windows networking issues

Posted on 2003-03-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I have a network set up that consists of 3 wireless (802.11b) clients (2 Windows XP, 1 Windows 2000) and 3 wired clients.  They are all connected using a D-Link DI-614+ wireless router with a built-in 4 port switch.

Everyone can access the internet.  Everyone can ping everyone.  Everyone can access everyone's shares by pointing explorer to \\client\share.  

However, no one can browse the network using My Network Places.  Whenever anyone tries to browse, they get the error "The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available".

What is the problem here?
Question by:polaughlin
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 8049368
G'day, polaughlin
Network neighborhood is a function of netbios, which is disabled in XP by default.  First, make sure they are all in the same workgroup,

Enable NetBios over TCP/IP in WIndows XP
Step 1: Turn On NetBIOS over TCP/IP
Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet Connections.
Click Network Connections.
Right-click Local Area Connection, and then click Properties.
Click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click Properties.
Click the General tab, and then click Advanced.
Click the WINS tab.
Under NetBIOS setting, click Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP, and then click OK two times.
Click Close to close the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box.
Close the Network Connections window.


Author Comment

ID: 8049412
Unfortunately, I have tried this before and this does not fix the problem.  What else could cause this problem?

Expert Comment

ID: 8049453
you could also give each comp static ip's, and use a hosts file

example of a hosts file
( use text editor to create )

comp1-name ( computer name )  ( its ip )


go on till all comps listed

on win 95/98/me comps, save it as c:\windows\hosts  ( no extension, file name is just " hosts "

on nt/2k/xp comps c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts ( again, no extension )

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Expert Comment

ID: 8049459

The problem is My Network places uses broadcast to find other servers/computers on the network but routers do not forward broadcasts.


Author Comment

ID: 8049464
Shep, clients can already resolve other clients names into IP addresses and can ping each other.

Author Comment

ID: 8049600
Okay, I am looking at the machine that I primarily use.  In Event Viewer, there are two things that caught my eye.

A Browser Warning:
The browser was unable to retrieve a list of servers from the browser master \\DAD on the network \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{43962A20-8642-4F78-9E3D-37494D887C08}. The data is the error code.

And then a Browser Error:
The browser service has failed to retrieve the backup list too many times on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{43962A20-8642-4F78-9E3D-37494D887C08}. The backup browser is stopping.

This obviously has something to do with the problem.  I hope this can help narrow it down for you guys.  I'm going to go see if I need to enable a service on that computer since it is at the top of the pole (Win XP Pro) and it will be the browser master most if not all of the time.
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 600 total points
ID: 8049619

Accepted Answer from shekerra  04/15/2002 11:24PM PST  
OK so you have a windows 2K server and what other servers/workstations on your network?  XP/2000/NT/98?
One has to be set the as browse master through services.msc
or your MMC - whichever you prefer (2K server). Any XP or NT servers/work stations on your network will battle for browse master.
So you would enable computer browser on the server (set to auto) and disable on all other workstations/servers (set to manual and stop the service.)  If you have w98 workstations - go into networking properties/ file & printer sharing and disable browse master.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8049631

Author Comment

ID: 8049634
Hmm... the Computer Browser service was enabled on the computer mentioned in the error above.  Why would it be returning that error when other browsers request the list?

I disabled the service to see if another computer could successfully perform the task.

Thanks for the help so far.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8049656

Expert Comment

ID: 8049933

Well windows machines work like this.

When a new machine starts up there might be a browser war on the LAN.

Whichever machines wins this will then be master browser.

So there should never be any problem, unless you have WINS setting in the TCP/IP settings and that WINS server sin't availible.

I read some of CrazyOnes suggested links.

I can just say one thing.
To save yourself some trouble install WINS server service on one of the computers, point the WINS setting in TCP/IP to that machine and the problem will be solved.

/Hans - Erik Skyttberg


Author Comment

ID: 8050052
I can resolve names and IP addresses fine.  Would a WINS server on the network fix the problem anyway?

If so, can I run a WINS server on Windows XP Pro or Windows 2000 Pro?

Expert Comment

ID: 8050441

I think you can, just go into properties of your network.

When you are on properties screen for you lan connection where you see you NIC and protocols installed and such, just press the install button choose service go to microsoft and see if you can find wins under there.

If not it can't be done in w2k.

If you have w2k server CD you could try and locate the service from that CD and install it.

/Hans - Erik Skyttberg
LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 8051473
make one the master borwser, and the rest to no

1 - On the master computer, set KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters\MaintainServerList

to "YES". Set this key to "NO" on the other computers. Note that any computer using

the default setting "AUTO", which is later connected to the network will not be able

to browse until the key has been set to "NO" on that machine.


Expert Comment

ID: 8051795
This is because you cannot broadcast in your LAN. But on the other hand it is save your valuable shared bandwith of wireless network.
Using WINS will help you.Main prupose of the WINS is name resulation for Netbios but it also helps to computer browsing mechanism.
if you check microsoft document they suggest using WINS on WAN because of it is not possible broadcasting over WAN.Your situation is same.
You need a server operating system to install WINS(NT 4.0 Server or W2K Server). I am not sure about installing WINS on client operating system(W2K pro or WP pro) but I dont think so.

Expert Comment

ID: 8052016
Hi polaughlin:
As it was clearly stated in the posts it is a Master Browser error to solve it out please do try the following:
Stop the master Browser and the backup browser services on the two XP PCs:
The registry key for this is:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Services\Browser\Parameters\

To stop a machine from being a master browser:
IsDomainMaster = No

To stop one from being a backup browser:
MaintainServerList = No

then Shutdown the network (Windows XP, 1 Windows 2000) and then start the win 2000 machine to ensure that it is the only master browser then start the XPs

Hoping this well answer your question

Author Comment

ID: 8052038
I have fixed the problem.

I am now using my Linux computer as a WINS server with Samba  -- which I should have been doing a long time ago.

Thank you everyone for your help.  I have learned a lot about browsing from this.

Is there any way to split points up between experts?

Author Comment

ID: 8052057
I have requested that the points be split up.

Thanks again everyone!

Expert Comment

ID: 8052513
clearify ur question plzzzzzzzzzzz....i cant get ur question

Expert Comment

ID: 8052803
Per request in http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/Q_20535457.html the points in this question have been reduced from 500 to 200 to enable a split.


Here's what you do now:

1. Create three new questions in this topic area for the three other Experts to whom you wish to award points. The questions should be entitled:
For [Expert1] re: 20534967
and should contain the URL of this question in the body.
2. Come back to this question, accept the comment of the fourth Expert as an answer, and leave a comment that contains the URLs of the three "points for" questions.
3. Each of the other three Experts will see the comment and the URL for his/her "points for" questions, will go there, and will comment. At that point, you'll be notified, and you accept the comment as an answer.

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