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My Network Places list incomplete

Posted on 2009-05-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
I have a client who has 2 DC's and 6 App servers (all 2003 but 1 2000) and 60 plus clients (Win XP Pro) plus Cisco VPN.  The Network and servers were installed last year.  Both DC's (DCsrv01 and DCsrv02) are WINS replication partners.  Several people (including the owner) insist on using My Network Places to locate printers and such.

The problem is that the Network Places list is intermittent and usually incomplete.  The only part of the list that is consistent is the servers and pc's that have static IP's.

I have checked all the logs for Master Browser issues (usually 80XX ID's) and browstat shows:

Status for domain lewco on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{08C824EE-CCBC-40EE-B03A-E83FBD6F31AA}
    Browsing is active on domain.
    Master browser name is: DCSRV01
        Master browser is running build 3790
    3 backup servers retrieved from master DCSRV01
        \\DCSRV02
        \\TERMSRV01
        \\DCSRV01
    There are 39 servers in domain lewco on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{08C824EE-CCBC-40EE-B03A-E83FBD6F31AA}
    There are 2 domains in domain lewco on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{08C824EE-CCBC-40EE-B03A-E83FBD6F31AA}

There are 2 things that I think may be possible problems; In WINS, the MSBROWSE record is "active" when My Network Places displays properly.  It appears that when the NetPlaces list fails the MSBROWSE shows "released".  Also, although the owner of that record shows the DCsrv01's IP, the records IP adress shows some the IP of some XP PC.

The second thing that I think could cause a problem is that both DC's have 2 NICs and appear to be multi-homed.  I have read somewhere that that might be an issue.

I have tried several things to resolve this but to no end.  I even changed the entry in the registry to force the PDC (DCsrv01) to be the Master Browser.  I'm stuck and need some help.  Thanks in advance.
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Question by:technopeer
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ChiefIT earned 250 total points
ID: 24347219
Yah, I think your multiple nics are causing the issue. You probably have your dual nics pretty well configured, but did you disable netbios on the second nic. This will go over how to straighten communications out on a dual nic situation. If you can avoid it, it's not a good idea to multihome the servers.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_23806816.html

You may also have DHCP servers that are not domain master browsers. Let me explain that one. Windows comes default on the nics to go to the DHCP server and seek that server as the domain master browser. It's called Netbios over DHCP. If your domain master browser is not the same server as your DHCP server, you may run into problems.

A third problem that can cause this is a domain master browser conflict. If you go into your event logs and look for 8032 and 8021 event IDs, it will tell you what computer is competing with your domain master for control.
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by:technopeer
ID: 24348650
I did not see the 30XX events.  Like you, I suspect the multi homed NICS.  I will try your suggestiond and let you know.  Thank you very much for your help.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 24354798
One thing I didn't mention on that article is after preventing the "outside" nic from providing netbios broadcasts, you may have to go to the command prompt of the server and type. "NBTSTAT -RR" to clear the netbios cache records of the server.
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by:technopeer
ID: 24374318
I am still working on this issue.  I only get one day a week on-site with this client so I'll keep you posted.

I Checked DHCP and it is set up correctly.  The NIC's are using a Broadcom Advanced Control Suite and I'm told that the set-up doesn't multi-home the NICs in the traditional sense so the shouldn't cause a problem.  I still think they are the issue.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 24380093
If both network adapters are bound by netbios it will most certainly cause an issue with dual nics. You need to prevent one nic from sending out netbios broadcasts. The answer to the above link wasn't where I was trying to steer you. Multhihomed DCs have problems with communications due to DHCP providing on both adapters, DNS being registered with both nics, as well as netbios binding to both nics. If you read further on that link, it will tell you how to configure multiple nics.

I do always forwarn people that multiple nics are detrimental to communications of all sorts and they are NOT a good idea on a server (DC or Exchange mail server especially).
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 24394004
Your browstat does look good and I don't see errors on event logs that elude to a master browser conflict. With the WINS replication between VPNs or sites, you should be good to go.

VPN connections also have the ability of having Netbios bind to them.

