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I've got some general slight network errors on a network. As part of testing I've discovered that I can't ping the netbios name of the site.

Ping mydomain


Ping request could not find host mydomain. Please check the name and try again.

But if I ping the FQDN there is no problem.

Any idea why that would be?

I've checked DNS and that seems to be fine. We are not using WINS - but internet searching seems to indicate that is only needed when trying to ping a NETBIOS name across different subnets - we are not doing that.

BTW, pinging the NETBIOS names of individual machines - including the DCs works fine.

share|improve this question
What do nslookup queries on your host and clients for that machine name turn up? – Bart Silverstrim Jun 23 '11 at 11:52
What does NBTSTAT -n tell you on the host and client computers? And ipconfig /all? Can you post those in an update edit? – Bart Silverstrim Jun 23 '11 at 11:58
I completely misread what you're doing. My brain inserted hostname for mydomain. Why are you pinging your domain name?... – Bart Silverstrim Jun 23 '11 at 12:10
Just had some network errors and that was one of the things that failed when I tried - was really wondering why and if it was a symptom of some deeper lying network mis-configuration :) – Kieran Walsh Jun 23 '11 at 12:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

First of all: A domain is not listed in NETBIOS.

As Igal mentioned above, the reason that ping works against the FQDN is because of the round-robin A-records of domain controllers.

I'm guessing that your DNS suffix isnt correct on the client you're using ping from, as it fails to guess wich TLD "mydomain" is under. Please run ipconfig /all and double-check "DNS Suffix Search List".

EDIT: Actually, this only works if your AD domain is in 3 parts or more. I can get it working on one of domains who are named "", but not a domain called "domain.local".

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That's it - works on multi-part domains - but not 2 part. How odd :s Thank You! – Kieran Walsh Jun 23 '11 at 12:41
Good.. remember that this is DNS, the best for you (and the rest of the IT world) is to stop referencing/using netbios/wins where possible. Also, I'm very curious why you need to ping the domain name.. – pauska Jun 23 '11 at 13:02

Pinging is for machines not for doamins (who should answer the pinged domain?). I don't know your exact domain name but here is what is probably happening.

Lets shay your domain name is and you have in the domain etc.

When you do:

ping hosta

Your local machine query the dns for hosta ( and fail) then try to append the domain name so it query for and every thing is fine.

When you ping the domain:

ping mydomain

your machine query the dns form mydomain and fail then try to append the domain name so it query for

and faile again. You local machine should not ( and does not) append the top level domain (e.g com org) to the dns query.

The reason that pinging directly for is that you have an a record in your dns for the address

To sum it up. The dns and ping behavior in your domain are normal and usual.

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Thanks, I see what you are saying, but that is certainly NOT the case in other domains I have access to. I can certainly ping the domain name and get a response from the FQDN of the domain. I've also just checked DNS on those site to make sure there is nothing with the same name as the site's NETBIOS name listed in the forward zone. – Kieran Walsh Jun 23 '11 at 11:28

Try pinging the fqdn of your domain. mydomain.local, or whatever it is. That should work. If you're not running wins, it won't know how to find the netbios name just like you mentioned.

share|improve this answer
Cheers for the answer - I've mentioned that that works in my original question. That is NOT normal though - and I've just re-confirmed on some of my other sites just to make sure that I wasn't going mad :) On other sites if I ping mydomain, I get a response from mydomain.local – Kieran Walsh Jun 23 '11 at 10:10

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