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A computer doesn't appear in My Network Places

Posted on 2007-10-09
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A Computer will not appear in My network places on my server. I can ping the netbios name and the IP from the server and get a response. Both computers are talking to each other and I have even mapped drives and printers successfully. HOWEVER, the remote computer WILL NOT show up on my server in the "My Network Places". The remote machine displays the sever in "My Network Places"!

Here's a bit of info about our setup:

Server = Windows 2000 with Terminal Services & DHCP
Remote computer = Windows XP Pro SP2 (firewall disabled!)
Connection = VPN via Netgear FVS318 router (connection established)

Its not a major issue, but just annoying if your a little anal like me :)
Any Ideas would be appreciated!!


 
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Question by:kingdingathing
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by:kadadi_v
ID: 20041843
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by:rickardc
ID: 20042157
This is most likely because a client PC has been elected as the master browser for your subnet and it's off.  Check http://www.microsoft.com/technet/archive/winntas/deploy/prodspecs/ntbrowse.mspx?mfr=true for details on what the browser service does and how it works.  That document also has an excellent section on troubleshooting.  The browstat utility is very useful for fixing these kinds of problems.
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20046232
Hi,
Thankyou for your replies.
kadadi_v - From what I can gather the solution in that article is to check the ports 137 &138...both are open by defualt.

rickardc - I had a look through the article (admittedly I didn't have much time) and I downloaded the Support tools for the remote PC (XP) and ran browstat status and it says that the server is the master browser. So that is as it should be too! The server of course says that it, itself, is the master browser, so there are no issues on the server end either....

any other ideas??

thanks!
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by:rickardc
ID: 20046839
Are the clients and the server on the same ip subnet?
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20054119
No they aren't.    
The remote machine is on 192.168.2.2
the server is on 192.168.0.5

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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20098961
Does anyone have any ideas??
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by:kadadi_v
ID: 20108706
If Ip address are not in range then how can it shows the pc in the my network places menas check the domain & workgroup configuration settings and also check any personel firewall is installed on that winxp pc like symantec internet security or symantec antivirus client version 10 with firewall ..if yes then configure the  ip address range in that firewall.


Regards,

V.K.
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20113918
this confuses me.....

We already have one network that isnt on the same subnet ie....  192.168.1.1 .......and that shows up just fine in my network places.

Like I said.... I can ping the remote machine by NETBIOS NAME and IP address.......if they wern't able to communicate I wouldnt be able to PING them.....

any other ideas.....

Thanks.
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20113919
Ps .... I have disabled all software firewalls. that that isnt the answer. :/
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by:rickardc
ID: 20121623
Is the server multihomed? or do you have a router?
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20121830
We have a router with 1 static ip.
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by:rickardc
ID: 20121903
Sorry, I forgot you were using VPN.  does the 192.168.1.1 subnet connect via the same VPN concentrator?  Can you check what the master browser is for that subnet.
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20122510
192.168.1.1 's master browser is 192.168.0.5, which is the server address. This is correct.

The subnet which doesnt appear on the server is 192.168.2.1
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20128857
By VPN Concentrator you mean the same hardware, then yes, all our routers are VPN devices, Netgear FVS318's. Hope this is what you mean.
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by:kadadi_v
ID: 20131804
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by:rickardc
ID: 20131909
Did you try running BROWSTAT ANNOUNCE \Device\NetBT_El59x1 <DomainName> from the missing machine?   You can find out the value for NetBT_El59x1 by running browstat status on that machine before hand.


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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20135305
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>browstat status

Status for domain HORIZON on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{44F5AB5E-7B02-410D-B
3D0-EA248586299F}
    Browsing is active on domain.
    Master browser name is: SERVER-MBR
        Master browser is running build 2195
    1 backup servers retrieved from master SERVER-MBR
        \\SERVER-MBR
    Unable to retrieve server list from SERVER-MBR: 64

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>BROWSTAT ANNOUNCE \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{4
4F5AB5E-7B02-410D-B3D0-EA248586299F} HORIZON
Toggling local server status bits to 10000 and then to 10000

richardc:   This is the result from what you suggested (running from the PC that cannot be seen on the server).

The  "Unable to retrieve server list from SERVER-MBR: 64", concerns me, but I don't know what to do about it.

The computer still doesnt show in network places.

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rickardc earned 1500 total points
ID: 20136873
It means that the master browser for the subnet isn't available.  The master browser for the subnet (server-mbr) updates the browse list for the doamin master browser (your server at your HQ.)

I know it's a big document, but you should really take the time to read through it.  It explains how the computer browser services works, and then it has a troubleshooting section.  Your problem lies with server-mbr.  read the document on how to force server-mbr to rebuild the browse list.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/archive/winntas/deploy/prodspecs/ntbrowse.mspx?mfr=true

I also notice that you don't have a backup browser for that segment.  You should always have a minimum one per segment preferably two.  You can either put a domain controller on the segment, or set the IsDomainMaster registry entry to true on a member server.
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by:rickardc
ID: 20136899
Can you post the output of a browstat status from each subnet please.
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20137665
BROWSTAT STATUS  -  Server-mbr

