WINS cleanup

The death knell for WINS has been ringing for years, but somehow the technology just keeps hanging on.  If you're running an Active Directory 2003 environment, it's almost guaranteed that WINS is lurking somewhere.  If your AD environment has been around a long time, there's a good chance that the WINS database is cluttered with Expired records that are still listed as Active.  When a record in WINS expires, it is the responsibility of the record owner to tombstone the record and replicate that to its partners.  If the owner no longer exists when the record expires, then the record stays in the WINS database forever.  Depending on your growth and changes over the years, that could be a few hundred or several thousand records bogging down your WINS server and replication.

Fortunately cleanup is easy as 1-2-3.  First determine all the records that are Expired and Active.  On the primary WINS server (assuming you are using a hub and spoke topology), view Active Registrations from all owners.  Sort the list by expiration find the records listed as Active with an past due expiration.  Make note of the owners which have these records.  Once you have your list of missing owners, verify that they are actually missing.  You don't want to accidentally tombstone an active WINS server.  With your verified list in hand, run the following command:

Netsh wins server \\Primary_WINS_Server delete owners Servers={Comma Separated Server List} Op=0

This command will tombstone the owner and all records associated with it.  The command will take a comma separated list of Server IP Addresses.  Once the WINS servers have time to replicate the changes, your expired active records will disappear from the environment, and you can rest assured that your WINS database is lean, mean, and clean.

WINS netsh Commands -
WINS Tombstone information -
WINS Expired/Active Records Discussion -

Labels: , ,