Tech Tips / Windows NT / Networking

Optimizing the WINS Cache

Name resolution must take place for a PC to access computers on a network. Most NT networks have a WINS server, which performs the necessary conversions and maintains a cache of all NetBIOS names.

By default the NetBIOS name stays in the cache for 10 minutes (600,000 milliseconds). You can employ a simple registry edit to increase the amount of time that the NetBIOS name remains in the cache, which can help reduce overhead caused by NetBIOS name resolution. Using Regedt32, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\NetBT\Parameters\CacheTimeout. Change the Cache timeout value to 900,000 (milliseconds), or 15 minutes.

Note: Please remember that editing your registry can be risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before you begin.

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