Comprehensive Master Browser Question
Posted on 2003-11-19
I have read up some on Master Browser issues (8003, 8005, 8012, etc. errors in the System Logs) of W2k Pro and Server. Most people seem unable to solve the problem. Our servers and workstations are full of these errors in the system logs.
From what I have read, I seem to have gained a basic understanding of what the problem is. However, how to solve it behooves me. I believe I read somewhere that for every subnet on your network, Microsoft requires 1 PC to be a Master Browser for every 32 PC's on the subnet.
I've read some suggestions that the browser service on any PC that is not intended to be the Master Browser should be disabled. Are there any ramifications to doing this? To my understanding, the browser service needs to be enabled to basically "browse the network." Disabling this, in theory (to someone who doesn't have as complete an understanding as he would like), sounds not good.
I've also read up on the registry edits that need to be made going in the direction of defining a definitive Master Browser - (i.e. MaintainServerList = No or False (I don't remember which it is) / IsDomainMaster = Yes or True) - I know the path to the registry keys that need to be changed.
However, it seems that the W2k Pro / Server is configured by default to Yes/True for the MaintainServerList and No / False for the IsDomainMaster key.
So, tell me, what do I need to do to get rid of this problem? It doesn't seem normal for system logs to have 8003 and other 80xx Event ID errors associated with this problem. How do you go about configuring your environment? Is this something planned from the beginning and you make the necessary configuration on every W2k machine that comes into the environment?
Assuming I have to have a Master Browser on every subnet and I need to define just one, is there a way to script it to make the change happen and then configure a policy for that any new machine that joins the domain will have the registry settings correctly configured not to Maintain server lists?
Lots of questions, but I'm trying to gain an understanding of this. I'm attempting to eradicate the problems I'm finding in my system logs.
I'm rating this as very important and extremely difficult, because I've invested a decent amount of time in trying to make changes to solve this problem, but to no avail. And I think this problem contributes to needless network traffic with all of the elections for Master Browser and such (hindering network performance). Anything I can do to improve the network, I'm going to do it.