How can I disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT)?

A. NetBT isn't always desirable because of its use of NetBIOS, and Windows 2000 and later versions let you run Server Message Block (SMB) directly over TCP/IP. Therefore, after your network is free of legacy machines (older than Win2K), you can disable NetBT. To do so on a per-adapter basis, perform these steps:

  1. Open the adapter for which you want to disable NetBT (Start, Settings, Network Connections, Adapter) and click the General tab.
  2. Select the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click Properties.
  3. Click the WINS tab.
  4. Under "NetBIOS setting," select "Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP" and click OK.
  5. Click OK twice more to close all dialog boxes.

If you're using DHCP, you can disable NetBT by enabling the option "001 Microsoft Disable Netbios Option," as the figure shows, to avoid having to make the change on a per-computer basis. You also need to ensure that clients are configured with the default "Use NetBIOS setting from the DHCP server" setting enabled by using the previous instructions but in step 4, select "Use NetBIOS setting from the DHCP server."

Remember that disabling NetBT will stop file and printer sharing communications with pre-Win2K machines.

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