Master Browser elections.

Posted on 2010-01-11
Medium Priority
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.
Question by:InSearchOf
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

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


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.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

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.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

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.
   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."
        VALUENAME "DisableBrowserElection"
           KEYNAME "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters"
              VALUENAME "MaintainServerList"
              VALUE "No"
              VALUENAME "IsDomainMaster"
              VALUE "False"
           KEYNAME "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters"
              VALUENAME "MaintainServerList"
              VALUE "Yes"
              VALUENAME "IsDomainMaster"
              VALUE "True"
     END POLICY; Disable Participating in Master Browser Election

Open in new window

Office 365 Training for Admins - 7 Day Trial

Learn how to provision tenants, synchronize on-premise Active Directory, implement Single Sign-On, customize Office deployment, and protect your organization with eDiscovery and DLP policies.  Only from Platform Scholar.


Author Comment

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

Expert Comment

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.

Author Comment

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.
LVL 39

Assisted Solution

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

LVL 39

Expert Comment

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:

Author Comment

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

Featured Post

Get real performance insights from real users

Key features:
- Total Pages Views and Load times
- Top Pages Viewed and Load Times
- Real Time Site Page Build Performance
- Users’ Browser and Platform Performance
- Geographic User Breakdown
- And more

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Active Directory security has been a hot topic of late, and for good reason. With 90% of the world’s organization using this system to manage access to all parts of their IT infrastructure, knowing how to protect against threats and keep vulnerabil…
Let's recap what we learned from yesterday's Skyport Systems webinar.
This tutorial will walk an individual through the steps necessary to join and promote the first Windows Server 2012 domain controller into an Active Directory environment running on Windows Server 2008. Determine the location of the FSMO roles by lo…
There are cases when e.g. an IT administrator wants to have full access and view into selected mailboxes on Exchange server, directly from his own email account in Outlook or Outlook Web Access. This proves useful when for example administrator want…
Suggested Courses

777 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question