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very slow network browsing

Posted on 2004-08-04
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
browsing to a network share from my windows server 2003 installation is very slow using "My Network Places" -> "Entire Network" -> "Microsoft Windows Network".

I already tried several suggestions from other posts and google, but to no avail.
An overview of what I tried already:
- add a registry key so that browsed shares are not added to "My Network Places".
- deleted a registry entry so that windows is not searching for schedules on the remote pc('s)
- disabled "NetBios over TCP/IP" on my windows 2003 machine.

Apart from this I also tried stopping several services one by one.
Even in safe mode (with networking of course), I experience the network browsing problem.

I experienced the same problems before on several windows XP installations, but never found a solution.

While I was running windows 2000 on this same machine, I never experienced such problems.

Any suggestions please ?
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Question by:guydeschepper
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Accepted Solution

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oBdA earned 250 total points
ID: 11719686
The "Microsoft Windows Network" still relies on NetBIOS and WINS. Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP again, install a WINS server, make sure NetBIOS is enabled on your clients as well and that they are using your WINS server.

HOW TO: Install WINS in Windows Server 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=323429
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Author Comment

by:guydeschepper
ID: 11723579
NetBIOS over TCP/IP is enabled again. You're right, MS Windows Network needs it.

The "problem" is that I don't use this windows 2003 machine as "the" network server.
Moreover, it's just a simple desktop pc, but I use it for development
and some applications I have to work with require a server version of windows.

Also note that it's not win2k3 specific. WinXP suffers from the same problems.

Actually, I don't want to run a WINS server at all.
-> win2k doesn't need it, so why would WinXP/Win2k3 ?
-> My laptop runs WinXP (same network browsing problems here), but is also used at the office and other places (customers
all over the country) where no WINS server is available.
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 11723810
You can install WINS on any server; it doesn't need to run on your W2k3 machine. It doesn't really matter if WINS is available at other places; your network will profit from it, because it drastically reduces the number of NetBIOS broadcasts (as long as your machines use it, of course).
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Author Comment

by:guydeschepper
ID: 11723821
ok, but why would WinXP/Win2k3 need a WINS server then and Win2k not ?

I want to know why win2k has no problems with it but the others do.
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 11724396
"Need" is basically too strong a word. NetBIOS name resolution can take place using broadcasts, but this only works in very small networks. A WINS server doesn't require a lot of system resources, and will save a lot of broadcasts if you're using NetBIOS over TCP/IP.
The difference might be the node type (you can check it with ipconfig /all), but it might be high air humidity as well. Name resolution with broadcasts is not really reliable. In addition, Microsoft tries on the one hand to make WINS obsolete (you can run an AD domain without WINS and NetBIOS over TCP/IP), on the other hand WINS is required if you want to install Exchange ...
Default Node Type for Microsoft Clients
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=160177
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Expert Comment

by:alocke2940
ID: 11728574
Even though w2k and w2003 don't need WINS, I think it is still used for the network browsing.  WINS still looks like it is needed in other areas as well.  I don't think MSFT has been able to purge fully the need for WINS with DNS.  Activate the WINS on your server and see if it helps.  Turn it off if it doesn't.
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Author Comment

by:guydeschepper
ID: 11728623
ok, my server is a linux based one. How do I enable WINS on it ?
Or do I have to enable WINS on another machine ?
if so, what machine ?
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by:oBdA
ID: 11729285
Beats me if there is a Linux based WINS server out there someplace; that's a question for the Linux guys.
As for a Windows OS, you can basically install WINS on any server based system; preferably a W2k system or later. On W2k or later, you can install it as a Windows component (Control panel - Software - Windows Components). Then simply define the server's IP address in the WINS settings on the server itself and on your clients.
If it's NT4, say so and I'll give further instructions; it's not that straight-forward.
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Author Comment

by:guydeschepper
ID: 11729836
ok, I'll try to set WINS up tomorrow or at the latest this weekend.
I'll let you know the results of it.
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