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WINS not working

Posted on 2007-11-21
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Windows 2003 WINS server... i am having a weird problem with WINS.. i am not sure if it is a client configuration or WINS server config issue.

each subnet can see others in its subnet as well as all the servers on the server subnet. but thats it. all subnets can only see hosts within its subnet plus all the servers in the server subnet. No other hosts on any other subnet are viewable through 'My Network Places'

a cisco 3560 is doing the vlans, i have ip directed-broadcast and ip forward-protocol turned on. - No ACLs.

each host on every subnet can access the WINS server and has 'checked in' with the WINS server as i can see all hosts on the network through the WINS interface.

Is there something in the WINS config that I'm missing? Is there a reason that each host could see other hosts on its respective subnet as well as the hosts (servers) on the server subnet but no other subnets?
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Question by:jaysonfranklin
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by:Toni Uranjek
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Hi jaysonfranklin,

This Browser service (not WINS service) problem. Browser service is responsible for displaying computers in "My Network Places" or "Network neighberhood". Because Borwser service works only with broadcasts you are seeing only computers from single subnet. You have to setup WINS server on every subnet, configure WINS clients to use WINS server on their subnet and then configure all WINS servers as push/pull replication partners.

I should add that users should not be able to browse their networks, because they are generating unneccesary broadcast traffic. Users will still be able to access server by entering UNC paths (\\server\share) even if you have only one WINS server on your network.

HTH

Toni
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by:jaysonfranklin
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Thank you very much for your comment. How do i configure WINS server for each subnet? I only have one wins server and do not want to add an extra WINS server to each subnet.. is there a kb article you can direct me to? Or tell me how to configure the browser service?

i added a hosts file but i still cant see the other hosts on the other subnets.

thanks again for your help.
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by:jaysonfranklin
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I read your post again....How do i fix this with only one WINS server? All the hosts on every subnet point to this one WINS server. and they can all reach it. still confused on how to fix the browser issue..
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by:Toni Uranjek
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You can't fix browser issue with single WINS server. You (your users) just have to avoid browsing through network and learn how to use UNC paths to access servers or create drive mappings. You won't be able to see all your computers in "My network places" without multiple WINS servers. That's how browser service works and there is no workaround, unfortunately.
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by:jaysonfranklin
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aw man, that sucks.. well i have a server that i need to push software from and it uses this process i guess. it can't see the other hosts, so i cant push software to the other hosts.. what do you suggest?
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by:jaysonfranklin
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i still don't understand though...if the browser service in 'network neighborhood' goes off a local broadcast to display clients, why is it that i can see the servers which are on a different subnet?
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by:Toni Uranjek
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Which software exactly are you talking about?
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by:jaysonfranklin
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software? this is simply server 2003 domain with a single server 2003 WINS server.... agaiin, multiple subnets... all subnets have checked in with the WINS server and I can see the subnet that the servers are on from any subnet as well as all of the hosts on the respective subnet.
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by:jaysonfranklin
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im just wondering if you say with a single WINS server, im only supposed to see the hosts in my own subnet, but why then can from each subnet i can also see the server subnet?
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by:Toni Uranjek
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I was asking about software which uses "My network places" for distribution.

Do I understand correctly that each subnet has at least one Windows 2003 Server? If this is true, you can easily install and configure WINS.

I can not answer your question why some servers from other subnets are visible, I would have to see your netowrk's setup.
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by:jaysonfranklin
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No, there is only one Domain Controller and one WINS server... all the servers are on the 'server' subnet.
Servers - 101.0
Marketing - 102.0
Accounting - 103.0
etc.....

all of these different subnets access specific servers on the 'server subnet' - however, they all use the same WINS server. each subnet can see all the hosts in their subnet plus everything in the 'server subnet' but none can see any other host in any other subnet.... except for the server subnet - which everyone can see.

im unable to set up an additional WINS server on every subnet as there are about 15 of them. so setting up an additional server in each vlan - or subnet - is out of the question.

it is weird that i can ping all hosts on all vlans, but if i try \\UNC\ it doesn't find it. even if i do \\192.168.100.2 for a specific host, it wont find it.

nbtstat -A 192.168.100.2  - this doesn't resolve the name either. but as i said, if I ping by name, the IP will reply. - i think that just tells me my DNS is working, but not NetBios.

Is there anything else i can check for netbios? all the hosts have it enabled. as well as the proper settings are being handed out via dhcp. and remember i can see every host on every subnet from the WINS server interface.

one more thing that may be helpful to know, from the server subnet, i can only see all the servers in 'network neighborhood' - i cannot see any hosts on any other subnet.

let me know if there is anything else you can think of.. i appreciate your help. Happy day-after-Turkey-Day
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by:Toni Uranjek
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There are two distinct problems here. One is NetBIOS name resolution and another Browser service problem.

Ping is checking hostnames (not NetBIOS names, there is a lot of confusion, because hostname is usually equal to NetBIOS name).
You should check if your computers have enabled NetBIOS, then if your client computers are corectly configured with WINS. If this is correctly configured,  at least "net view \\computername" should work across all network. If it doesn't - what is the error number?

This error number should point us towards cause of NetBIOS problem.

As I already said browser service would need WINS on every subnet to correctly display all clients in "My Network Places"

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by:jaysonfranklin
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When trying to access another host on another subnet:

the error is System Error 53 - The network path was not found.

However, i can ping it by hostname.. and i see replies from the ip address.

netbios over tcp\ip is enabled on the host and there is no firewall turned on.
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by:Toni Uranjek
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What happens if you try to access host on another subnet with "net view \\IP". Does error 53 occur if access the same comupter from another one on the same subnet?
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by:jaysonfranklin
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yes, i can access any host if it is on the same subnet as me. otherwise, if i do net view w/ name or IP i get error 53.
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everything works for each individual subnet plus vlan5 where the servers are. So, if i am on vlan 2 i can communicate with all the hosts on vlan 2 plus vlan 5 where the servers are. However, cannot 'net view' vlan4, or any other vlan besides the one im on plus the server vlan.
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Toni Uranjek earned 500 total points
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Itsounds like switch is interferig with traffic between different VLANs. I'm not Cisco  expert so I can only recommend simple test. Find two computers from sam VLAN wich can communicate without interference. Move one of computers to another VLAN, re-register computer in WINS and try to establish netbios session again. If you can ping computers on different subnets, if you can access computer on same subnet with net view \\IP and you can not access computer with same command if they are on different subnets, I would focus on switch.
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Thanks Toniur!!
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