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Unable to Browse Network Neighborhood, and not visible to other computers on network

Posted on 2008-10-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Server running Enterprise Server 2003.

Until recently, no problem.

Now, this server cannot browse the network and other computers on the network don't see this computer in Network Neighborhood, which makes it impossible to start a new backup job from a server on the network.
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Question by:gateguard
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by:DenverRick
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Couple of questions:  Do you employ WINS?  Have you run NETDIAG to see if there are any errors?  

This sounds like a potential DNS problem.
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by:gateguard
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Yes, there is a WINS server on the network and no I haven't used NETDIAG.

What would I be looking for with NETDIAG?

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by:DenverRick
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Failed tests.  If there are any, you can then look at their potential causes/fixes.

Netdiag is part of Support Tools, located on the 2003 CD...
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by:gateguard
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Redir and Browser test . . . . . . : Failed
    List of NetBt transports currently bound to the Redir
        NetBT_Tcpip_{F7C0F287-8E45-4EFC-9DFB-57CF0B7E7C73}
        NetBT_Tcpip_{1B9F1BA5-F3D4-4B90-9E76-1E9B932A87F5}
    The redir is bound to 2 NetBt transports.

    List of NetBt transports currently bound to the browser
        NetBT_Tcpip_{1B9F1BA5-F3D4-4B90-9E76-1E9B932A87F5}
        NetBT_Tcpip_{F7C0F287-8E45-4EFC-9DFB-57CF0B7E7C73}
    The browser is bound to 2 NetBt transports.
    [FATAL] Cannot send mailslot message to '\\DOMAIN*\MAILSLOT\NET\NETLOGON' via redir. [ERROR_BAD_NETPATH]

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by:DenverRick
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Bingo.  Looks like some trouble with your TCPIP stack.  Have you thouroughly gone over your Network config?  Is the server multihomed?
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by:gateguard
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The server has 2 nic cards and I did have them both plugged into the same network so that one could be used for virtual machines.  But when this trouble started, I disabled the one that really wasn't being used (all traffic was going over a single nic).

There are also 2 vm nics, VMNET1 and VMNET8, but NETDIAG claims they aren't taking any packets.

Another interesting thing:

When I do BROWSTAT STATUS this server reports that it is the MASTER BROWSER, even though I have that role turned off in the registry.

Very strange.

Thanks for all your help so far.
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by:ChiefIT
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Well, let's see where you are at with this.

Do you still have the second NIC disabled? If so, good, leave it disabled. Multihomed DCs are problematic at best. They mess with DNS resolution, Netbios, ARP, and ICMP protocols.

What registry entry did you make to prevent this from being the Domain master browser? Let's make sure that reg edit was good.

Have you flushed your WINS cache since making those changes. If not, go to the command prompt and type. NBTstat -RR.

It sounds like you are on the RIGHT track. It sounds like we just need to flush out some WINS records and make sure that server sees the PDCe as the domain master browser.
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by:gateguard
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I did the NBTstat -RR, the second NIC is still disabled.

Now I can see the network from this server but nobody on the network can see this server in their network neighborhood, though they can ping it and even map to shares on it.

But it still doesn't show up on the browse list, which means I can't back it up with Veritas Backup Exec.
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by:ChiefIT
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OK:

That is one of three things:

1) network binding order
2) Firewall
3) WINS records in WINS.

1) Let's do a NBTstat dumpnet at the command prompt. That will tell us what bindings this DC sees or has listed in WINS cache or WINS itself.
2) Can you confirm the firewall is off?
3) Same as step 1
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by:gateguard
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C:\>nbtstat dumpnet

Displays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections using NBT
(NetBIOS over TCP/IP).

NBTSTAT [ [-a RemoteName] [-A IP address] [-c] [-n]
        [-r] [-R] [-RR] [-s] [-S] [interval] ]

  -a   (adapter status) Lists the remote machine's name table given its name
  -A   (Adapter status) Lists the remote machine's name table given its
                        IP address.
  -c   (cache)          Lists NBT's cache of remote [machine] names and their
 addresses
  -n   (names)          Lists local NetBIOS names.
  -r   (resolved)       Lists names resolved by broadcast and via WINS
  -R   (Reload)         Purges and reloads the remote cache name table
  -S   (Sessions)       Lists sessions table with the destination IP addresse
  -s   (sessions)       Lists sessions table converting destination IP
                        addresses to computer NETBIOS names.
  -RR  (ReleaseRefresh) Sends Name Release packets to WINS and then, starts R
esh

  RemoteName   Remote host machine name.
  IP address   Dotted decimal representation of the IP address.
  interval     Redisplays selected statistics, pausing interval seconds
               between each display. Press Ctrl+C to stop redisplaying
               statistics.
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by:ChiefIT
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Oops, my mistake:

That should have been:
 Browstat dumpnet
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by:gateguard
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C:\>browstat dumpnet

List of transports currently bound to the browser

     1 \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{1B9F1BA5-F3D4-4B90-9E76-1E9B932A87F5}
     2 \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{F7C0F287-8E45-4EFC-9DFB-57CF0B7E7C73}

By the way, this server is not a DC, just a member server.   I did manually change the binding order in Network Connections advanced properties so that the enabled NIC was first on the list and the disabled NIC is last.

Also, this server can now see itself in network neighborhood, though nobody else can see it.

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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
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You could disable the second NICs ability to do any netbios translation by disabling Netbios over TCP/IP, then refresh its own Netbios records by (NBTstat -rr) again.

I think that second binding was hosing you up.

After disabling the second NIC, reboot the machine and let it go through a browser election process to register itself with the PDCe.
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by:ChiefIT
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Also, you are certain, this binding is your enabled NIC? ! ?
1B9F1BA5-F3D4-4B90-9E76-1E9B932A87F5

remember, your enabled NIC will see outsiders and allow you to communicate. The disabled NIC will not register. It sure would explain your problems.




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ChiefIT earned 500 total points
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Make sure the bind is to an INTERNAL NIC and that NIC is on the same subnet as your LAN. Netbios broadcasts that register these computers with the domain master browser will not propogate over NAT, to different subnets, or through a VPN connection. To cover all these bases, I like to say, "Netbios is not a routeable protocol"
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
After we get the bindings straight for netbios, some metadata may remain:

This could be WINS active records:
Wins Tombstones
WINS cache            
Or a configured LMhost file

Let me know what information you need to remove this metadata:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
With that said, here is what I think caused your problem:

You brought this server up with the other NIC. That NIC registered its bindings in the binding order. Now you log on and that binding is disabled. So, you can contact the other NIC through the bindings, however, it is not resitering because it is looking for a binding that is disabled.
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Author Comment

by:gateguard
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Wow.  Thanks.  I'm going to do this as soon as I can.  Right now the server is heavily used and I can't easily reboot.  But I will be taking all these steps and let you know back here what happened.

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by:ChiefIT
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I am thinking you could simply revert back to NIC2, and make sure you revert back to the correct bind order. The Netbios metadata points to NIC2, so that should work.
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