How to Enable WINS Proxy Agent in Windows NT 4.0

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Article ID: 164765 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q164765
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In Windows NT 3.5x, the Window Internet Name Service (WINS) Proxy Agent can be enabled through the TCP/IP properties in the Network Control Panel. In Windows NT 4.0, the WINS Proxy Agent cannot be enabled in the Network Control Panel, but can be enabled by changing a registry setting.


A network administrator can designate one or two WINS-enabled computer for each subnet to be WINS Proxy Agents in a local subnet if a WINS server is not available on the local subnet. The Proxy Agent helps resolve name queries for non-WINS enabled computers (b-node) in routed TCP/IP intranets.

Non-WINS enabled computers use IP broadcasts for name queries. The Proxy Agent listens on the local subnet for IP broadcast name queries and resolves the name queries by either using the local cached name-to-IP- address mappings or, if the name is not found in the cache, by forwarding the query to a WINS server and returning the replies to the client. The WINS Proxy Agent can query a WINS server across a router. Because the WINS server does not respond to broadcasts, a computer configured as a WINS Proxy Agent should be installed on a subnet that contains computers that use broadcasts for name resolution.

For more information, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge base:
ARTICLE-ID: 121004
TITLE : WINS Proxy Agent Functionality
For additional information on WINS and the WINS proxy functionality, please see the following white paper available on the Microsoft anonymous ftp server:
File Name: Tcpipimp2.doc
Location :
In Windows NT 3.51, to configure a computer as a WINS Proxy Agent, check the "Enable WINS Proxy Agent" box in the Advanced properties of the TCP/IP protocol in the Network Control Panel.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

In Windows NT 4.0, you must manually change the following registry parameter to 1 to enable the WINS Proxy Agent:

   Value Name: EnableProxy
   Value Type: REG_DWORD
   Values: Boolean (0 or 1)
   Default: 0

Restart the computer after changing this registry setting, and the WINS Proxy Agent will be enabled.


Article ID: 164765 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
kbhowto kbnetwork kbui KB164765

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