Windows XP (2000, Vista) On An NT Domain

If you're attaching a computer running Windows 2000, XP, or Vista, to a LAN with Windows NT systems, you may have a problem logging in to the domain, or accessing domain resources, if both the client computer and the domain aren't setup properly.

Windows 2000, XP, and Vista use DNS to locate Domain Controllers. If DNS is not configured properly, a computer will waste time waiting for a DNS query to timeout, then try NT4 NetBIOS (i.e., WINS) to locate a Domain Controller. See the Microsoft articles How Domain Controllers Are Located in Windows, or How Domain Controllers Are Located in Windows XP, for more information.

These specific instructions are known to apply to Server 2003; for Server 2000, or for NT server, details may differ.

  1. Ensure that the clients are all configured to use the domain DNS server. If you're using DHCP on your LAN, the DHCP server should provide the address of the domain DNS server, not your ISP's DNS server(s). If you're not using DHCP, each client should provide the address of the domain DNS server individually.
  2. Whether you use DHCP or not, don't specify your ISP's DNS server as a backup to your domain DNS server. If you're using DNS for name resolution, your ISP won't have your local addresses.
  3. Check Properties for the DNS server Forward Lookup Zone.
    • On the General tab, ensure the domain DNS server is configured to permit dynamic updates.
    • On the Name Servers tab, ensure the DNS server points to itself as a DNS server.
  4. Check Properties for the DNS server. For internet address resolution, specify your ISP's DNS server(s) in the Forwarders tab of the DNS server.
  5. When you have done all of the above, and if all of your computers can do so consistently, then you can use SMBs Directly Hosted Over IP.

You may find more information in additional Microsoft articles:

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Lee said...

Thanks for the info. My particular problem was that I've been using my lil SOHO router for DHCP and I set it up to hand out IP address based on MAC addresses... But unfortunately it doesn't hand out DNS server configuration, or at least, what it hands out is not configurable on the web interface. I opened TCP/IP properties on the computer I was running NETDIAG on, set the DNS location appropriately, and voila, no more error.

Your guide helped point me in the right direction. Thanks again,, albeit years after your original post. ;)