Feb 28
2014

How to remove NetBIOS from Windows 8 & 8.1 like a bad tooth…

bad tooth win 8OK, in my last article I talked about the steps to perform to remove NetBIOS from Windows 7, so this time I’ll talk about removing it from Windows 8.

Yes, Microsoft has even left this silly service enabled on it’s latest operating systems in 2014.

So just a refresher, this is why NetBIOS is considered one of those things that you should remove from Windows based computers:

  1. When used with the default settings your computer comes with, it can be used by bad guys to help gather information about your computer and network.
  2. It is a rather noisy protocol that is creates a lot of overhead noise on your network, thus taking up more resources and slowing it down.

I also included a screen shot from Nessus a “vulnerability scanner” we use while scanning for possible holes in a Windows 8.1 system:

NetBios Nessus Scan Win 8

Since NetBIOS isn’t used on modern networks, that’s why we recommend to turn it off.  It is just one less piece of the puzzle that the attacker may utilize to formulate an attack.

Since Windows 8 and 8.1 still comes out of the box with NetBIOS enabled it is recommended you turn it off.

Here are the steps to disable NetBIOS in Windows 8 and 8.1:

1. Within Metro (the interface you use when you first log into Windows 8) type “Control Panel” and click on the “Control Panel” icon.NetBios Windows 8

2. Change the Control Panel’s “View by:” setting to “Large Icons” so we can be on the same screen.

view by3.  Find and click on “Network and Sharing Center“:

network sharing center4.  On the left side of the screen find “Change Adapter Settings” and select that.

adapter settings5.  Right click on the network adapter and select “Properties“:

adapter properties

6.  You may have to scroll down, but find the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” setting and click on it:

tcpip47.  With “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” selected click on the “Properties” control button.

tcpip4 properties8.  Click on the “Advanced…” command button.Advanced

9.  Click on the “WINS” tab:

Wins
10.  In the “NetBIOS setting” section select “Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP“:

Disable NetBIOS
11.  Click on the “OK” command button.

OK NetBIOS
12.  Click on the “OK” command button.

OK Advanced
13  Click “CloseClose Adapter Properties
14.  Close out of your network connection window if you only have 1 network card. If you have more than 1 network card repeat steps 5 – 13 as you’ll need to do this for every adapter including your wired and wireless.

Try out your settings and ensure they work before changing anything else.  This way you ensure that disabling NetBIOS hasn’t caused any issues.  It’s always better to error on the side of caution.

If you find you are having problems after disabling NetBIOS then you can always change the setting back.  However, most modern day networks prefer to leave this setting off, and even in IPv6 NetBIOS isn’t an option at all.

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