Setting WINS Clients Refresh Intervals to Occur Infrequently

ID: Q154409

3.11 3.50 3.51 4.00 95 WINDOWS kbnetwork kbhowto

The information in this article applies to:


If you want to set a WINS client to refresh its names with the WINS server infrequently, you must make a change in the registry (or System.ini file if you are using Windows for Workgroups 3.11).


In environments with Dial-on-Demand routers, frequent name refreshes may create undesirable router traffic that can be limited by adding a static entry for the client in WINS.

When a WINS client is started, it sends its name registrations to the WINS server. If the WINS server is across a Dial-on-Demand router, the router dials.

The WINS client then sends a refresh request of its name to the WINS server. The first attempt to send the refresh request occurs when one- eighth of its InitialRefreshTimeout interval expires. By default, the value for the InitialRefreshTimeout is 960,000 ms (or 16 minutes), and one-eighth of that value is two minutes.

The minimum value for this registry entry is 960,000 ms, so it is impossible to prevent the refresh request from occurring. Setting the value in the registry to 0xffffffff defines the interval for the refresh request, or one-eighth of the IntitialRefreshTimeout, to approximately 50 days.

Once a WINS server receives the refresh request from the WINS client across the router, the WINS server returns a refresh response. The server's refresh response includes the client's renewal interval, which the client uses to determine the wait time before its next refresh request. This is determined by one-eighth of the renewal interval (which by default is 96 hours, so the next refresh will occur in 12 hours).

You can change the value if the InitialRefreshTimeout setting according to your needs. For more information on where you can change this parameter, see the section below for your version of Windows.

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Windows NT

For computers running Windows NT Server or Windows NT Workstation, you can change the registry entry for InitialRefreshTimeout. It is located in the following registry key:


      InitialRefreshTimeout     REG_DWORD

      Range  :  960,000 to 0xFFFFFFF milliseconds
      Default:  960,000 (16 minutes)

This parameter specifies the initial refresh timeout used by NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NBT) during name registration. NBT tries to contact the WINS servers at one-eighth of this time interval when it first registers names. When it receives a successful registration response, that response contains the new refresh interval to use.

Windows for Workgroups 3.11

For computers running Windows for Workgroups 3.11, you can add the following line to the [NBT] section of the System.ini file:

   InitialRefreshT.O.=<value in milliseconds>

Windows 95

For computers running Windows 95, you can change the registry entry for InitialRefreshTimeout. It is located in the following registry key:


      InitialRefreshTimeout:  REG_DWORD:     milliseconds

Additional query words: networking
Keywords          : kbnetwork wfwg nttcp 
Version           : 3.11 3.50 3.51 4.00 95
Platform          : WINDOWS

Last Reviewed: September 6, 1997