How to move the WINS database in Windows Server 2008
I appreciate that this topic isn’t going to be too high on people’s lists given that most of us believe WINS is dead and don’t want to deal with it, but it is still there and if you’re refreshing your infrastructure to Windows Server 2008 it makes sense to move WINS to as few central Windows Server 2008 machines as you can manage. If you are in this situation, please allow me to provide this little hint on an approach to moving the WINS database to a different location.
- Install WINS (it’s a server feature) and can either be installed on a full 2008 machine by typing servermanagercmd –install wins-server or on a server core machine by typing start /w ocsetup wins-sc.
- Fire up the management snap-in, right-click on the WINS server and choose properties. Select the advanced tab and enter a new path for the WINS database (the default is %windir%\system32\wins). Click OK to close the properties and select no when asked do you want to restart the service.
- Stop the service and create the folder structure that you typed for the new location of the WINS database. Pull up the properties of the folder that the WINS database will reside in and select the security tab, followed by the advanced button. Click the edit button, followed by add and then type NT SERVICE\WINS into the “enter the object name to select” area and click check names. Accept WINS and grant it full control permissions. Click OK as many times as it takes to close all of the properties boxes.
- Copy the contents of %systemroot%\system32\wins to the new location and start the WINS service.
The point of this blog post is that you can now grant permissions to services, and that’s what you have to do to get this to work. WINS, when displayed in the security UI, is a built in security principal but isn’t found by simply typing WINS and hitting check names. You have to enter NT SERVICE\WINS for the object picker to realise what object you actually want to work with.
Hope this helps, obviously there’s the command line options too, but it took me several minutes longer than it should have to work out what was going on here, so I figured I’d post it...