Detecting WINS Service Status With PowerShell


Posted on July 19, 2020 by

To slightly modify something that Edwin Starr sang in the 1970 hit “War


What is it good for?

Absolutely NOTHING!

In most environments, the WINS service is no longer necessary as the Netbios protocol is no longer needed for name lookups (now handled by DNS).

Netbios can (and should) be disabled on all endpoints (servers and workstations). Windows OS Hub has a great article on how to do that. But that still might leave the WINS service running on servers in the environment.

To detect the state of the WINS service on all Domain Controllers, I created the PowerShell script below. It gets a list of all DCs, then determines if the WINS service is installed or not, then gets the state of the WINS service.

$Servers = @(Get-ADDomainController -filter *).name

Foreach ($Server in $Servers)
    $WINSService = Get-Service -ComputerName $Server -Name WINS -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

    if ($WINSService)
        Write-Host "$Server,installed,$($WINSService.status)"
        Write-Host "$Server,not installed,"

This script needs to be run as a user with the ability to query services on Domain Controllers.

It will write its output is CSV format similar to what is below:

SERVER3,not installed,

This should help identify Domain Controllers that are still running WINs or that have the service installed, but stopped.

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