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Installing the WINS Service on Windows Server 2003

This tutorial will walk you through installing the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) service on Windows Server 2003. WINS names are what your computers are named by like Server, Billy, Kitchen_PC, etc. A WINS server is a necessity when legacy clients older than Windows 2000 are used on a network. WINS is the predecessor of DNS, but it cannot be used for Internet naming resolution. Setting up a WINS server is short and simple and these instructions are perfect for a home-based LAN.

Walkthrough
1. Click Start button, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs.

2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

3. Highlight Networking Services, click Details...


4. Place a checkmark in Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), click OK.

5. Click Next. The WINS Service is now being installed on the server. Have the Windows Server 2003 CD in the CD-ROM.

6. Click Finish when it's done installing.

7. Close Control Panel.

8. Click Start, Administrative Tools, WINS. This opens the WINS configuration window.

9. Really not much to configure here unless you want to. You can right-click your server name and go to Properties. You can change the intervals and enable Event Logging if desired.

10. WINS server is now set up. Be sure to configure the clients to use this server as their primary WINS server in the Network Properties window, the same place where you configure IP address, DNS, etc.

11. I set my test Windows98 PC to use this server as its primary WINS server. After rebooting that client, I see it's records populated on the server.

12. If more than one WINS server were on the LAN, you would then set up those WINS servers as Replication Partners to keep everything replicated.


Conclusion
WINS servers are great for LANs that have pre-Windows 2000 clients. With a WINS server on that type of network, it is easier to locate other computers by name. As long as the client is registered with the WINS server, when you search for a PC by name, your request will query the WINS server and then you can locate the requested PC by name, and not have to worry about it's IP address, as it could change with DHCP. When the WINS server is set up, and all clients are told to use that server as their primary WINS server, the WINS server does the rest of the work from that point.

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Windows Server 2003