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Managing the WINS Database

The WINS snap-in provides you with a monitoring tool that can be used to view the mappings that are dynamically placed in the WINS database by communication between WINS clients and the WINS server. In the WINS snap-in, double-click the Active Registrations folder. The current mappings in the database appear in the Details pane.

The WINS snap-in also provides you with the management tools that enable you to manipulate the WINS database and keep it healthy. You can use the WINS snap-in to add static records to the database, delete records, and even back up the WINS database.

Creating Static Mappings

You can add static WINS records to the WINS database. This is useful when you need to support non-WINS clients (computers running operating systems that you cannot configure to take advantage of WINS).

In the WINS snap-in, right-click Active Registrations and select New Static Mapping from the shortcut menu. In the Static Mapping dialog box (see Figure 20.7), provide the name and IP address of the computer.

Figure 20.7. You can create static mappings in the WINS snap-in.

Use the Type drop-down list to select the type of static mapping you are creating. Table 20.2 defines the different static mapping types available.

Table 20.2. Node Types
Mapping Type Description
Unique Used to associate a single IP address with a computer name.
Group Used to include a computer that is already specified in a static mapping as part of a Windows workgroup.
Domain Name Used to map a domain name to a Windows NT domain controller IP addresses.
Internet Group Used to group resources on the network under a group name. IP addresses are mapped to resource IP addresses in the static mapping.
Multihomed Used to create a static mapping of multiple IP addresses (up to 25) to one NetBIOS name.

After specifying the static mapping type, click OK. The mapping becomes part of the WINS database.

By the Way

The NetBIOS name can be up to 15 characters, but a sixteenth character in hexadecimal format indicates the resource type. For example, when the Unique type is used to create a static mapping, actually three records are added to the WINS database: [00h] WorkStation, 03hMessenger, and 20h File Server.

Deleting or Tombstoning Mappings

You can view the active registrations for the WINS server. Click the Active Registrations folder (in the Node pane) and the active registrations appear in the Details window (see Figure 20.8). You can delete or tombstone records from the WINS database. When you tombstone a record, it is removed from all replication partners the next time the databases are synchronized.

Figure 20.8. You can view the current records in the Active Registrations folder.

[View full size image]

Right-click a particular record in the database (in the Details pane) and then select Delete (see Figure 20.9). If you want to delete the record on just this server, select the option Delete the Record Only from This Server. If you want to remove the record from all WINS servers on the network, select Replicate Deletion of the Record to Other Servers (Tombstone). After making your selection, click OK.

Figure 20.9. You delete records from the WINS database.

Backing Up and Restoring the WINS Database

Another aspect of managing WINS is backing up the WINS database. Because the WINS database is constantly changing as a result of the dynamic registration process (WINS clients communicate with the server to set up their records), there can be file corruption. So, it makes sense to back up the WINS database periodically. Then if you are experiencing difficulties with the WINS service, you can restore the database file.

The backup of the WINS server is automatic after you specify a location for the database. To configure the backup of the WINS database, follow these steps:

1. In the WINS snap-in, right-click the WINS Server node icon and then select Properties from the shortcut menu that appears. The Properties dialog box appears (see Figure 20.10).

Figure 20.10. Specify a location for the WINS backup.

2. Specify a path for the backup (you can use the Browse button) in the Default Backup Path box.

3. If you want, you can select the option Back Up Database During Server Shutdown. This backs up the WINS database whenever you shut down the WINS server.

4. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.

The WINS database is backed up by default every three hours. The WINS database, wins.mdb, is placed in a wins_back ew folder that is created in the path that you specified for the backup.

Did you Know?

To manually back up the server, right-click your WINS Server icon and select Back Up Database. The Browse for Folder dialog box opens; use it to specify the folder for the backup. Then click to back up the WINS database.

Now that you have a backup of your WINS server, when you begin to have problems with the service and suspect database corruption, you can restore the WINS database. First you must stop the WINS service. Right-click your WINS Server icon in the snap-in tree, point at the All Tasks selection on the shortcut menu, and then select Stop. This stops the WINS service (the green icon turns red).

To restore the database, right-click your WINS Server icon and select Restore Database. The Browse for Folder dialog box appears. Specify the folder that holds the backup file; then click OK. The database file is restored and the WINS service restarts.

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