Interesting Win95 behaviour if dots in NetBIOS name and name is 15 chars long

Richard Sharpe sharpe at
Tue Nov 2 18:42:08 GMT 1999


in responding to a query on the linux.samba newsgroup about not being able
to connect to a server with a NetBIOS name with dot in it, I checked out a
few things.

Because the example posted had a NetBIOS name of 15 characters with dots in
it, I tried the same, and watched what was happening with Ethereal.

I checked with pings and other things.

When I ping, Win95 sends out a DNS lookup request for the name,, and after the timeout, then send some sort of SMBtrans
/pipe/LANMAN requests to a variety of addresses, and then, after a long
time, tries an NBNS lookup, which works.

If I try to browse the server, Win95 puts up a warning
message very quickly saying The computer or sharename could not be found.

However, if the netbios name is 14 chacters long then everything works OK.

Richard Sharpe, sharpe at, Master Linux Administrator :-),
Samba (Team member,, Ethereal (Team member,
Co-author, SAMS Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours
Author: First Australian 5-day, intensive, hands-on Linux SysAdmin course

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