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Windows 7 cannot browse network shares

Posted on 2010-08-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
I have a win 7 Pro notebook that is part of a peer to peer network.  I have a windows 2003 server and several other windows xp units.

up until yesterday the win 7 nb had no issues using mapped drives or browsing the network.  rebooted this morning and no access to mapped drives and cannot see anything of the other systems under network.

I've rebuilt the TCP/IP stack and winsock via netsh.
I've updated the drivers.
I've verified that Netbios over tcp/ip is running.
Network discovery is turned on.
file & printer sharing is enabled.
Windows update did 2 compatibility updates last night so I restored to an earlier system point.  No go.

I can ping the ip address or \\name of the server.  But I cannot access any of the shares from explorer, run, etc.  As a test, I shared a folder on the win7 system and the win XP & 2003 server can access the share.

What am I missing?

Thanks,
Leonard
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Question by:LWesson
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by:Armenio
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try a system restore to before the problem fro a possible quick fix works loads of times for me
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by:gdemiro
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Double-check the permissions for the shares
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by:beechy_
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Check client for microsoft networks is installed and enabled on your LAN/wireless connection properties
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by:reason2009
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Try logging in with another domain user account. Perhaps the account you are using is locked out. Check Active Directory Users & Computers.
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by:reason2009
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Ahh.. peer to peer network. Scratch my last comment. :-)
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by:ChiefIT
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check the server and WIN7 client event logs for any events within the 8000's. I'll bet this win 7 pc is fighting the 2003 server for domain master browser.

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by:ChiefIT
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You also have me curious why you don't use your server as a domain server????
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by:LWesson
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never really had the need for a domain controller.  We had one early on and had more headaches with it than it was worth
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by:ChiefIT
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Any events on either the Win7 or the 2003 server event logs that are in the 8000's?
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by:LWesson
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I checked the server and there was some 8003 events, but from several months ago.  2003 server is set as master browser in the registry.  Nothing on the win7 system.

Should I set the win7 system to master browser?
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by:LWesson
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Also, one suggestion I rec'd from a friend was to setup the DNS server on my server.  Would that eliminate this problem in the future?
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by:ChiefIT
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I would explicitly assing a domain master browser as your 2003 server. Explicit assigning overrides browser elections, Unless the explicitely assigned computer was shut down and the clients cant find the domain master.

Win7 will try to compete for Domain master. So, I would explicitly tell it, "YOU ARE NOT the domain master browser" with the exact same registry key...

\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \System \CurrentControlSet \Services \Browser \Parameters

The key you want to control is:

Isdomain master
for legacy machines that key has changed to
Isdomainmasterbrowser.

I have helped hundreds of people with master browser problems. If there is no browser conflict, we will sort this out.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_23610061.html
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by:LWesson
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That key is not on the win 7 system.

There is a key MaintainServerList which is set to Auto.  Is that the same key?  I'm running Win7 professional.

What should the Key be set to?  No or 0?
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by:LWesson
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on the 2003 server, what should the key be set to?  I have it set to Yes, is that correct?
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by:ChiefIT
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There is a domain master browser, and a backup browser. The domain master should be explicitly set as yes for the 2003 server. The registry key that says maintains serverlist means it will be a backup browser if it is set to yes.

The browser service is best explained by this microsoft thread:

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

Very little has changed since the NT4 era.....
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by:LWesson
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I think I may have figured out what is going on, but not sure how to fix it.

I use my system for repair tracking of PDAs.  Part of the final test of the repaired PDA is to make sure it will sync with my notebook.  I have over 190 Windows Mobile Remote Adapters installed in the registry since each PDA is seen as a unique adapter.

Could it be that some part of the TCP/IP or other network setting is running out of memory?

How can I delete all the different remote adapters?

Am I on the right track?

Thanks,
Leonard
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by:ChiefIT
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Let's backtrack for a moment:

The browser service requires:
Netbios over TCP/IP on the stack
It requires the Browser Service started
It requires the Workstation service started
It requires an exception to Windows firewall for "File and Print sharing"

Also netbios is limited to the broadcast domain. if you are trying to access shares across a router, over NAT, or through a network firewall, or over a VPN, you can not do this easily without WINS and for VPNs without IPhelper.

Now that we have the basics on every computer... Let's focus on specialized computers.

The domain master browser is won by an election process. Netbios broadcasts are sent out to all machines. The broadcast message says, "I am here, these are my shares, and this is my OS". The winner of this election process becomes the Domain master browser and will hold the browselist of all domain computers and their shares.

Since you are having problems mapping or seeing the shares in "my network places"... This means that Netbios is blocked or a new master browser has been elected that can't maintain a browselist. To determine who is the domain master, go to the 2003 server (with 2003 server support tools on it), and type Browstat /status at the command prompt.  Also look in event logs to see if any machines are competing with the 2003 server for master browser. You will find that information as a event log error in the 8000's, like 8021 and 8032...
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by:BeeEater
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Thanks for the info. If I have a Win7 computer that cannot browse the network at all (though it can ping other IP addresses and connect to the Internet) what could the issue be? It's almost like the browsing function is completely broken - The Win7 computer cannot see ANY other computers in the 'Network' window.
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LWesson earned 0 total points
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I found the solution to my issue.  We repair windows mobile devices.  As part of the final QA, we make sure the device will attach to Activesync / Windows Mobile Center as a guest.  So every time we do this a new windows mobile device is created in the registry.  This must be eating up some type of cache memory.  I found by deleting all of these devices, my system now functions properly.  This is also true for windows XP.  I had the same issue with our XP boxes and found that removing these non-present devices solves my problem.

to remove them, you open a cmd prompt with administrative rights and type the following:

SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1
START DEVMGMT.MSC

Then View / Show Hidden Devices

After that it's simply deleting all the extra Windows Mobile Devices.

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