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Cannot see network nodes in Win2K8r2 server for an isolated LAN workgroup labeled unidentified (public) network

Posted on 2012-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-03-29
Problem: When clicking network to see the network nodes or computers on a Workgroup, all of a sudden cannot see the network nodes.   Network and sharing calls this an unidentified network and public (although this is an isolate network NOT connected to another LAN or internet; however the IP space is a public type).

It was recently able to see the network nodes.

Computer browsing service is turned on, firewall is turned off, this server is in a workgroup, it has recently been set to be the DHCP server (DNS and WINS also running with DNS and WINS scope options added to DHCP).  Static IP set for server, it is also the DNS and WINS server.  No default gateway set (because it is isolate network/workgroup)(On another similar isolated network, these same steps did not lead to losing view network nodes).  Can still UNC to other nodes, but cannot not see the network nodes.

Added note, did see one on-line suggestion that a third party install may effect the viewing of the network neighborhood.  One install that I had done between viewability of the Network nodes, and non-viewability today, was a McAfee install on this server.  So I uninstalled McAfee, rebooted, and now the nodes are back.  (I had rebooted earlier with no such success).  Also noted that an _MBrowse_ node name in WINS records was released or tombstoned, and is now active again, after  this latest reboot following the McAfee uninstall.  Reinstalling McAfee now to see if the network nodes disappear from viewability again.  Have no clue if McAfee and node viewability is truly correlated (on a different isolated network, nodes did not lose viewability after the McAfee install).

Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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Question by:btenge61
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 37766183
Seems McAfee is causing the problems.

Do you have Network Discovery turned on?
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Author Comment

by:btenge61
ID: 37769750
I have clicked on the Network Discovery in the Advanced settings for Network and Sharing. (By the way, what indicator shows that Network Discovery is in fact "running", if you re-open the Advanced Setting, network discovery defaults to the off radio button?)

As mentioned above, I have a few of these isolated networks, with a similar Win2K8R2 server in each that will be running DHCP for the workgroup.  Out of these several networks, on another network and server, a similar situation has occurred, but in this case 1 computer node (of about 30) shows up in the network view.  No McAfee install, or uninstall, or reinstall this time.  Network discovery turned on, etc.  I'm not seeing a pattern to these couple situations where the network view has zero (or 1 in this second case) nodes viewable.  As before, I can still UNC to the unseen computers from a run dialog
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by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 37771258
UNC access has nothing to do with Network viewing.

You are running in a workgroup environment, right?
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Author Comment

by:btenge61
ID: 37774042
Yes, Workgroup environment, physically isolated network from any other networks, no domain or DC, no internet connection.   The only servers on any of these isolated networks is the new 2008R2 server and the previous 2003 server it is replacing for all services (DHCP, IIS, Sharing)
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Author Comment

by:btenge61
ID: 37774244
Saw this link
http://serverfault.com/questions/69296/cannot-enable-network-discovery-on-windows-server-2008-r2
recommending checking and turning on services if they weren't on....

Function Discovery Resource Publication
SSDP Discovery
UPnP Device Host

.... so I turned them on for one of these networks (the one showing only 1 of about 50 computers in network viewing), only added the server itself for the network view.  Also then checked network discovery in advanced settings, it is now clicked on (instead of off), and the save changes button is greyed out. (but again no improvement in viewing the network neighborhood).

for the new 2008r2 server/network examples in these isolated networks, the network view of the member computers was not a problem -- network view appeared to show the expected computers.  But then there have been a couple of these outlier examples
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Author Comment

by:btenge61
ID: 37774466
One added piece of info in this one particular server/network with just the two computers showing up in the network view of this particular server now, I do see the other several dozen computers expected both listed in the DHCP leases and WINS active registrations on this server
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 37774751
So, network discovery save option is grayed out?
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Author Comment

by:btenge61
ID: 37774771
And one more added piece of information --- on the one 2008R2 server that was only showing 2 computers (and not the 50 it should) in network viewer --- it is now finally showing the network view of about 50 computers.  The latest step I took was disabling WINS on the old server, and then rebooting the new server.  The new server still has those 3 additional services enabled above.   I have other examples of these networks though, where the old server's WINS has not been disabled, and the network view is visible on the new server.  I'm pretty perplexed about what pattern of actions (or inaction, or time) leads to the network view fully populating.
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Accepted Solution

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Darius Ghassem earned 500 total points
ID: 37774781
In a Domain environment your PDC should be holding the master browser role. In Windows 2008 Server R2 you should only have computer browser service enabled on the PDC. If the old server was the master browser this could cause a fight between the two systems.

Sometimes it can take a while for all computers to filter in properly as well
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Author Comment

by:btenge61
ID: 37774867
I'm assuming similarly the same true for a Workgroup environment like these one's on these isolated networks (no DC's)?  I will be soon be completely decommissioning the older server on each of these networks.
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