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Unable to Reach a Host or NetBIOS Name

TCP/IP for Windows 2000 allows an application to communicate over a network with another computer by using three basic types of destination designations:

  • IP address

  • Host name

  • NetBIOS name

This section describes how to troubleshoot either host name or NetBIOS name resolution problems. Problems with IP addressing are covered in "Unable to Reach an IP Address" later in this chapter. Both of these issues are outlined in Figures 3.3-3.5, which provide a simplified flowchart to guide troubleshooting.


Figure 3.3 TCP/IP Troubleshooting Flowchart (Part 1 of 3)


Figure 3.4 TCP/IP Troubleshooting Flowchart (Part 2 of 3)


Figure 3.5 TCP/IP Troubleshooting Flowchart (Part 3 of 3)

The first step is to determine which application is failing. Typically, this is Telnet, Internet Explorer, net use , a server manager, or Ftp. Making this determination helps with the next step, which is to determine whether the problem is a host name or NetBIOS name resolution problem.

The easiest way to distinguish host name problems from NetBIOS name resolution problems is to find out whether the failing application uses NetBIOS or Sockets. If it uses Sockets, the problem lies with a DNS/host name resolution. Among the most common applications, the NetBIOS family includes the various NET commands or the Windows NT 4.0 administrator tools while Sockets and WinSockets applications include Telnet, Ftp, and web browsers.

The following sections describe the processes that occur when using a host name or a NetBIOS name to connect with hosts on a TCP/IP network.