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My Network Places issue on Windows 2003 Server in a Peer to Peer environment

I have a Windows 2003 Server machine in a peer to peer environment. There seems to be a problem with 'My Network Places' displaying the proper shares on the client machines. Some shares will show up while others won't.

I'm trying to pinpoint why we have inconsistencies and why items will show up sometimes and not others. Any ideas?
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tampatechman
Asked:
tampatechman
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3 Solutions
 
65tdCommented:
How are the machines connected, router, hub, switch?
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David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorCommented:
this link has something about disabling windows firewall causes the master browser service to fail. there is a hotfix (or enable windows firewall( in a workgroup.  

might want to take a look.  

anything in your logs?  

on the wins tab on the tcp/ip properties of the machines you may want to compare the settings from a working computer to a non working
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tampatechmanAuthor Commented:
The machines are connected via a switch then to a router.
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David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorCommented:
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ChiefITCommented:
The master browser is responsible for a list of computers in my network places. This is the best article I can find to help explain the master browser service. It is very explanitory.

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windowsnt/4/server/reskit/en-us/net/chptr3.mspx?mfr=true

The setup of your network is crutial for the master browser service.

Is your server on the same subnet or IP space?
Is it on a VPN that will separate your server from the clients. ?
As mentioned above are they connected to a router?
Also mentioned above, is there a hardware or software firewall between the server and clients.

If they are on the same IP space and don't have anything to block netbios communications on port 137, you may go with the standard master browser setup of Netbios over TCPIP.

I hope this helps. Let me know if this gets too in depth and I can guide you through it.  
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JSoupCommented:
On the login screen do any user use the server to be validated?????
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tampatechmanAuthor Commented:
Everything is on the same subnet connected via a Sonicwall router.
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David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorCommented:
check the event logs on the machines. might be some errors in there relating to master browser
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JSoupCommented:
The master browser in domain will only show the resoures registered in the AD. see bellow. Local Share can have local permision to view only:

Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. Tech level change <<<
Ref http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/e1cc4f8c-04f5-4b98-a04c-1ba601fb5d421033.mspx?mfr=true
 
What Is Computer Browser Service?
Computer Browser service is the mechanism that collects and distributes the list of workgroups and domains and the servers within them. The list displays in the Microsoft Windows Network window and related windows in My Network Places.

Microsoft Active Directory services in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP create a searchable list of computers and resources that is separate from the list of domains, workgroups, and servers in My Network Places. Computer Browser service provides backward compatibility with computers running earlier versions of Windows that must use Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS) over TCP/IP (NetBT) and are not Active Directorycapable.

For the detail look at How Computer Browser Service Works 2003 version
http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/e1cc4f8c-04f5-4b98-a04c-1ba601fb5d421033.mspx?mfr=true
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ChiefITCommented:
Hey again JSoup:

Seems to be quite a few of these Network Places problems. I am glad you joined us because together we have the two versions of the master browser configuration down.

Workgroups work on the NetBIOS API broadcasts. I don't have a WINS server and my master browser picks up all workgroups by using the NetBIOS version, not the WINS version. Something in the LAN is blocking comms on port 137 UDP port.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't a sonicwall router a software firewall on a NAT box. If the sonic wall isn't in the way of clients and  DC comms on UDP 137, then maybe the machines have a softwar firewall that is blocking these comms.

Once again I think we need a topology report:

Tampatechman:
Sounds like the topology looks like this:

link to the WAN>>WAN side of router/LAN side of router/network switch/clients and servers.

Please confirm.
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ChiefITCommented:
OOPS let me redo this so it is easier to follow:

link to the WAN>>WAN side of router/LAN side of router>>network switch>>clients and servers.
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JSoupCommented:
ChiefIT:   I think you posted to the wrong Call..
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tampatechmanAuthor Commented:
CheifIT thats the correct Topology
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David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorCommented:
same topology as my network and unless a rule is specified to block it on the lan in the sonicwall then i would agree that a software firewall on some of the machines might be responsible.  or as in the link above maybe a sofware firewall was disabled causing the issue

hey Chief IT-read you profile--I am a PADI advanced diver and am nitrox certified.  NOAA-i used to watch Deep Sea Detectives-i believe NOAA was part of one episode.  
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ChiefITCommented:
Hey All:

Sorry for the delayed response. My VSAT satellite system went down. I found out we are currently in a satellite solar eclipse where the satellites are directly in the path of the sun. It makes for bad comms.

I have been looking at this post: I have come to a couple conclusions. But, I want to take a back seat to Jsoup and Opie.

From what I gather:
1)The topology is like this:
link to the WAN>>WAN side of router/LAN side of router>>network switch>>clients and servers.
back to top
2) According to the author, all clients are on the same IP space:
3) according to Opie, the sonic firewall shouln't be blocking the Netbios communications on port 137 and 138.

This leads me to one of three conclusions:
1) The problem clients have a software firewall blocking ports 137 and/or 138.
2) A client may not see the master browser and has elected another client as one.
3) It takes time to create a browse list and we just haven't waited it out long enough.

Opie: NOAA was a part of the Deep Sea detectives. Our ships are out finding new stuff all the time. Bob Ballard, used our multibeams to locate the Titanic. He will soon get a ship called the Okeanos Explorer. Recently,  my ship discovered over 100 new species of aquatic life and 2 new families of aquatic life never seen before. One family of coral may date back as far as 65 million years, when the Hawaiin Islands were first starting to form and may be the scientific find of the year. This job is a blast, but I am missing my fiance'. Our website: www.noaa.gov it is filled with really cool stuff. I belong to OMAO. (Office of Marine and Aviation Operations).
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David Scott, MCSENetwork AdministratorCommented:
Chief IT-very cool-i too would miss my family if i were away that much.  Have you read the book Shadow Divers?

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JSoupCommented:
tampatechman

Please provide update to your problem>>
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ChiefITCommented:
tampatechman:

How goes the battle?
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