NetBIOS Name-Resolution Steps

Windows queries each of the following sources in order until it resolves the name or declares failure. Note that b-nodes use broadcast name resolution, p-nodes make point-to-point requests for name resolution to a WINS server, m-nodes (i.e., modified broadcast nodes) use broadcast name resolution first then WINS queries, h-nodes (i.e., hybrid nodes) query WINS first, if available, then use broadcast name resolution. The Windows default is h-node when the address of a WINS server is in the computer's IP configuration, b-node otherwise.

  1. Queries local NetBIOS name cache.
  2. H-nodes and p-nodes query a WINS server.
  3. B-nodes, h-nodes, and m-nodes broadcast to the local subnet to see whether the owner responds.
  4. M-nodes query a WINS server.
  5. If Enable LMHOSTS Lookup is selected, Windows checks the LMHOSTS file.
  6. If Enable DNS for Windows Name Resolution is selected, Windows appends the default domain name to the NetBIOS name and continues; otherwise, it declares name-resolution failure.
  7. Queries local DNS name cache.
  8. Queries local HOSTS file.
  9. Queries the first DNS server. If the server responds (with either success or failure), Windows stops here.
  10. Queries other name servers configured in TCP/IP's Properties dialog box until one responds or until Windows has queried them all.
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