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Master Browser elections.

Posted on 2010-01-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
We have a single domain comprised of about 15 subnets spread over 13 remote locations. The remote locations connect to the main site via site to site tunnels. There are no servers at the remote sites, just workstations, a switch, and a router. The event viewer on my DC is loaded with MRxSmb entries. The Master Browser  is constantly stopping for a Master Browser election. In one case it lost the election to a workstation. Is there a way to insure that my DC is always the Master Browser.
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Question by:InSearchOf
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9 Comments
 
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
enriquecadalso earned 1400 total points
ID: 26284584
Hello. You can prevent workstations and servers from become master browser.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_22135295.html


The strategy is to have only one server in each subnet acting as master browser. If you dont have server select a workstation that can be always running. Create the policy and apply it to the proper OUs.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:enriquecadalso
ID: 26284618
You can get along without master browsers in the subnets of the remote locations, but if connection with the main site they won't be able to see each other in the subnet.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:enriquecadalso
ID: 26284846
I just check the .adm that I use and it is different from the one that is in the EE post I suggested. This is the one I use. When you import the adm file the policy is as shown in the picture. I apply it to the OU that contains all my workstations.
CLASS MACHINE
   CATEGORY "Network"
     KEYNAME "SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Custom"
     POLICY "Disable Participating in Master Browser Election"
        #if VERSION >= 3
        EXPLAIN "Stops this computer from participating in the elections process to store available network nodes."
        #endif
        VALUENAME "DisableBrowserElection"
        VALUEON NUMERIC 1
        VALUEOFF NUMERIC 1
        ACTIONLISTON
           KEYNAME "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters"
              VALUENAME "MaintainServerList"
              VALUE "No"
              VALUENAME "IsDomainMaster"
              VALUE "False"
        END ACTIONLISTON
        ACTIONLISTOFF
           KEYNAME "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters"
              VALUENAME "MaintainServerList"
              VALUE "Yes"
              VALUENAME "IsDomainMaster"
              VALUE "True"
        END ACTIONLISTOFF
     END POLICY; Disable Participating in Master Browser Election
  END CATEGORY; Network

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disablemasterbrowsegpo.JPG
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 26292124
Ok Does having these constant elections add any latency to my network?
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:enriquecadalso
ID: 26292511
The election process is made though broadcast messages. It takes time and bandwidth. However the main problem here is that when the master browser election have been won by a workstation (not a server) and the workstation is shutdown the browsing is down in the network.

Before I applied this policy I have been in a problem when this very powerful new laptop was always winning the master browser election in one network segment. The owner of the laptop had great mobility so the network browsing was down most of the time.
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 26301004
OK. Thanks for the info. If I were to configure it so that my DC was the preferred Master Browser and it were to go down would that mean that I would not see any other computers at all? Not 100% sure about the role of  the master browser.
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LVL 39

Assisted Solution

by:ChiefIT
ChiefIT earned 600 total points
ID: 26301707
You can read up on it. I have an article I always recommend to people who want to know about the master browser services.

This article explains master browser elections and how to define the differences between a domain master browser, backup browser and site master browser.

The only differences between this NT4 article and 2003 server, xp, 2008 server, vista, and windows 7 is a single registry key syntax:

For NT4, that registry key is: Isdomainmasterbrowser
for All else, the key is: Isdomainmaster

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windowsnt/4/server/reskit/en-us/net/chptr3.mspx?mfr=true
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 26301730
with that said, I don't want to steal any thunder here.

enriquecadalso has provided some cool scripts that, if used right, can prevent clients from trying to take over as domain master browser.

Your servers are already separated from your clients in ADUC. So, if you put these scripts on your client computer's OU, then you just prevent the clients from being domain master browser. What that leaves is your PDCe will win the election as domain master, and the other DCs will be backup master browsers for that site.

great work, enriquecadalso:
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 26322252
Thanks for the helpful info guys. You have been a great help.
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