Locating Active Directory Servers

When an application requests access to Active Directory an Active Directory server (domain controller is located by a mechanism called the domain controller locator (Locator ) . Locator is an algorithm that runs in the context of the Net Logon service. Locator can find domain controllers by using DNS names (for IP/DNS-compatible computers) or by using Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS) names (for computers that are running Microsoft® Windows® version 3. x , Microsoft® Windows® for Workgroups, Microsoft® Windows NT® version 3.5 or later, Microsoft® Windows® 95, Microsoft® Windows® 98, or for computers on a network where IP transport is not available).

note-icon Note

In this chapter, the term "Windows NT 4.0–compatible Locator" refers to the locator process that is used by clients that are running Windows 3. x , Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT 3.5 or later, Windows 95, or Windows 98 to locate a domain controller in any domain, as well as by clients that are running Windows 2000 to locate a domain controller that is in either a Microsoft® Windows NT® version 3.51 domain or Microsoft® Windows NT® version 4.0 domain.

The focus of this chapter is on the process of locating a domain controller. For more information about DNS resolution of host IP addresses, see "Introduction to DNS" in the TCP/IP Core Networking Guide .