Retiring WINS (finally)

Discussion in 'Server Networking' started by gscanga, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. gscanga

    gscanga Guest

    I came into an organization where the culture was hesitant to retire WINS
    (long after converting to AD). I've finally provided them enough assurance
    that it's ok to let go of the security blanket.
    For my purposes, does anyone have a basic, hi-level checklist of things to
    validate in this process of retiring WINS?

    Also, feel free to share any nuances that you experienced with this in the

    Thanks in advance.
    gscanga, Aug 26, 2008
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  2. neo [mvp outlook], Aug 26, 2008
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  3. gscanga

    gscanga Guest

    gscanga, Aug 26, 2008
  4. I guess you can just disable the WINS Service and see what happens. If
    anything blows up just restart the Service.

    Phillip Windell

    The views expressed, are my own and not those of my employer, or Microsoft,
    or anyone else associated with me, including my cats.
    Phillip Windell, Aug 26, 2008
  5. gscanga

    gscanga Guest

    Thanks, Phillip,

    That's about as simple plan as I had envisioned. Just wanted to see if
    anyone else's experience yielded anything significant snafu's worth preparing
    gscanga, Aug 26, 2008
  6. FWIW, there is no real answer anyone can give because we really don't have a
    clue about your environment and/or the applications you run. To give you an
    idea, some applications (CA ArcServe, Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition,
    ..etc) will behave different, refuse to install, or require different steps
    when it comes to central management/deployment.
    neo [mvp outlook], Aug 26, 2008
  7. In
    Do you have multiple subnets or is this a single subnet environment?

    How about apps that require NetBIOS resolution such as SQL, Veritas, and a
    multitude of others?

    Do users use the neighborhood to browse for files and printers?

    How about Outlook? 2003 or 2007? Understanding Ex2007 may not need it itself
    for core functionality, but for backward compatibility I believe Outlook
    2003 clients still need it for MAPI calls as well as certain calendaring and
    F/B functions, where this function has been updated in 2007 to the
    availability service that runs on Ex2007, as well as reverting a server
    enter to it's FQDN (whether MAPI or RPC/HTTPS) or using DirectSMB (port 445)
    instead of NetBIOS, which is defacto anyway under Windows 2003 and newer.

    Ex2000 & 2003, and Outlook 2003 reliance on NetBIOS

    All I'm saying is be careful...


    This posting is provided "AS-IS" with no warranties or guarantees and
    confers no rights.

    Ace Fekay, MCSE 2003 & 2000, MCSA 2003 & 2000, MCSE+I, MCT,
    MVP Microsoft MVP - Directory Services
    Microsoft Certified Trainer

    For urgent issues, you may want to contact Microsoft PSS directly.
    Please check for regional support phone

    Infinite Diversities in Infinite Combinations
    Ace Fekay [MVP Direcrtory Services], Aug 27, 2008
  8. Yea SACE has problems with not pushing client installs out if it doesn't
    have some functioning form of netbios name resolution in place. I think it
    is that way up to version 10,..I don't know if version 11 is the same.
    We use version 10 of SACE.
    I run WINS,..everything on the LAN uses it,...I have no plans to ever remove

    Phillip Windell

    The views expressed, are my own and not those of my employer, or Microsoft,
    or anyone else associated with me, including my cats.
    Phillip Windell, Aug 27, 2008
  9. gscanga

    ThePro Guest

    One thing you seem to miss is that WINS is *not* required to have NetBIOS
    name resolution.

    We have a multiple subnet organization with AD and DNS, no WINS whatsoever
    and still we can resolve the NetBIOS name of any computer on any subnet from

    The servers are W2K3 and the workstations are XP/Vista.

    ThePro, Aug 27, 2008
  10. I said Symantec AV Corp Ed has problems without WINS when in multiple
    subnets,...we use it,...and it does.
    I said I am using WINS and don't intend to stop,...and that is true.
    I didn't really make any claims beyond that, so I don't think I missed
    So MS invented WINS for nothing? MS wrote this article for nothing?
    Exchange 2000/2003

    It is probably resolving over DNS by automatically appending the DNS
    Suffix, that isn't actually Netbios. If all your Applications will
    honor that and make use of it, great. But it doesn't mean it will work as
    well with everything.

    Phillip Windell

    The views expressed, are my own and not those of my employer, or Microsoft,
    or anyone else associated with me, including my cats.
    Phillip Windell, Aug 27, 2008
  11. gscanga

    ThePro Guest

    See inline answers.

