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

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Wed Nov 3 16:25:52 GMT 1999


I'm going to keep this.  I'd be interested to see what you get for NT4
(and if it changes per service pack).

I asked Paul Leach about this at the 2nd CIFS conference and he gave me a
long explanation about the mechanics of the decision of how the name would
be handled.  There are guesses involved in the is it a DNS or NetBIOS name
question.  At the time, MS were fairly certain that NetBIOS names were
essentially the same as DNS names.  Paul told me he really didn't know 
that much about DNS anyway.

Chris -)-----

> Hi,
> 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.
> Regards
> -------
> 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

             -- I have a shoehorn, the kind with teeth. --
Christopher R. Hertel -)-----                   University of Minnesota
crh at              Networking and Telecommunications Services

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