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View Poll Results: What is your Node Type (only enter Unknown if the IPCONFIG output states "Unknown")
Broadcast 4 12.50%
Peer 2 6.25%
Mixed 1 3.13%
Hybrid 8 25.00%
Unknown 16 50.00%
Something else 1 3.13%
Voters: 32. This poll is closed

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Old 16th June 2006   #1
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TCP/IP Node type and network neighbourhood


I think there may be an issue with an XP TCP/IP setting that is causing problems with Network Neighbourhood. It is the Node Type. Node type determines how a computer discovers other computers on the local network. Getting the setting right can make quite a difference to performance when browsing the network in Network Neighbour. Possible node types are:

B-node: Broadcast - no WINS
P-node: Peer - WINS only.
M-node: Mixed - broadcast, then WINS
H-node: Hybrid - WINS, then broadcast

Many XP systems appear to be set to "Unknown".

Therefore, I am interested to see what your Node Type is set to. To find the node type your computer is set to, enter IPCONFIG /ALL at the command prompt. Node type is listed in the output. Can you please enter your node type in the poll. Also helpful would be a note saying what:
  • The node type
  • The operating system
  • Number of PCs on network
  • How you connect to the internet (router, modem, or proxy server)
  • If you are using DHCP, which device are you using to give out the IP address (server or router)

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Old 16th June 2006   #2
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Reggie you may be on to something.

First one I checked was my desktop.

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : crusher
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : knology.net

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : knology.net
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PCI
Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-0E-A6-AB-2D-B4
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.110
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 69.1.30.10
69.1.30.11
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Friday, June 16, 2006 7:34:39 AM
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Monday, January 18, 2038 10:14:07 PM

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Old 16th June 2006   #3
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Screen shot of Advanced TCP/IP settings

Attached Images:
File Type: jpg netbios.JPG (37.6 KB, 43 views)
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Old 18th June 2006   #4
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I'm at home now, and my Win 2000 system picks up IP from a Netgear router. The Node Type is broadcast, which is what I'd expect (Broadcast was the default setting in NT4 too).

The Microsoft network way of doing things since Windows 2000 server and active directory, is that name resolution is done via DNS. It is core to both 2000 and 2003 server networks. However, it appears that there are still systems using NetBIOS for name resolution - the obvious app being Network Neighbourhood.

On business networks (where most XP networking is done and tested) there is a local DNS server. On SOHO (Small office, Home office) networks there is rarely a local DNS server. That means all there is for automatic local name resolution is NetBIOS. And for this to work seamlessly, node type needs to be broadcast, mixed or hybrid.

Unfortunately, I can't find a way to set the node type other than with a registry hack.

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Old 18th June 2006   #5
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Node type ....................................(XP) = Unknown - (w98) = Broadcast
Number of devices in Network ........XP, w98, HP2610 networked printer.
How you connect to the Internet ....Router.
DHCP Enabled ...............................Yes -- IP issued by router.

Above network was setup / running Network Neighborhood.
Network is stable, can ping using IP address and computername.
DHCP is set to auto ... but ...
I use the following router features ... "Reserve IP" to forced an assigned IP address to computer NIC based on it's MAC value. This eliminates IP address assignment based on starting order of attached devices.
IP allocation range is restricted to the 3 consecutive IP addresses in use by above devices.
With the above router settings, the network works under DHCP active/auto, but I have the management and security luxury of static.

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Old 19th June 2006   #6
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Thanks Dennis
Originally Posted by Dennis L
I use the following router features ... "Reserve IP" to forced an assigned IP address to computer NIC based on it's MAC value. This eliminates IP address assignment based on starting order of attached devices.
That's an interesting comment. My experience is that once a system has discovered another PC via NetBIOS, it is fairly good at remembering it, as long as the IP address remains the same. I think the problem will be most apparent when:
  • The network is first created
  • A new PC is added to the network
  • IP addresses change
  • Something causes the NetBIOS name cache to be reset (so that the system has to rediscover the names on the network
I have a gut feeling that a recent MS update has caused the NetBIOS name cache to be reset, and that is why we got a sudden burst of users complaining that they couldn't see computers in Network Neighbourhood any more.

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Old 19th June 2006   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReggieB
... My experience is that once a system has discovered another PC via NetBIOS, it is fairly good at remembering it, as long as the IP address remains the same. ...
When all devices on my network are powered off and then powered up, it seems to be a an "odds game" per (previous) IP assignment. No rhyme or reason ... sometimes it would get assigned the same number, sometimes not. Many folks will power-up devices in a certain order to achieve a preferred IP address... but for myself this also was hit or miss. The primary reason I use "Reserve IP" is for my HP network printer ... Print spooler unable to connect to printer. HP creates a static IP/devicename in the Host file during install. If "printer" IP addresses changes at anytime, HP software does not have the ability to update the HOST file, thus causes the error and your printer does not work. To resolve this, I use the router to always assign same IP based on printers MAC and for extra measure have HP software set device address as static to same IP address (printers always asks for same IP, router reserves said IP).
Hardware question ...
If a NIC card loses power, will this flush out any IP address memory? This could be caused by two situations. Power grid outages and folks who use a power strip and term power via power strip.

