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Installing WINS Servers

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.
By William R. Stanek

Archived content - No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

from Chapter 15, Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant.

On Windows NT servers, install a WINS server by doing the following:

  1. Access the Services tab of the Network Control Panel utility and then click on the Add button.

  2. Choose Windows Internet Name Service in the Select Network Service dialog box and then click OK.

  3. Now you'll need the Windows NT distribution CD-ROM. When prompted, insert the disk and then enter the path for the distribution files, such as e:\i386\. Click Continue.

  4. When you close the Network utility, the WINS server is installed and you'll need to restart the computer.

From now on, Windows Internet Name Service should start automatically each time you reboot the server. If the service isn't started, you'll need to start it manually with the Services utility in the Control Panel.

Best Practice Although a single WINS server can provide services to multiple network segments, you'll usually want to install more than one WINS server. Additional servers can provide a fail-safe mechanism in case the primary WINS server is unavailable. When you install multiple WINS servers on a network, you must also set up WINS database replication. For details on database replication, see the section of this chapter titled "Configuring WINS Database Replication."

Using WINS Manager

When you install a new server, it is configured with default settings. You can view and change these settings at any time using the WINS Manager.

Getting to Know WINS Manager

To manage WINS servers on a network, you'll use the WINS Manager utility. This utility is found in the Administrative Tools (Common) folder. The main window for WINS Manager is shown in Figure 15-1. As you see, this window is divided into two panes: WINS Servers and Statistics. The left pane lists the WINS servers in the domain by IP address or computer name, or both. By double-clicking on these entries, you can display server statistics in the right pane.

The server statistics fields are used as follows:

  • Server Start Time The time Windows Internet Name Service started on the server.

  • Database Initialized The time the server's WINS database was initialized.

  • Statistics Cleared The time the server's statistics were last cleared.

  • Last Replication Times The time the server's WINS database was last replicated.

    Cc722536.15wnta01(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 15-1: Use the WINS Manager to manage WINS server configurations.
  • Periodic Indicates the time the WINS database was last replicated based on the replication interval set in the Pull Partner Properties dialog box.

  • Admin Trigger Indicates the time the WINS database was last replicated by the administrator (using the Replicate Now button in the Replication Partners dialog box).

  • Net Update Indicates the time the WINS database was last replicated based on a push notification message that requested propagation.

  • Total Queries Received The total number of queries received by the server since it was last started. Successful indicates the number of queries successfully resolved. Failed indicates the number of queries that failed.

  • Total Releases The total number of messages received that indicate a NetBIOS application has released its name registration and shut itself down. Successful indicates the number of successful releases. Failed indicates the number of failed releases.

  • Total Registrations The total number of name registration messages received from WINS clients.

Adding a WINS Server to WINS Manager

If the WINS Manager doesn't list the WINS server you want to configure, use the Add WINS Server option on the Server menu to add the server. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 15-2. Now enter the IP address or computer name of the WINS server you want to manage.

Cc722536.15wnta02(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 15-2: If your WINS servers aren't listed, you'll need to add them to the WINS Manager.

Refreshing and Clearing Server Statistics

Depending on the server preferences, WINS Manager may not automatically refresh server statistics. To refresh the statistics, select Refresh Statistics from the View menu or press F5.

In addition to refreshing the statistics, you may also want to reinitialize the related counters. You do this by selecting Clear Statistics from the View menu. When asked to confirm the operation, click Yes.

Viewing Detailed Server Information

You can view detailed information for a WINS server by completing the following steps:

  1. Select the server you want to work with in WINS Manager.

  2. Choose Detailed Information from the Server menu. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 15-3. The fields of this dialog box are used as follows:

    • WINS Server Address Provides server naming information.

    • Computer Name Is the NetBIOS computer name of the server.

    • IP Address Is the IP address of the server.

    • Connected Via Is the protocol used to connect to the server, such as NetBIOS.

    • Connected Since Is the time you connected to the server in WINS Manager.

    • Last Address Change Is the time the server's WINS database change was last replicated.

    • Last Scavenging Times The times the server's database was last cleaned.

    • Periodic Indicates the last time a cleaning took place because of the renewal interval set in the WINS Server Configuration dialog box.

    • Admin Trigger Indicates the last time a cleaning was initiated by the administrator (using the Initiate Scavenging option on the Mappings menu).

    • Extinction Indicates the last time a cleaning took place because of the extinction interval set in the WINS Server Configuration dialog box.

    • Verification Indicates the last time a cleaning took place because of the verification interval set in the WINS Server Configuration dialog box.

    • Unique Registrations The total number of name registration messages received and accepted from WINS clients. Conflicts indicate the number of name conflicts encountered for each unique computer name. Renewals indicate the number of renewals received for each unique computer name.