    Rubbish. You said "Yea SACE has problems with not pushing client installs
    out if it doesn't
    have some functioning form of netbios name resolution in place." You said
    nothing about WINS.
    Your take. I do not want to run your network. Mine is enough.
    Read the title carefully: "Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server
    require NetBIOS name resolution for full functionality". No mention of WINS.
    BTW MS invented WINS when there was no Dynamic DNS updates so WINS was the
    only way to resolve NetBIOS names to dynamic IPs.
    How come our Exchange 2003 setup works flawlessly on multiple subnets if it
    is not "actually NetBIOS" ?

    ThePro, Aug 27, 2008
  12. In
    That's because Windows 2000 and newer will try to connect simultaneously
    over NetBIOS (port 139) and DirectSMB (port 445). If no response from the
    target on 445, it reverts back to 139. This offers legacy support for
    netBIOS based apps. That is why if you disable NetBIOS on a server, it will
    still connect to other servers, but any NetBIOS based apps that require
    connectivity to that server will fail.

    If you run a netstat -a, you can see port 445. It may even define it as
    Microsoft-DS, which means Microsoft DirectSMB. I know Vista doesn't, but
    Windows 2003 will.

    What's TCP port 445 used for in Windows 2000/XP?'s_port_445_in_w2k_xp_2003.htm

    Ace Fekay [MVP Direcrtory Services], Aug 28, 2008
  13. In

    Certain Outlook MAPI functions fail without NetBIOS name resolution support
    for clients on other subnets than where the Exchange box is sitting, as well
    as Exchange in an enterprise environment. That means if you have multiple
    Exchange Enterprise Edition servers spread around the infrastructure.

    WINS offers NetBIOS (NetBT) name resolution support for multi subnetted
    environments because routers are designed to not allow NetBT broadcasts
    across subnets. If you have a NetBIOS based app trying to communicate across
    a subnet using NetBIOS it will fail. If the machine the app is running on is
    configured to use a WINS server, and the target machine is configured to use
    WINS as well, the app will succeed.

    Look, you can run your infrastructure as you see fit. If you are not using
    legacy or even current apps that require NetBIOS support, and that
    specifically look for NetBT communication subsystem, then you won't see any
    problems. You'll also notice a machine on a subnet looking at the
    neighborhood will only see what's on that subnet without WINS.

    We are not trying to force NetBIOS, DirectSMB, WINS, or a shot of Crown down
    anyone's throat. Just stating the facts.

    Ace Fekay [MVP Direcrtory Services], Aug 28, 2008
  14. gscanga

    ThePro Guest

    The point is I don't no believe they are the *facts*.

    Well, could you then explain to me why Exchange *works* across subnets and
    *all* computers from *all* subnets show in Network Neighborhood and we do
    not have any WINS running ?

    ThePro, Aug 28, 2008
  15. gscanga

    ThePro Guest

    If I follow your explanation correctly, doesn't it mean that WINS is *not*
    required if you run only Windows 2000 and newer and you will instead use
    DirectSMB to "offer legacy support for netBIOS based apps" ?

    Thanks for the interesting post BTW.

    ThePro, Aug 28, 2008
  16. In
    As I mentioned, it depends on if the application is independent on the NetBT
    subsystem. If it is specifically looking for NetBT or named pipes, etc, then
    no. It soley depends on the app.

    Ace Fekay [MVP Direcrtory Services], Aug 29, 2008
  17. Besides which, isn't NetBIOS traffic a lot chattier when there's no WINS
    server & it's all broadcast? That's what I've always heard.
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange], Sep 1, 2008
  18. In Lanwench [MVP - Exchange]
    ABSOLUTELY!! I forgot to add that. When a machine is not WINS enabled, it
    will broadcast out their name and services they offer every 60 seconds,
    which adds a lot of unnecessary amount of traffic on each segment. WINS
    enabled clients do not broadcast and rely on WINS, unless of course the rare
    instance that a name it is trying to resolve is not in WINS or DNS, then it
    will broadcast out for resolution.

    WINS quiets a network down. Great point, Lanwench!!

    Ace Fekay [MVP Direcrtory Services], Sep 1, 2008
  19. <curtseys>

    Cool. So, if you aren't going to use WINS, disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP

    I usually just use WINS, honestly. I like browsing, and I see little
    downside in most small / medium networks. It can get messy and complicated
    with multiple locations, I guess, but it's still so useful.
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange], Sep 2, 2008
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