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Map Network Drive or NET USE results in System Error 53

Map Network Drive or NET USE results in System Error 53 (The network path was not found)

By Joshua T. Hogle

For instructions on how to map a network drive, please see Mapping ECN Drive using Windows XP.

Applies To

  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Windows XP Professional


When a user attempts to connect to a network share via the Map Network Drive option or the DOS net use command, the system returns with an error code of 53 (The network path was not found). This problem occurs when no DNS to NetBIOS name resolution was performed. It typically occurs when a machine has not registered properly with the WINS servers. This only affects connections to downlevel clients such as Windows NT 4.0, Windows 9x, and Samba servers. Windows 2000 clients connecting to other Windows 2000 clients use DNS for name resolution by default.


In order to fix this problem you should verify that the machine being connected to is in the WINS database. To verify that the machine has the necessary records registered, you will need to use the WINS snap-in for MMC.

For information on installing and configuring the WINS snap-in, see the links referenced at the bottom of this article.

Once you have the snap-in installed, perform the following steps:

  1. Start the WINS manager by clicking the WINS icon in the Administrative Tools folder.
  2. Double-click the BLUEMOON server icon or click the + to expand the folder.
  3. Select the Active Registrations folder.
  4. Right-click Active Registrations and choose Find by Name.
  5. In the Find by Name dialog, enter the name of the computer that is not being found and click the Find Now button.
  6. When the search completes, you will see a list of machines that begin with the name you entered in the Find by Name dialog. If the machine is properly registered, it should have at least 2 entries present. Under the Type field there should be 1 entry of type [00h] Workstation and 1 of type [20h] File Server. Also verify that their State is Active.
  7. If any of the records are missing or are marked as Tombstoned, repeat steps 3 through 6 for FISSION. If the records are still missing, the machine will need to re-register itself with WINS.

Re-registering a Machine in WINS

Windows machines:
Login to the machine (locally or remotely using the SMS help desk if it is an SMS client) and run the command nbtstat -RR from a command prompt. Make sure that the command does not return any errors. You may have to wait up to 2 minutes to retry registrations. Alternatively, you can reboot the PC which will cause a re-registration to take place.

Samba servers:
Login to the machine and use the su command to become root. Run the command /etc/init.d/samba stop, wait a second or two, and then run /etc/init.d/samba start. This will cause samba to restart and re-register itself with the WINS servers.

Last Modified: Dec 4, 2018 11:01 am US/Eastern
Created: Dec 5, 2007 11:04 am US/Eastern by admin