Status for domain HORIZON on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{A588B498-AAE3-473A-8
6AF-40E6447A5BE2}
    Browsing is active on domain.
    Master browser name is: SERVER-MBR
        Master browser is running build 2195
    2 backup servers retrieved from master SERVER-MBR
        \\SERVER-MBR
        \\OFFICE-MBR
    There are 9 servers in domain HORIZON on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{A588
B498-AAE3-473A-86AF-40E6447A5BE2}
    There are 1 domains in domain HORIZON on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{A588
B498-AAE3-473A-86AF-40E6447A5BE2}
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20137856
BROWSTAT STATUS  -  Office-mtb

Status for domain HORIZON on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{B15C4790-54CE-47F2-A
CB4-5F36AF24CBE6}
    Browsing is active on domain.
    Master browser name is: SERVER-MBR
        Master browser is running build 2195
    2 backup servers retrieved from master SERVER-MBR
        \\SERVER-MBR
        \\OFFICE-MBR
    There are 9 servers in domain HORIZON on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{B15C
4790-54CE-47F2-ACB4-5F36AF24CBE6}
    There are 1 domains in domain HORIZON on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{B15C
4790-54CE-47F2-ACB4-5F36AF24CBE6}
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20137874
BROWSTAT STATUS  -  Posyo-mbr

Status for domain HORIZON on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{44F5AB5E-7B02-410D-B
3D0-EA248586299F}
    Browsing is active on domain.
    Master browser name is: SERVER-MBR
        Master browser is running build 2195
    2 backup servers retrieved from master SERVER-MBR
        \\OFFICE-MBR
        \\SERVER-MBR
    Unable to retrieve server list from SERVER-MBR: 64
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20137886
SUBNET DETAILS :

Server-mbr  ------->    192.168.0.5
Office-mtb --------->    192.168.1.3
Posyo-mbr --------->    192.168.2.2

All of the above are different subnets. Each one of these PC's are in geographical different locations.

I'll troll throught that stuff when I get a bit of time .....  

Hope the above helps. Thanks for your time! I really appreciate it!!
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20137905
 "I also notice that you don't have a backup browser for that segment.  You should always have a minimum one per segment preferably two.  You can either put a domain controller on the segment, or set the IsDomainMaster registry entry to true on a member server."

Not sure how to do the above, I'm a bit noobish when it comes to the technical side of networking.
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by:rickardc
ID: 20138046
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/reskit/cnet/cnfi_brs_vcer.mspx?mfr=true tells you how to make a machine a browser.

Is Posyo-mbr able to ping and map drives etc to SERVER-MBR?  error 64 means "The specified network name is no longer available"

I would suggest that you set the IsDomainMaster to Yes on 2 servers in your remote subnets.  Then force and election, which they should win.  Then force an announcment on the segment.  Details how to do this are in the document I posted earlier.  You really need to run through the troubleshooting bit, it has step-by-step instructions and should sort your problem
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20139326
Is Posyo-mbr able to ping and map drives etc to SERVER-MBR?  error 64 means "The specified network name is no longer available"

------>yes it can do both
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20269478
Can anyone help me???
all I want is one computer to show up in my network places!
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 20435877
Do you still require assistance?
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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20435917
yes
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 20435948
The domain master browser service is responsible for populating the list of computers in my network places. Some have hinted upon that above and should be credited for their input.

The way the Browser service works, (in the default browser configuration), is the clients will transmit a Netbios broadcast to show all available Master Browsers, "I AM HERE". If a Master Browser does not reply meaning it is not found, then an election can be forced by that client. The client can elect anything from another client to a mass storage device for a Master Browser. Sometimes you can get a couple master browsers on a single domain. Then, you will see workgroup comptuers disappear from time to time.

There are multiple ways to set up a configuration to help the master browser server communicate with the clients:

1) The default configuration requires you are all able to communicate on UDP ports 137, and 138. So, any IP port blockage can interfere with the master Browser service. Since these Netbios broadcasts are transmitted on UDP ports 137 and 138, the client can be transmitting into some sort of port blocking. That could include, VPN tunnel, NAT translation, Software/Hardware Firewall, Different Subnet, Different IP space for Multi homed domains, or some other sort of port blocking problem.

There are three potential fixes to the above blocks of the Master browser service:

2) One is to stop the blockage by lowering your guard (meaning lower the port blockage like a firewall block). This will create vulnerabilities in your network and is not recommended.

3) The second is to use WINS instead of these Netbios Broadcasts to help your master browser see a list of comptuers.  I recommend you use the WINS configuration to help the Master Browser populate the list of computers in My Network Places.  I recommend this method and the link below will show you how to use WINS and the WAN configuration to work with the Master Browser Service.

4) The third is to use the Server Service and enable File and Print Sharing on all IP stacks. Most will say that File and Print sharing is a Vulnerability to the network and recommend you turn that off. I am on of those people.

This link is the best link I have found to explain the Master Browser Service. It is a little lengthy, but definately worth the read if you really need to know why.

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

The link I provided above will tell you the differences between a domain master browser, a master browser, and a backup browser. It is good information for someone with browser issues. The second piece of information needed to understand the problem will be the WINS/WAN configuration of the Master Browser Service.

Once configured with the WINS/WAN configuration, may I recommend you create a backup browser?

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by:kingdingathing
ID: 20436575
It all sounds too hard, and theres no difinitive answer like I was hoping. I think I'll just call a professional.

Thanks for all your efforts.
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