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Browsing network shares in Network Places is inconsistent.

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Certain people are not able to browse the network for a handful of servers and PCs. It seems to be a sporadic issue. It does not appear to matter which version of windows we are on. I have 7, others have vista or XP and we all can’t see a few servers and other various computers. There are different VLANs, not all are on the same VLAN. They are all joined to the domain and have antivirus and firewalls are disabled.

My setup is:
Windows 7 with up to date forefront with firewall turned off. We can access them by using a direct path (i.e. //servername/path). This has happened in the past but it seemed to go away.
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Question by:Apexadmin
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 36718188
Browsing the network for servers is archaic and doesn't scale well. Try it on a networks with hundreds or thousands of computers. The browse list is compiled via network broadcasts, which stop at the VLAN border. You should always be able to connect to \\servername, even if it doesn't appear in your browse list. If you really want to be able to browse to everything, you need to install and configure WINS in your environment.  
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Author Comment

by:Apexadmin
ID: 36718403
I'm sorry, we have WINS running on a virtual Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise. The entry for the server I'm testing out is correct.
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Author Comment

by:Apexadmin
ID: 36718435
Also, firewall settings are set to allow through doimain and WINS service.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 36718635
Does the WINNS database show all of your computers?
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Author Comment

by:Apexadmin
ID: 36718643
Yes, I can see all of them.
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 36718853
Does all of the clients have Computer Browser service started?

WINS is showing all of your client computers?
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Author Comment

by:Apexadmin
ID: 36719129
It's showing the server that I can't access from the PC I'm trying to access from. As far as all the computers connected, I'm not sure but I'd be willing to bet it's 90%

And yes the Computer Browser service is started.
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Author Comment

by:Apexadmin
ID: 36933453
Had to call Microsoft in on this one. The issue was solved by created registry key for isdomainmaster , maintainserverlist on the PDC role server because multiple computers were attempting to become the domain master and the election wasn't working properly.
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Accepted Solution

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Apexadmin earned 0 total points
ID: 36933477
Had to call Microsoft in on this one. The issue was solved by created registry key for isdomainmaster , maintainserverlist on the PDC role server because multiple computers were attempting to become the domain master and the election wasn't working properly.

Create the below mentioned registry key on the master server

Under the

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters

Create a key for  MaintainServerList –  set the value to yes

Create a key for IsDomainMaster -  set the value to true

Now on the backup server, create the below mentioned registry key

Under the

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters

Create a key for  MaintainServerList –  set the value to yes

Create a key for IsDomainMaster -  set the value to false


You can reference this article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc767893.aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:Apexadmin
ID: 36954310
Microsoft fixed the issue.
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