The primary DNS suffix and any connection-specific suffixes determine the default search list. The search list was designed to make users' lives a little easier by saving them some typing. The idea is to search one or more domains for incomplete names—that is, names that might not be fully qualified domain names.
Most Windows networking commands that take a domain name as an argument, such as ftp and ping, apply the search list to those arguments.
With the Windows resolver, a user can indicate that a domain name is fully qualified by adding a trailing dot to it. For example, the trailing dot in the command:
means "don't bother searching any other domains; this domain name is fully qualified." This is analogous to the leading backslash in full pathnames in the Windows filesystem. Pathnames without a leading backslash are interpreted as relative to the current working directory while pathnames with a leading backslash are absolute, anchored at the root.
The default search list includes the primary DNS suffix and any connection-specific suffixes. If the Append parent suffixes of the primary DNS suffix box is checked (see Figure 6-7), each of the primary DNS suffix's parent domains with two or more labels is also included in the default search list. So on a Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003 host configured with a primary DNS suffix of cv.hp.com and the Append parent suffixes of the primary DNS suffix box checked, the default search ...