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Network Browsing issues

Posted on 2006-06-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Hello, on my network at work we have 2 domain controllers: 1) windows 2000 server 2) windows 2003 storage server.

On this network I am extremely limited as to how many computers I can see via browsing network neighborhood, on ANY of the copmputers, workstations and servers alike. We are running a DNS server locally on our Windows 2000 server, and most if not all workstations are pointed to it for DNS. I am also running a WINS server on the 2000 server, but not all are pointed to it for WINS just yet. The ones that are still have the same issue anyway.

Here's an example of what I see:
In network neighborhood maybe a few mapped drives show up, never all of them. Sometimes the workgroup/domain the computer is part of will not show up. Usually the 2000 server domain shows, but never the 2003 server domain. Typically a couple workstations will be browsable, but thats it.

Yet I can still reach every computer I have persmissions to, if I type in \\computername in the address bar. And I can ping every computer by IP and computername.

Is this a master browser issue? DNS? WINS? Please, any help would be greatly appreciated as this problem is rather vague, and getting to the bottom of it isn't easy for somene who's not an expert!
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Question by:coilbraze
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Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16970170
you need to enforce netbios on every machine, under the advanced properties of TCPIP - WINS TAB

you will also need to reboot every machine
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Author Comment

by:coilbraze
ID: 16971272
have done this on several machines, hasn't worked yet.

interesting side note:

There is a computer that can see every computer on the network.

it's an xp pro machine, a workstation, but I think it's missing a few security updates from microsoft. that may be the only difference, otherwise, it's the same as all the other workstations. Any ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16974677
hmm not really, no firewalls installed at all anywhere? no WINS servers configured?
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Author Comment

by:coilbraze
ID: 16975300
yes there is a WINS server configured on the 2000 domain, and I have some computers pointing at it, but I dont know much about WINS. Could it also have something to do with the LMHOSTS file recently configured?
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Jay_Jay70 earned 1500 total points
ID: 16975355
deffinitely, if you have lmhosts configured then that will be causing your issues if not done consistently, lmhosts should pretty much be a last resort and is more commonly used for name resolution over VPN

lets take a closer look at WINS

http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/Library/cc3b6bc5-78c3-4007-9c76-526c3deaab031033.mspx?mfr=true
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Author Comment

by:coilbraze
ID: 16984380
I still don't understand how to set up a WINS server, it was already configured before I got to it, and probably not correctly either. Can you run a WINS server locally? or can you only replicate from another server? not quite sure about all this
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Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16984450
you can most certainly run one locally AND you can replicate from another, although its nowhere near as efficient as DNS, i would configure a new WINS server if i were you and go from there
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Author Comment

by:coilbraze
ID: 16986292
Well I removed the LMHOSTS file and the network browsing seems to have improved. I can see every other computer, from every workstation EXCEPT: one of the workgroups is slow to respond, if at all.

Every workstation can't see the same workgroup, OR it can see it, but not every computer in it. I've noticed something else; when I try connect to the computers I can't see via network neighborhood by typing \\computername in the address bar, it gives me a user name and password prompt. No password works, and I never set it up to be password protected. Is this some kind of default network setting, deeply imbeded or foolishly hidden in windows? Is there some kind of option I can select to give it access permissions or something? Since these two computers are the only ones I can't see, it's probably the only cause of slow network browsing.

Yet there is still one comp that can see everyone, and I still don't know why.... thanks for your help so far!
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Author Comment

by:coilbraze
ID: 16995772
ok, so removing the LMHOSTS file fixed most of my browsing issues, but there is a workgroup that my second domain controller (storage 2003 server) is still not able to locate/name. Something else: my main domain controller (win2000 server) can see the workgroup, except for one computer in it, this computer it cannot see is Win pro 64. However, a (specific as it is only one of them) win xp pro workstation can, and the Win64 computer itself cannot browse any of the network, but can connect to each computer perfectly fine.

I suppose it is likely that win2000 would have a hard time seeing a win64 comp on the network, but why can the 2003 storage server not even locate the workgroup at all?

I understand this is a convoluted issue and may be difficult to offer advice to, but it isn't an immeadiate problem. Thanks Jay_Jay, much appreciated. Any more info would be welcome.
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Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 16997262
hmm i am not sure why the one machine would not show up unless there is a difference in the config itself, no static LMHOSTS, netbios not enabled, there must be something there that we are overlooking! as far as i know there is no problems with the 64bit edition and networks as yet
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Author Comment

by:coilbraze
ID: 17000916
well I have a new issue, and will post it here since it's a network browding issue as well, but lemme know if I should post under a different question.

I have win NT server with sql 7.0 on it. I also have an XP pro machine with sql 7.0 on it. These two machines are directly linked through a router and have no other computers attached to their network, and are not on the internet.
In order to transfer the database I need to copy/paste the files into a shared folder since import/export won't work I believe. But I cannot browse the NT server, or the XP machine from either computer. I have statis IPs set, but was hoping I didn't have to change that, any ideas?
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Author Comment

by:coilbraze
ID: 17000964
also I should mention that I cannot ping either computer from either computer
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Expert Comment

by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 17005563
i would love to help but have never even seen what the NT interface looks like!
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