Error "Unable to find path to server" with Notes or Domino on Windows 2000

Technote (troubleshooting)


When using a Lotus Notes® client or Lotus® Domino® server on a newly installed Microsoft® Windows® 2000 machine and attempting to access a server by using a TCP/IP connection, you receive the following message:

    "Unable to find path to server."

Resolving the problem

This error can occur depending on how the TCP stack was configured. The underlying architecture for TCP/IP keys in the registry has changed with Windows 2000. Previously in Windows NT 4.0, name server information was stored in the following key:


If the system was upgraded from Windows NT 4.0, these keys still contain values and the DNS resolver functions properly. If a clean install of Windows 2000 was performed, however, the name server information is stored per network interface and additional steps must be performed for successful name resolution.

NOTE: The information below is presented as a guideline for making relevant changes within the Windows Registry. The Windows Registry is central to the operation of Windows, so any changes should be performed with great care. As with any major configuration change, it is highly recommended that customers have complete backups of their computer systems before attempting the following procedure, in order to allow recovery from system file corruption or other failures. If you require instruction about backing up and modifying the Windows Registry, first contact your system administrator or reference one of the third-party guides available for advanced Windows topics.

There are multiple options for specifying DNS servers depending on your configuration listed below. You can also refer to Windows 2000 documentation and knowledge base for information on how to accomplish this task.

  • If DHCP is used, specify DNS servers in the following key:
    The Value should contain the IP address of the DNS servers separated by a single space, for example:
  • If DHCP is not being used, specify DNS servers in the following key:
    The Value should contain the IP address of the DNS servers separated by a single space, for example:
  • In addition to these options, the NOTES.INI variable DNSServer may be used to override Windows 2000 system name server settings for Domino versions 8.5.1 or earlier. (In Domino 8.5.2, this parameter is no longer used; see SPR BSTS838NYV and technote 1423917 for details.) This option is provided for those System Administrators who do not wish to edit their system's registry. To specify the name servers to be used by Domino, add the following line to your server's NOTES.INI file:
    DNSServer= IP Address, IP Address
    Example: DNSServer=,

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Document information

More support for:

IBM Domino

Software version:

6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 8.0, 8.5

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