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I just added a Windows 2012 server to my domain (decomisioning an old Win2003 DC). I added DHCP and DNS roles no problem, but I cannot find WINS

When I look at services I see WINS is already running. Strange...why?

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Why would you need or want to use WINS? – joeqwerty Jan 6 '13 at 16:23
Looks like I have no choice..WINS is already running. Are you suggesting I stop the service? – Telium Jan 6 '13 at 16:29
I'm asking you why it is that you would want or need to run WINS. If the WINS server Feature is already running and you don't want or need it then uninstall that Feature. – joeqwerty Jan 6 '13 at 16:54
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If WINS is already installed, run mmc.exe. Click on Add/Remove Snap-in. Add the snap-in for WINS.

WINS is very crusty and Microsoft probably wishes it could ditch it, but there are many customers out there who still rely on it... unfortunately.

Oh and if you mean to install WINS, it's in the Features list, not Roles.

When I look at services I see WINS is already running. Strange...why?

My only guess is that you upgraded this DC in place from an older version of Windows Server that already had WINS on it. Server 2012 doesn't install WINS by default in a fresh installation.

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Actually this is a fresh new install, on a new VM. But its there! (I installed DNS, so perhaps WINS now installs with DNS) – Telium Jan 7 '13 at 0:26
Nope... I don't have WINS on my Server 2012 DNS servers either... I don't know why you have it on your installation. In any case, if it's installed, the mmc snapin should let you manage it. But as everyone else has already said, if you don't need it, get rid of it. Remove it via Server Manager or Remove-WindowsFeature in Powershell. – Ryan Ries Jan 7 '13 at 0:37
But in server manager there is no ROLE or FEATURE called WINS (or Windows Internet naming Service) – Telium Jan 7 '13 at 15:40
@Michelle Yes there is. – Ryan Ries Jan 7 '13 at 18:33

You dont need WINS at all. You should be able to stop the service and have no problems on your network because all the informations needed for the clients are comming from DHCP

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This answer is incomplete at best. Do you mean that the DNS servers are being assigned via DHCP and therefore the assigned DNS servers will perform name resolution for the clients? If so, it's an assumption that the OP is using DHCP and secondly, you should expand your answer to include this information. Saying that "all the informations needed for the clients are comming from DHCP" doesn't mean anything and assumes a network configuration that hasn't been explicitly stated. – joeqwerty Jan 6 '13 at 17:06
I'll disagree with that type of blanket statement. Indeed there are still some cases where WINS is needed (unfortunately). – mdpc Jan 7 '13 at 0:11

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