MEMO
The above HP URL link is like most long threads. Solutions are varied and well hidden in numerious suggestions. If you use supplied URL thread to resolve your HP printer issue, please read all the posts.


Last edited by Dennis L; 19th June 2006 at 19:03.
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Old 19th June 2006   #8
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DHCP uses a lease system. Most systems define a lease period of a few days. You only have to change IP address if your lease run out. Most of the time your systems will renew the lease before it runs out. So you keep the same IP address. Also, the DHCP will remember which IP addresses were given out to which MAC address device, and endeavour to assign it to the same device.

However, all this assumes that the DHCP server is always on and therefore can maintain a memory of what has happened. As soon as you start powering off the DHCP server, all this goes to pot.

I guess that until widespread use of broadband (last couple of years) there weren't that many small networks with routers. Certainly very few home networks had them. Now everyone seems to have them, and only now is that showing that some old network rules of thumb don't work anymore.

For your printer issues, the simplest thing to do is the use an IP address outside the DHCP range. When DHCP is set up, it is rarely configured to use the whole subnet. Commonly DHCP hands out addresses from 100 to 200, so in this example you can assign static IP addresses in the range 1 to 100, or 201 to 254 without them conflicting the addresses handed out by DHCP.

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Old 19th June 2006   #9
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Originally Posted by ReggieB
For your printer issues, the simplest thing to do is the use an IP address outside the DHCP range. When DHCP is set up, it is rarely configured to use the whole subnet. Commonly DHCP hands out addresses from 100 to 200, so in this example you can assign static IP addresses in the range 1 to 100, or 201 to 254 without them conflicting the addresses handed out by DHCP.
HP install program auto-created printer IP (and associated Host file) "inside the DHCP range". Possible user could use "printers firmware accessible from printer panel) " to use an IP "outside the DHCP range", including "static IP option". BUT this would have to be done BEFORE install and then hoping HP install process looks to printer and use the options you chose. If not, you will end up with same error, which has haunted many a HP user. Some problems have more than one solution. Using features common to most routers has allowed me to manage my network IP addresses without going inside XP's network tools. Something I would prefer not messing with.

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Old 19th June 2006   #10
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Well, after an evening playing with an XP Pro laptop and Ethereal on my home network, I have reached a conclusion:

I don't think the node type being set to "Unknown" is a problem.

I have played with the setting by creating a *.reg file with the following setting:
Code:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NetBT\Parameters]
"DhcpNodeType"=dword:00000000
Running that reg file and rebooting, resulted in my laptop being set to "Node Type: Unknown" in IPCONFIG /ALL. Setting the dword to 00000008 set the node back to Hybrid (as it was previously set).

So I was able to control the registered node type.

Attached is a screen shot of an Ethereal capture while Node Type was set to "Unknown". As you can see, even though the Node Type is not set, the system is broadcasting out for NetBIOS name resolution (both at layer 2 {ff ff ff ff ff ff} and at layer 3 {192.168.1.255}) and resolving a NetBIOS names.

So I think I may have been chasing a Red Herring.

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File Type: jpg Ethereal.jpg (111.2 KB, 19 views)
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Old 19th June 2006   #11
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Originally Posted by Scott Smith
Reggie you may be on to something.

First one I checked was my desktop.

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : crusher
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
Before I finally give up on this line of investigation there is another thing to check. Is the dword I've been playing with only one of those required to NetBIOS to work properly? My system has had NetBIOS set up via a DHCP setting. I'm not sure that is the case with a fresh XP install that has never had a node type set.

Scott,
Attached is a screen shot of my registry showing the NetBIOS over TCP section. Do you have similar settings?

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File Type: jpg registry.jpg (70.9 KB, 18 views)
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Old 19th June 2006   #12
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ReggieB

My Reg file is identical to yours with "one exception".
Your file containes DhcpNodeType, mine does not.

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Old 20th June 2006   #13
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Heres mine Reggie

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Old 20th June 2006   #14
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Quote:
HP install program auto-created printer IP (and associated Host file) "inside the DHCP range". Possible user could use "printers firmware accessible from printer panel) " to use an IP "outside the DHCP range", including "static IP option". BUT this would have to be done BEFORE install and then hoping HP install process looks to printer and use the options you chose. If not, you will end up with same error, which has haunted many a HP user. Some problems have more than one solution. Using features common to most routers has allowed me to manage my network IP addresses without going inside XP's network tools. Something I would prefer not messing with.
Dennis,
This is a little off subject but I never use the HP software except for the driver.
I set the printer with a static IP (Out of the DHCP scope) and then create new printer, local printer, create port, TCP/IP port, type in static IP, port is created then load printer driver pointing to that port.

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Old 20th June 2006   #15
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Reggie I'm not sure when I will get in this situation again but I would like to try forcing the "Enable Netbios over TCP/IP" and see what happens.

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