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When a PC logs into a domain, what is the sequence for name lookups?

When a workstation logs onto a domain, what is the sequence for name lookups (where does it look first)? We have local DNS and WINS.

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DNS name resolution occurs in the following order:
  1. Local DNS cache
  2. HOSTS file
  3. DNS server
  4. NetBIOS name cache
  5. WINS server
  6. Network broadcast
  7. LMHOSTS file
NetBIOS name resolution takes a slightly different path:
  1. NetBIOS name cache
  2. WINS server
  3. Network broadcast
  4. LMHOSTS file
  5. Local DNS cache
  6. HOSTS file
  7. DNS server
The path that a given workstation takes to do name resolution depends on a number of factors, including operating system -- NetBIOS-based OSes like NT4 versus a DNS-based OS like Windows 2000. You can also fine-tune the network settings on an individual workstation to define what will be used for name resolution.

This was first published in April 2003

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