PNRP and Windows Internet Computer Names on WS08

In case you haven’t noticed, PNRP is available on Windows Server 2008 (WS08).  It exists as an optional component and isn’t installed by default, so you’ll have to walk through some simple steps to get it up and running.  Just look in the list of optional components and you’re sure to find PNRP.

I know that some people have hit a snag when trying to setup a Windows Internet Computer Name on a WS08 machine.  A WICN can be very useful on some kinds of servers.  First of all, it can be a great way to remotely access a service without assigning a DNS name.  You can run a webserver out of your house, for example, using a WICN.  Second, using WICN is a great way to turn a server machine into a seed node for a private PNRP cloud.  See my article entitled Setting up a Private PNRP Global Cloud for more information about this.

If you’re not familiar with Windows Internet Computing Naming, I strongly encourage you to read the article Windows Internet Computer Names available here:  A WICN is like a free, secure, always up to date dynamic DNS name.

Here’s the problem and work around:

After punching in one of the NetSH commands to configure your WICN …

netsh p2p pnrp peer set machine publish=start autopublish=enable


netsh p2p pnrp peer set machine name=”0.insecurename” publish=start autopublish=enable

… you get the message “Element not found.”  Don’t fret.  All you have to do is manually start the WICN service.  It’s called the PNRP Machine Name Publication Service (PNRPAutoReg).  The following commands will finish the job:

sc config pnrpautoreg start= auto   (set PNRPAutoReg to auto start at boot)

net start pnrpautoreg   (start PNRPAutoReg right now)

Have fun!