You also stated that you have a possible IP conflict. Have you tried NBTSTAT -a xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx where xxx... is the IP conflict?
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by:technopeer
ID: 31579021
Even thogh I have not been able to solve the problem, ChiefIT was able to get me closer to an answer.  He/she was the only one to tackle the question and fiollow up and I award the points for the effort.  As it is not a criticle issue, I've moved on to other more criticle problems.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 24447551
After disabling or reconfiguring your second nic to prevent netbios translation on it, you might go to that server's command prompt and type: NBTSTAT -rr

That flushes the WINS/Netbios cache.
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Author Comment

by:technopeer
ID: 24451708
Thanks ChiefIT.  I will try to get back to this issue.  I know it bothers the client personally even though it doesn't affect any of the opperations.  I did try the NBTSTAT -rr but not with the second NIC diabled.  I Will try this.

I may be getting another contract at another client so I will pass all of this info to the next tech that steps into that position.

I awarded you the points because between your direction and my research/knowledge I know the duel NICs are probably the issue.

Thanks again.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 24452037
The problem with dual nics is netbios will bind to both NICS. If the bind order is out of place, (say nic 2 is registered prior to nic 1), then you have no netbios comms at all.

If in the correct order, you may experience intermittent netbios communications, and the inability to share the browselist.

So, dual nics is detrimental to netbios translation. All you have to do is disable netbios on one of the nics you don't want netbios translation on and flush your netbios cache. If you have a wins server, then removing the WINS records of that NIC will also be needed.
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by:technopeer
ID: 24452807
I'm not sure if I mentioned this but thought I did.  The NICS are handled by Broadcom Advanced Control Suite 3.  There are no options to disable NetBIOS from one NIC.  The suite in essence combines both NICS to a single IP or Team.  According to Broadcom It supposedly is not multi-homing in the normal respect but is a load balancing feature.  I'm not sure how that is different.

I think I'm going to turn off the load balancing and break up the Team.  This will give individual control over each NIC and I can just turn 1 off.  I'm not sure why they need 2Gig of loadbalanced throughput on a DC that services maybe 100 nodes.  It does nothing but DNS, Wins and DHCP  enless Backup runs through it too.

I suspect they got it preconfigured from Dell that way.  I will let you know what happens.

Thanks ITChief.


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by:technopeer
ID: 24452854
Something else that you might like to see.
Here is the NBTSTAT return:
NetBIOS Names Resolution and Registration Statistics
----------------------------------------------------
Resolved By Broadcast = 90
Resolved By Name Server = 5901

Registered By Broadcast = 8
Registered By Name Server = 0

NetBIOS Names Resolved By Broadcast
---------------------------------------------
FILESRV01
INTRANET3
SQLSRV02
FILESRV01
INTRANET3
SQLSRV02
FILESRV01
INTRANET3

All the registered machines are servers with static IP's but its not complete.  This NBTSTAT is from the DC.  Just thought you might be interested.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 24452882
It may have registered the second nic, within WINS, prior to the Teaming. Or Bound the Netbios MAC prior to teaming. Let me research how to discover the netbios bind order.

NIC teaming is a bit different. They are right, if NIC teaming is enabled it should be like one NIC.

However, Teaming is not necessary unless you have a large LAN, (let's say 250 nodes or more).

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by:ChiefIT
ID: 24452903
with that many clients and servers, don't break the teaming.

HMM, this is a bit more complex than I originally thought.
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Author Comment

by:technopeer
ID: 24453234
Just RDP'd to the DC and the network list is back.  Just 10 Mins ago it was incomplete.  I wonder if the SBTSTAT -rr did something.  It took about 10 mins if it did.

Could the LMHOSTS file have an affect on all this.  I noticed that the Team setup has it enabled in WINS but that should only affect that Server and not the master browser.  I know I'm just spitballing now but this is a stuborn problem.

I've tried everything short of breaking the Team so Maybe you see something in your research.

Also, I found an old NT Maching on their network.  It shows up in WINS as a server and on a different domain or workgroup.  BROWSTAT always shows DCSRV01 (controller) as Master Browser though.
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 24453313
After flushing the Netbios cache, it will have a couple minutes to repopulate it. You actually deleted the netbios cache and netbios broadcasts repopulate it. It could have been a reboot or the standard time that the server broadcasts out its netbios record.

To see the netbios cache, go to the command prompt and type NBTSTAT -c (I think).

NBTSTAT -rr seems to have fixed the issue. The LMHOST record is not configured otherwise this problem would have remained.



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Author Comment

by:technopeer
ID: 24453512
Funny thing is, I did MBTSTAT -rr a couple times before and it didn't seem to have any effect.  I could be wrong so I will keep an eye on it.  I sure hope this does it.  Maybe I'll set up a script to flush it from time to time.
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