Connection via a Router to a NT Domain Server

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 24 March 2001 / Last Updated on 24 March 2001]

When a Windows95/98 or WindowsNT4 system is connected on the same network-cable as
the domain-server, then the system will know the IP-address of the domain-server from the
workgroup/domain broadcasts (example: Pc#1 and #2 in the drawing below)


If your system (example in the above drawing: PC#3,4,5) is connected to a different
network segment, which is connected via a router to the server-segment, then your system
will not know the IP-address of the Domain-server, because broadcast messages are
NOT passed through routers.

But to logon, you need to define the Domain-server:


Your system needs to know on how to "find the way" to the server and to the Domain-
controller (which could be the same, but could be different systems).

First, configure your TCP/IP with the proper Gateway/Router information and verify
using PING with the IP-address, that you have a connection to your server.

Then you need a Translation service to convert a name (like the Domain-server name)
to an IP-address. That could be a DNS-server, if your Domain-server is also configured
as a DNS-server.

For a configuration without a DNS-server, you can define this name-translation manually
by defining them in LMHOSTS:
Look on Windows95/98 in your WINDOWS-directory, on NT4 in Windows\system32\drivers\etc
for the file LMHOSTS (if it does not exist, look for the file LMHOSTS.SAM and make a copy
calling the copy LMHOSTS)
, then edit LMHOSTS:
I use on purpose the DOS-EDIT in a Command-Windows ("DOS-box"):


scroll to the end of the file, add first the IP-address of the server and the servername
(example: 192.90.1.1 <tab-key> server-name)
Enter the IP-address of your domain-server, followed by the Domain-Name:
A domain-name is identified to have as 16.th character ( the NetBIOS Suffix ) a
hexadecimal values of 0x1c.
To enter such a name, put the full name in quotation makes, type first the domain-name,
fill it up with blanks to 15 characters, then add \0x1c.

More information on these special codes in LMHOSTS is available in the Microsoft
Knowledge base:
- Q150800 : Domain Browsing with TCP/IP and LMHOSTS Files
- Q180094 : How to Write an LMHOSTS File for Domain Validation and Other Name Resolution Issues
- Q163409 : NetBIOS Suffixes (16th Character of the NetBIOS Name )

(to make it easy, I added above the ip-address lines a comment-lines counting character positions
(# 1234567890123456), using it as a guide when typing the domain-name with EXACTLY 16 characters,
and using the DOS-editor, I do not have to bother with windows-fonts with variable-width characters)


If you prefer to work with NOTEPAD:

make sure it used a fixed-width font.

On NT4 I got on some systems
this display of NOTEPAD:
On NT4, select fromthe menu
"Edit" to "Set Font"
then select the fixed-width
font "Fixedsys" to change
the font for easy alignment
of columns.

Unless LMHOSTS, which is immediately ready-for -use after an update, you will either
have to reboot or run the command: "nbtstat -R" (very important: CAPITAL R)
to make the new values in LMHOSTS active.

To verify that the information is stored properly, you can run the command: "nbtstat -c".

You should be able to logon to your domain-server via the routers.

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