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Unable to view workgroup through My Network Places in Windows Explorer.

Posted on 2006-07-21
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
This is a recent problem. It was working fine in the past but now none of our computers in our network can view our workgroup. We can still map drives but this issue with not being able to view the workgroup is bothering me. I can see the workgroup, I just can't view it. I checked the Advanced TCP/IP Settings on my machine for my IP address under the WINS tab and I've got Enable LMHOSTS lookup checked and I've got Default checked. I tried switching it to NetBIOS over TCP/IP and it still won't work. The error I get from my workstation is "The workgroup is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource."
Like I said, we only have one workgroup and our permissions here are pretty laid back as we are a bunch of software developers so no users have limited access to anything. Everyone has administrative rights over their own machines and they have admin access to our servers as well. I overlook the network here and I know for a fact that no one has changed any settings anywhere. What could have caused this to change suddenly and how can I get this fixed so we can view our workgroup again.
It's the same way on our servers as well. We can see the workgroup but can't view it.
Please help.
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Question by:HbugProject
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by:FriarTuk
ID: 17155739
Workgroup is not accessible. You may not have permission to use this network resource.
  Contact the administrator of this server to see if you have access permissions.

(guest acct)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/915107/en-us
(pc is set as a master browser, or netbios over tcp not enabled)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/285035/en-us
(turn on netbios over tcp, start computer browser service)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318030/en-us
(You might not have permission to use this network resource)
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=913628
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Steve Agnew earned 500 total points
ID: 17156714
Oh the network neighborhood.. it's not a beautiful day in the 'entire network'  Network browsing is a very old and legacy way that computer yack on the network and one of them decides it's the master and it maintains it's 'list'  If you really want to fix it-

Shut down everything, all computers and servers, bring up your servers make sure they are fully booted and then boot each of your machines one at a time.  This will probably fix it.

The problem is that when you 'view a workgroup' your computer simply broadcasts 'hey who is out there?' and one of the computers on your network responds.. in a perfect world it would be right-- but in this day and age of firewalls, and network switches (not hubs) that are designed for performance much of that old legacy traffic is dropped or ignored.. thus whenever the 'browse master' decides the list isn't out there, or you can't get to it- you start getting ambigious errors like that.

To get to a machine, don't browse for it, go into the start menu, select run and then type in \\WORKSTATION_NAME or \\SERVER_NAME You should get right to it and this is generally faster then trying to find it using the browse method.

BUT- if you really want this to work and be reliable- here is what you should do

Stop the browse master service on all computers and set the service to manual on all PC's and Servers except one server that should be your DHCP/DNS/AD controller.  Active Directory domain controller needs to be doing the DHCP & DNS minimum.  All your workstations need to be pointed to the AD controller for DNS and make sure they are set to register their IP address.  That should make it work

 If you really want it to be setup 'like it is designed to work' you also need to install WINS and make sure all your workstations are configured to use that one server for WINS as well.

Of course, shutting everything down and having them all down at once and then booting them all back up should resolve it until it breaks again.. just remember that you have to shut everything down on your network - no server or pc should be running, then bring the servers back up, then the pc's

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