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Windows 7 DNS Resolver/NetBios Stops Functioning

I've had this problem a few times and I've had to look up the quick work around more than once so I thought I'd write up a quick article on it.

The symptom is that browsing and general internet activities will function fine.  However, access to local servers on the LAN (especially those on different subnets) will completely fail.

  • ping <system> (Fails)
  • nslookup <system> <local dns resolver> (Works)
  • nbtstat -a <system> (Fails)
  • nbtstat -r (Fails, does not contain system desired)
  • ipconfig /all shows node type not "Hybrid".

So, this tells us that DNS itself is working just fine.  But the rest of the things that make local LAN resolution function, are definitely not.  If you haven't done so already, the first thing you should be doing is checking your Windows logs and /etc/hosts file (Google it) and running malware/spyware/virus scans as this is a fairly common action of those badies, you might even have a look at arp poisoning (again, Google it) and see if it applies.

Assuming all those come up okay, you can probably temporarily resolve it as follows:

ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /registerdns
ipconfig /displaydns

You can also throw in this for good measure:

netsh interface ip delete arpcache 
nbtstat -R 
There's a good chance this will get you back up and running.  However, these do not change anything and thus, will probably only resolve this temporarily.

For a more permanent fix, try the following MSKB article.  This details a registry related change that may help resolve this.  As with any KB, you need to make sure it applies to your system, in short, read the whole thing before you just haul off and apply.  You can find it here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/903267/en-us

Torry Crass

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