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I have two suubnets... All of the workstations on these subnets point to one Windows Server 2003 DNS. Windows Server 2003 supports forwarding unknown DNS requests to a WINS server. If I setup a WINS server, would this allow me to support file sharing and printer sharing across these two subnets, without having to manually specify the WINS server on each client workstation?

Let me know if this makes sense or not... And thanks in advance for any help, it's greatly appreciated!

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yes we worked this way for a long time, before Win2000+ DNS which has dynamic update. Can you cut WINS out of the picture and just use DNS? Servers register themselves, then clients use DNS to resolve the servers. Probably all have to use the same DNS suffix to get short name resolution; otherwise have to use FQDN e.g.

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Excellent, thanks for your help! – Matt McCormick Jul 29 '09 at 14:40

The only reason to use WINS these days is if you have any legacy apps that require WINS name resolution, otherwise it's cleaner and easier for you to just go pure DNS. (Although admittedly from some of Microsoft's documentation you could be forgiven for thinking you need both WINS and DNS). You can accomplish exactly what you want by just using DNS.

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