      Cc722536.15wnta03(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

      Figure 15-3: The Detailed Information dialog box provides additional details about the server that can help in administration.
    • Group Registrations The total number of name registration messages received and accepted from groups. Conflicts indicate the number of name conflicts encountered for group names. Renewals indicate the number of renewals received for group names.

Setting WINS Manager Preferences

Changing the default settings in WINS Manager can help you manage WINS servers according to your unique needs. To set WINS Manager preferences, select the Preferences command on the Options menu. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 15-4, on the following page. You can now customize the setup for WINS Manager.

The key fields of the Preferences dialog box are used as follows:

  • Address Display Use these fields to specify whether servers should be displayed in the main WINS Manager window by computer name, IP address, or a combination of the two. The default is to display IP addresses only.

  • Auto Refresh Sets the refresh interval for server statistics. By default, this interval is set to 60 seconds.

  • LAN Manager-Compatible Select this check box to use LAN Manager-compatible computer names. Because all Microsoft clients and servers use this name type, you should select this option. The only time you'll want to deselect this option is when the network receives NetBIOS names from non-Microsoft subnets and systems.

  • Validate Cache of "Known" WINS Servers at Startup Time Used to check and validate the list of known WINS servers each time you start WINS Manager. If a server is no longer valid, WINS Manager may delete it from the list. In an extended network environment, selecting this option is a good idea.

    Cc722536.15wnta04(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 15-4: Customize WINS preferences using the Preferences dialog box.
  • Confirm Deletion of Static Mappings & Cached WINS Servers If selected, WINS Manager will prompt you before deleting static mappings or the cached name of a WINS server. It's generally a good idea to select this option.

  • Partners Click on this button to configure default options for database replication (push and pull partners).

Configuring WINS Servers

When you install a WINS server, the server is configured with default settings. You can change these settings by completing the following steps:

  1. Select the server you want to work with in WINS Manager.

  2. Choose the Configuration option on the Server menu. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 15-5.

  3. Set the WINS Server Configuration parameters. These parameters are used as follows:

    • Renewal Interval Sets the interval during which a WINS client must renew its computer name. It is also known as the lease period. Generally, clients attempt to renew when they reach 50 percent of the lease. The minimum value is 40 minutes. The default value is six days, meaning clients attempt to renew their lease every three days. A computer name that is not renewed is marked as released.

    • Extinction Interval Sets the interval during which a computer name can be marked as extinct. Once a computer name has been released, the next step is to mark it as extinct. The minimum value is 40 minutes.

    • Extinction Timeout Sets the interval during which a computer name can be purged from the WINS database. Once a computer name has been marked as extinct, the next step is to purge it from the database. The minimum value is 24 hours (one day).

      Cc722536.15wnta05(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

      Figure 15-5: Configure WINS Manager to customize server operation for your network needs.
    • Verify Interval Sets the interval after which a WINS server must verify old names it doesn't own. If the names aren't active, they can be removed. The minimum value is 576 hours (24 days). Generally, computer names registered in a different WINS server have a different owner, and thus they fall into this category.

      Tip: Think of these intervals as giving you a timeline for names listed in the WINS database. Renewal Interval affects when leases are renewed. Extinction Interval affects when names that aren't renewed are marked as extinct. Extinction Timeout affects when extinct names are purged from the database. If you set Renewal Interval to 24 hours, Extinction Interval to 48 hours, and Extinction Timeout to 24 hours, it could take as long as 96 hours for a record to clear out of the WINS database.

  4. Pull and push partners are discussed in the section of this chapter titled "Configuring WINS Database Replication."

  5. Click on the Advanced button to configure advanced WINS parameters. You can now set the following fields:

    • Logging Enabled Check this field to turn on event logging for the WINS server. WINS logs are placed in the %SystemRoot%\ system32\wins folder.

    • Log Detailed Events Check this field to turn on detailed event logging for the WINS server.

      Note: Detailed logging on a busy network can cause a heavy load on the WINS server. Because of this, detailed logging should only be used during testing, troubleshooting, or optimization.

    • Replicate Only With Partners Check this field to ensure that replication is done only with push and pull partners. If this field is not selected, administrators can force push or pull replication on this server.

    • Backup On Termination Check this field to ensure that the WINS database is backed up when the WINS service is stopped. This option isn't used when the WINS server is shutting down.

    • Migrate On/Off Set this option when you're upgrading non-Windows systems to Windows NT. If set, this option allows records to be dynamically updated in the WINS database during migration.

    • Database Backup Path Allows you to set the path used for database backup files. The default is %SystemRoot%\ system32\wins.

    • Starting Version Count Sets the starting version ID number for the WINS database. This value is set in hexadecimal format and the maximum value is 2^31. You only need to change this value if the WINS database becomes corrupt. If it does, you should set the ID to a value higher than the version number counter on all remote partners that have a replica of the server's database records. The version number is displayed in the Show Database dialog box.

  6. Select OK to save the configuration settings.

from Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant by William R. Stanek. Copyright © 1999 Microsoft Corporation.

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