Wrangling NetBIOS With the nbtstat Utility

choubertsprojects

VPN offers!

1. NordVPN

2. Surfshark

3. ExpressVPN

NetBIOS is an acronym for Network Basic Input/Output System. It was originally a Microsoft Windows networking protocol that allowed machines to talk with each other in order to share resources and communicate on the network. The nbtstat utility can help you identify netbios-related issues, including what version of NetBios services your machine is running.,

NetBIOS is a protocol that allows computers to share resources. The nbtstat utility can be used to wrangle NetBIOS with the help of command-line options. Read more in detail here: what is netbios.

Wrangling NetBIOS With the nbtstat Utility

If you’re having problems with NetBIOS name resolution, troubleshooting might be difficult. But did you know there’s a tool that might assist you in troubleshooting these issues? The nbtstat command-line utility is this tool.

You’ll learn how to get NetBIOS statistics using the nbtstat software in this tutorial. The findings may then be used to diagnose NetBIOS name resolution issues and perhaps lead to solutions.

Let’s dust up our command-line talents and get to work!

Do You Still Require a WINS Server?

Prerequisites

If you want to participate in the practical portion, make sure you have the following items:

  • A computer running Windows 10 or Windows Server 2012 or later versions. The Windows 1909 version with OS Build 18363 will be used in this article.
  • We’ll be utilizing an elevated CMD prompt (run as admin) throughout this post, and we’ll assume you already have one open. If you want, you may utilize an elevated PowerShell session.

How to Run PowerShell as an Administrator is a related topic.

Using the nbtstat command

nbtstat is an external command-line application that displays name tables for local and distant devices in a network and enumerates NetBIOS information. When debugging NetBIOS connections and name resolution difficulties, nbtstat offers switches that come in helpful.

Obtaining Assistance

Knowing that you have a support system to turn to is crucial in any endeavor, particularly when you’re at your wit’s end. Fortunately, nbtstat comes with a built-in help system.

Run the command below on the command prompt to get the nbtstat help.

As a consequence, you should get something like the output below, which shows the various changes as well as the explanation.

Obtaining nbstat assistanceObtaining nbstat assistance

nbtstat provides an online manual in addition to the built-in help!

The NetBIOS Name Table of a Remote Machine

It’s worth noting that the nbtstat switches are case-sensitive. The switch -a is not the same as the switch -A.

You can list a distant machine’s NetBIOS name table by running nbtstat with the -a switch. When using this option, be sure to include the name of the remote computer in the command.

Run the command below on the command prompt to show the NetBIOS name table of DESKTOP-7F4L706.

DESKTOP-7F4L706 nbtstat -a

As a consequence, as seen below, the machine table displays the remote device name, registration status, and if the devices are members of any workgroups.

Using the -a switch to display the NetBIOS name tableUsing the -a switch to display the NetBIOS name table

The -A switch shows the same information as the -B switch. You must give the remote computer’s IP address instead of the machine name at the end of this switch. If the name of the distant machine cannot be resolved, this option might be beneficial.

Run the command below on the command prompt to show the NetBIOS name table of the remote system at 192.168.1.111.

The effect is the same as when the -a switch is used, as seen below.

Using the -a switch to display the NetBIOS name tableUsing the -a switch to display the NetBIOS name table

The Name Table of the Local Machine is shown.

Using the nbtstat command with the -n option enumerates your local PC’s NetBIOS name table (locally). The -n option also determines whether the named devices were registered by broadcast or via a name server.

Run the command below on the command prompt to see the local machine name table.

You should get something like this, which shows you the local machine name table.

The Table of Local Machine Names is being shown.The Table of Local Machine Names is being shown.

The NetBIOS Remote Name Cache is shown.

The -c option displays a list of the NetBIOS remote name cache’s contents. The name cache is a memory area where NetBIOS names and their IP addresses are stored.

This option basically shows the machine name cache as well as their IP addresses. Run the command below in the CMD to see the NetBIOS name cache.

The output reveals the NetBIOS names and their respective IP addresses, as shown below.

The NetBIOS Remote Name Cache is shown.The NetBIOS Remote Name Cache is shown.

If you use the -c option, you can get a ‘no host name response,’ which means there are no listed or resolved names in the NetBIOS name cache. This is a regular occurrence in contemporary networks that do not employ name servers like WINS.

Statistic on NetBIOS Name Resolution and Registration

When monitoring NetBIOS name resolution statistics, the nbtstat -r option is often used. The -r option displays the total number of NetBIOS names converted to TCP/IP addresses.

The names resolved by broadcast appear first, followed by names resolved by a name server in the result, which is split by the mechanism of name resolution and registration.

Type the command below in the CMD to see the NetBIOS name resolution statistics.

You should see something that looks quite similar to the output below, which contains all of the information regarding name resolution and names that have been registered.

The data for NetBIOS name resolution are shown.The data for NetBIOS name resolution are shown.

The -r flag is required for troubleshooting WINS server setup issues. When the number of devices resolved and registered via a name server is consistently zero, despite a connection to a name server being available, this is a frequent sign of a problem.

The switch -r also displays a list of all NetBIOS unique names and their Hex IDs, depending on how they were registered and resolved.

NetBIOS Sessions are shown on the screen.

The -s switch shows the client and server NetBIOS sessions. A table translating the target IP address to the computer’s NetBIOS name appears as a result.

The -S switch, on the other hand, shows both workstation and server sessions of remote devices based only on the destination IP address.

Both of these switches do not need a value to be entered. Run the lines below at the command prompt to see the NetBIOS session.

As you can see in the screenshots below, both commands return No Connections, indicating that there are no active NetBIOS sessions.

NetBIOS Sessions are shown on the screen.NetBIOS Sessions are shown on the screen.

Continuously displaying NetBIOS statistics

Assume you wish to track a certain NetBIOS metric over time. You don’t have to manually perform the nbtstat command every time to do this. The display will automatically update if you attach the interval (seconds) you wish to the nbtstat command.

Run the line below on the command prompt to refresh the NetBIOS sessions every 30 seconds, for example.

To terminate the interval loop, hit CTRL+C to stop showing the statistics.

NetBIOS Name Cache Cleaning

In cases where NetBIOS name cache entries appear to be wrong, you may correct the problem by NetBIOS Name Cache Cleaning.

Administrators may delete the NetBIOS name cache by running nbtstat with the -r argument before reloading appropriately named entries from the Lmhosts file.

Run the command below on the command prompt to cleanse the name cache table.

The intended effect after cleansing the name cache table is shown in the image below.

The name cache table is being purged.The name cache table is being purged.

NetBIOS Names Are Being Released And Refreshed

The nbtstat -RR command releases and then refreshes NetBIOS names for WINS-registered local computers.

Type the command below in your CMD and examine the result to refresh and release the NetBIOS names.

The anticipated result after refreshing the NetBIOS names that the machine registered is shown in the example below.

NetBIOS Names Are Being Released And RefreshedNetBIOS Names Are Being Released And Refreshed

Conclusion

Although the nbtstat program is an outdated tool, it is essential when working with NetBIOS. You learnt how to use nbtstat and its numerous switches to get information about NetBIOS in this tutorial.

You can eliminate the guesswork in troubleshooting using nbtstat and begin examining NetBIOS statistics based on data. Do you believe you’d use this tool, or do you think there’s a better option?

The “nbtstat vs netstat” is a debate that has been floating around for some time. The nbtstat utility allows users to see the NetBIOS information on a computer.

Related Tags

  • nbtstat command
  • nbtstat -a ip
  • nbtstat r
  • which switch with nbtstat command switch shows the netbios name table cache?
  • check netbios