a different computer until the bigger picture objective is reached.
But then, priorities may dictate otherwise.
Can you ping

So, moving forward:
If a client is Windows 7 or 8 then is it the Pro version or.... ?  It makes a bit of a difference regarding which controls are available.
Are passwords required in the Private network Advanced Settings?  It matters.

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Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperAuthor Commented:
So I found the problem. NetBIOS was completely disabled. I ran the following commands, rebooted, and everything is working again.

sc config lmhosts start= auto
sc config netbt start= auto

Now it's working. Thanks for your assistance.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
Thanks for the points.  

If I understand it:
sc config netbt start=auto
Turns on NetBIOS over TCP/IP.
I thought that was what you *didn't* want.
Russ SuterSenior Software DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Actually it turns on NetBIOS but not over TCP/IP. You can still configure NetBIOS over TCP/IP as disabled as the screenshot indicates.

NetBIOS Advanced Settings
if you set sc config netbt start= disabled or equivalent to kill netbt instantly which is (net stop netbt) all sharing just breaks, even local sharing.
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