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PCs and Servers not advertising in the browser

Posted on 2007-04-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I have serveral PCs and servers that are not properly advertising themselves in the browser and cannot be seen using NET VIEW.  I can connect to these machines through explorer by \\servername and I can ping and run nslookup searches by IP and name.  

I have verified that all of these machines are pointing to valid WINS and DNS addresses.  There do no appear to be any problems with WINS or DNS.  In addition, I have verified that Windows Firewall is disabled on these machines.

I am running Windows XP clients with Windows 2003 Servers in two sites.  Site communication is working fine, and both intersite and intrasite machines can connect normally.  Why would some machines advertise in the browser and others not?
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Question by:jmoser220
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Expert Comment

by:RGRodgers
ID: 18892458
Check out http://support.microsoft.com/?id=818092.  It discusses the NetBIOS Browsing Console, useful for just this type of diagnosis.  It discusses why systems may be missing and how to resolve them.
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by:jmoser220
ID: 18900343
This utility tells me who the master and backup browsers are, but it is not giving me steps to solve this problem.  The utility confirms that the machine I know is not in the master browse list actually is not in the master browse list.

The machine that is missing is in both DNS and WINS, I double checked.  The IP address values for this machine are also correct in both places.  Also, I can map a drive from one to the other, ping and run nslookup both ways.
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Expert Comment

by:RGRodgers
ID: 18915071
Do you have any firewall, including Windows Firewall, running on these systems?  I recommend you disable it at least long enough to get this running.  Then, it could be customized.

http://forums.techguy.org/networking/433515-workgroup-not-accessible.html provides an interesting checklist of what needs to be done.
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by:jmoser220
ID: 18918637
As I said in the original post, Windows Firewall is not running on any of these machines including the servers.  I have run through the checklist - none of the recommendations solved the problem.
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by:jmoser220
ID: 18935917
This was the problem:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/231312

The machines that were missing from the browse list all had more then 48 characters in the description.  NetBios doesnt like this.
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