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How to install NetBEUI on Windows XP

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q301041
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


This article describes how to manually install the unsupported NetBIOS Extended User Interface (NetBEUI) protocol on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP. The NetBEUI files must be copied manually from the Windows XP CD-ROM before NetBEUI will appear in the list of installable network protocols. Microsoft has discontinued support for the NetBEUI network protocol in Windows XP. However, it is understandable that migration to another network protocol such as TCP/IP may involve significant time in planning and testing. Therefore, if you want to migrate your system environment to Windows XP by obtaining the full, retail-released version of Windows XP, you can find the NetBEUI protocol on the Windows XP CD-ROM in the Valueadd folder.

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Install NetBEUI on Windows XP

The files that you need for installing the NetBEUI protocol on Windows XP are Netnbf.inf and Nbf.sys. To install NetBEUI, follow these steps:
  1. Insert your Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive and then locate the Valueadd\MSFT\Net\NetBEUI folder.
  2. Copy the Nbf.sys file to the %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\Drivers folder.
  3. Copy the Netnbf.inf file to the %SYSTEMROOT%\Inf hidden folder.

    Note To make a hidden folder viewable, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type Explorer, and then click OK.
    2. Click Tools, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
    3. Under Advanced Settings, click to select Show hidden files and folders under the Hidden files and folders Folder.
  4. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Network Connections.
  5. Right-click the adapter you want to add NetBEUI to, and then click Properties.
  6. On the General tab, click Install.
  7. Click Protocol, and then click Add.
  8. Click to select NetBEUI Protocol from the list and then click OK.
  9. Restart your computer if you are prompted to do this.
The NetBEUI protocol is now installed and working.

Note %SYSTEMROOT% is a Windows environment variable that identifies the folder where Windows XP is installed. (Typically, that folder is C:\Windows.) To view the value that is associated with %SYSTEMROOT%, type set at a command prompt, and then press ENTER. (Other environment values will also be displayed.)

Note After following the steps that are listed earlier in this article, you can use NetBEUI on LAN connections. However, you will not be able to use NetBEUI on a remote access connection. Remote access connections cannot use NetBeui.

For additional information about NetBEUI in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306059 The NetBEUI protocol is not available in Windows XP
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Article ID: 301041 - Last Review: 12/06/2015 03:13:49 - Revision: 3.3

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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