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Avoiding WINS Problems

One way to avoid WINS-related problems (according to Microsoft) is to use the preconfigured WINS settings on a newly established WINS server. These settings should serve you well in most situations.

Microsoft also advises against using static WINS entries in the WINS database, although using static entries can protect you from conflicts related to the NetBIOS names of key servers on the network. You would not want an incorrectly configured client (as far as NetBIOS name goes) to come online on the network and register with the WINS database, negating the important resource server from using its configured name (which computers on the network use to get at resources on the server).

As far as an upper threshold goes for a WINS server, Microsoft says that one WINS server can accommodate around 10,000 WINS clients on a network. And if you are having problems with client connectivity, make sure that the client’s TCP/IP properties have been configured so that the use of WINS servers has been enabled.

If you find that the best practices discussed in this hour still don’t provide you with a smooth-running WINS deployment, you can monitor WINS performance and server performance by using the Reliability and Performance Monitor (which can be accessed in the Computer Management window; Start, Administrative Tools, Computer Management).

You may also want to log events related to the WINS service if you are troubleshooting a problematic WINS installation. To log detailed events related to WINS, right-click the WINS server node icon (it’s the one with the server name and IP address) in the Node pane of the WINS snap-in. On the shortcut menu, select Properties.

Click the Advanced tab of the WINS server’s Properties dialog box. Then select Log Detailed Events to Windows Event Log (see Figure 20.12).

Figure 20.12. Select the Log Detailed Event to Windows Event Log check box.

This detailed logging can degrade the server’s performance (as it says on the Advanced tab). So, you want to use this detailed logging only in cases where you are having problems with the WINS server and want to use the Event Viewer to ferret out the issues.

To start the Event Viewer select Start, Administrative Tools, and then Event Viewer. Expand the Windows Logs node and then select the System events folder. Figure 20.13 shows WINS-related errors in the System Log for a WINS server. (The log has been filtered for WINS; more about filtering logs in Hour 24.)

Figure 20.13. The Event Viewer can help you track down problems with your WINS server.

[View full size image]

Both the Reliability and Performance Monitor and the Event Viewer are discussed in more detail in Hour 24. Also remember that a backup of the WINS database can be very useful when you are having problems with a single WINS server implementation if the database has become corrupt.

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