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WINS Servers not publishing browse lists

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
For some reason it appears that our WINS servers are not advertising the browse list to WINS clients.
Setup:  
Windows 2008 Domain with two sites.  
Site #1 Contains 4 WINS Servers (all on DCs) - Call it HDQ
Site #2 Contains 2 WINS Servers (Remote) - Call it Minot
All clients are connecting and registering fine.  Entries all around. It's beautiful.

We recently redesigned our HDQ location (in preparation for VOIP) and transitioned from a few Cat4006 switches to a boatload of 3560s with PoE.  It also went from a flat /21 to a bunch of /25 routed networks.  All computers (mostly XP) are configured with WINS settings via DHCP.

In My Network Places, each workstation can only see the computers in the broadcast network on their own switch.  From my understanding, WINS is supposed to supply an uber browse list of computers that have registered with it.  It doesn't look like this is happening.  IP is solid and all computers can ping across the routed segment with no problem.  I could play the master browser game on each subnet, but there's like 10 of them in this building and none with a server installed on them, simply clients.  

One change that I recently made was to transition from the replication mesh that I used to have to a hub and spoke one which I've seen recommended.  Before we were a flat network and it appears that NetBios handled it all for us, now we see the deficiencies inherent in the network.  Regardless, changing this topology method did nothing to fix the problem.  

We're seeing this both in the My network places as well as when 'browsing for printers'.  It's got our desktop support people tweaked a bit.  Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:mltets
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__ST earned 500 total points
ID: 35013669
Have you tried a netbios release/refresh on the clients?
nbtstat -RR
(^ switch is case sensitive)


Also, there are documented issues with Server 2008 and WINS due to issues with the Computer Browser service.
http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/07/25/netbios-browsing-across-subnets-may-fail-after-upgrading-to-windows-server-2008.aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:mltets
ID: 35017743
It was the link that did it.  Who would have thunk that Windows 2008 disables the browser service.  Typical...  Thanks for the solution! 500 to YOU!
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