Accessing computer via its name, rather than its IP address?

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by John, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. John

    John Guest


    I'm not that sure what I'm asking here, which doesn't help... but

    I access the internet via a proxy server, and up until now, I have used the
    name of the computer (that has the proxy software running on it) to access
    the services via the proxy server, instead of typing in the IP address of
    the computer. Just recently this has stopped working and now I can only
    access the proxy server by using its IP address. Now this isn't a problem,
    but I jsut wondered if anyone on here could suggest why I cannot use the
    computer's name anymore? As far as I know, nothing has changed and the
    computer's name is 'SERVER'. Does anyone know why this doesn't work anymore
    and how I might get it working again?

    John, Feb 21, 2005
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  2. John

    John Guest

    Oooppss sorry, I forgot to say the whole system is running Windows XP

    John, Feb 21, 2005
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  3. John

    Conor Guest

    Welcome to Windows XP. Sounds like the Computer Browser service is
    borked. Basically all the computers on the LAN elect a Master Browser.
    The Master Browser keeps a record of whats where. Now and again it
    falls over and you end up with more than one computer as the master

    To see if this is the problem open a command prompt on each and type...

    nbtstat -n

    The line you are looking for is

    ...__MSBROWSE__ (etc)

    On the whole LAN there should only be one computer that has that line
    at any one time. If more than one machine has the line then the Master
    Browser elect process has failed.

    You can solve it two ways...

    1) Stop the Computer Browser service on all computers save the server.
    2) Add a line to the HOSTS file....

    <server IP address> SERVER

    i.e SERVER
    Conor, Feb 22, 2005
  4. John

    NBT Guest

    Conor wrote:
    Question:- Is this command supposed to be available in Xp or is it just
    an NT or maybe XP Pro executable.
    We have a couple of machines on a home "network" running XP Home SP2 and
    nbstat.exe is not on either of these machines.
    John doesn't say which version of XP he is running.
    NBT, Feb 22, 2005
  5. John

    Lurch Guest

    That's because it's nbtstat. If you try spelling it correctly and it
    still doesn't work then it's probably only available in XP pro.
    There's a lot of networking stuff that's dropped from XP home as it's
    not designed for doing much networking with.
    Lurch, Feb 22, 2005
  6. John

    NBT Guest

    LOL..Shocking when I can't even recognise my own initials.It is
    available in XP Home.

    nbt (perhaps needing a trip to specsavers)
    NBT, Feb 22, 2005
  7. John

    Conor Guest

    Its in XP Home..thats what I used to check the -n switch.
    Conor, Feb 22, 2005
  8. John

    Conor Guest

    nbtstat....and I tried it on XP Home SP2.
    Conor, Feb 22, 2005
  9. I've got XP Home and it *is* there. I've been caught out by that one before
    now: the "nb" stands for "NetBIOS", as used by the older WINS name service
    used by Win 9x, and I presume that the "t" stands for "table".
    Martin Underwood, Feb 22, 2005
  10. John

    Alex Fraser Guest

    nbtstat = N(et)B(IOS) (over) T(CP/IP) stat(us).

    Alex Fraser, Feb 22, 2005
  11. John

    Ernest Bilko Guest

    Not a complex issue at all --- problem is I am not exactly sure what
    you want. Normally a proxy server address is set up in the web browser
    -- in Internet Explorer this is under Tools - Internet Option--
    Connection --- Lan settings -- proxy and it retains these settings.

    Normally to reffer to any computer by name without using DNS all it
    needs is an entry in the host file - the hosts just contains a list of
    IP address and computer names you should have a sample hosts file on
    your computer but the easy way to maintain its to download a freeware
    program called hostess a run this to create your hosts file.
    Ernest Bilko, Feb 22, 2005
  12. I think he was wondering why he used to be able to access the server by name
    (with IE's proxy set to the server name and with no hosts entry), suggesting
    that name resolution was working, but that recently the name mapping is no
    longer working. Yes, he could set the browser to point to the server's IP
    address or he could create a static entry in hosts, but if it used to work
    without these workarounds, why isn't it any more.
    Martin Underwood, Feb 22, 2005
  13. John

    Lurch Guest

    I wouldn't worry, I confused myself the other week when trying to use
    nbtstat and was getting strange results. Turned out, I was having an
    'off day' as I was getting the switches and results of nbstat nbtstat
    confused. I gave up and just rebooted instead!
    Lurch, Feb 23, 2005
  14. John

    Lurch Guest

    Because it's Windows XP. It does that, I hate it, the smug little
    Lurch, Feb 23, 2005
  15. John

    [ste parker] Guest

    I have had exactly the same thing happen to me (between XP Home and
    Pro), and I gave up trying to find out why in the end and just map
    network drives to the IP addresses when I need to.
    [ste parker], Feb 23, 2005
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