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Microsoft KB Archive/173525

From BetaArchive Wiki

WINS Client May Switch Primary and Secondary WINS Servers


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server, version 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation versions 3.1, 3.5, 3.51, 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server versions 3.1, 3.5, 3.51, 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows for Workgroups version 3.11
  • Microsoft TCP/IP-32 for Windows for Workgroups, versions 3.11, 3.11a, 3.11b
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Network Client for MS-DOS version 3.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0, Terminal Server Edition


You may notice that the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) clients on your network appear to switch the primary and secondary WINS server settings as viewed by the utility Ipconfig.exe, for Windows NT and Windows for Workgroups, and Winipcfg.exe, for Windows 95. You may also see the client registering with the secondary WINS server, even though the primary WINS server is fully operational and its destination is reachable.


The configured primary WINS server has returned a negative name response, indicating that it cannot resolve the name, and the configured secondary WINS Server has returned a positive name response and resolved the name for the client. At this point, the client will switch its configuration to use the secondary WINS server as its preferred server.


The resolution for the above problem depends on the type of WINS client as specified below:

Windows NT version 4.0 Service Pack 3

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack

Any other WINS client

Configure the client so that its primary and secondary WINS Servers are replication partners with each other.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 4.


WINS clients can be configured with a primary and secondary WINS server in their TCP/IP properties. This article discusses an issue where the client will register successfully with its primary WINS server, then it sends a name query to the primary and either receives no response or a negative name response. At this point, the client will send the request to its secondary WINS server and receives a positive name response that causes the client to switch the primary and secondary WINS servers so that the client now uses the original secondary as its primary. If you view the TCP/IP properties on the client it will still show the original configuration; however, if you view the TCP/IP configuration through either Ipconfig.exe or Winipcfg.exe it will display the WINS servers switched.

This will cause problems if you have a secondary WINS server across a Wide Area Network (WAN) connection. After the server settings are switched, all the name resolution and registration traffic for the client is going across the WAN connection.

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q252511 Statically Configured WINS Client Switches Between Primary and Secondary WINS Servers

Additional query words: flip swap

Keywords : kbnetwork kbWinNT400sp4fix win95
Issue type : kbbug
Technology : kbWinNTsearch kbWinNTWsearch kbWinNTW400 kbWinNTW400search kbWinNT351xsearch kbWinNT350xsearch kbWinNT400xsearch kbWinNTW350 kbWinNTW350xsearch kbWinNTW351xsearch kbWinNTW351 kbWinNTW310 kbWinNTSsearch kbWinNTS400xsearch kbWinNTS400 kbWinNTS351 kbWinNTS350 kbWinNTS310 kbWinNTAdvSerSearch kbWinNTAdvServ310 kbNTTermServ400 kbNTTermServSearch kbWinNTS351xsearch kbWinNTS350xsearch kbWinNTS310xsearch kbAudDeveloper kbWin95search kbWinNT310xSearch kbWinNTW310Search kbZNotKeyword kbTCPIPSearch kbWFWSearch kbZNotKeyword3 kbNetworkClientSearch kbWFW311 kbNetworkClient300DOS kbTCPIP311 kbTCPIP311a kbTCPIP311b

Last Reviewed: May 8, 2001
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