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Hide Network browsing in Windows 7

Posted on 2013-01-09
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Last Modified: 2013-01-21
Hello,

    My corporate environment is windows 7 with a 2008R2 domain. I'm looking for a way to hide the network icon so my users are not able to view all network PCs and Devices. The only information I've found on the web relates to registry hacks. I'm wondering if this can simply be done with a GPO? I've turned off network discovery in an attempt to prevent it, but devices and PCs are still showing up. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
network.PNG
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Question by:jmchristy
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Accepted Solution

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Thomas Grassi earned 2000 total points
ID: 38758852
You can do this

Disable Computer Browser service.

On DC, create a GPO for clients, find the following policy:
 [Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\System Services\Computer Browser]
 
Double-click Computer Browser, choose Define this policy setting, choose Disabled. Run gpupdate /force on DC and restart client to test. Please note that this method will also not solve this problem completely. User still could visit share by manually enter share UNC; however, it will prevent listing all the servers in the network.
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Author Comment

by:jmchristy
ID: 38758912
trgrassijr55,

    I've had issues in the past with disabling this service. Users wouldn't be able to connect to resources, shared drives, etc. even with the service enabled on the DCs. I don't believe I've disabled it since the migration to windows 7 and 2008 domain. Has this behavior changed? Thank you.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 38758987
no thats the problem

If they need to browse the network to access shares then you need computer browser enabled.

With computer browser enabled they will be able to browse the network


take a look at this

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/19085-system-icons-enable-disable.html
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Author Comment

by:jmchristy
ID: 38759062
Ok, they actually don't need to browse the network for shares, those are mapped via login script. Will that still prevent them from accessing the mapped shares?
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 38759240
If they map via login script you should be fine.

I would test on a computer first just to make sure.

Just go into services and disable the computer browser service

restart computer and login
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Author Comment

by:jmchristy
ID: 38759256
I'm actually doing that right now. I've disabled it on three machines and I'm going through and testing to make sure they still have access to necessary resources. Thank you.
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Author Comment

by:jmchristy
ID: 38801216
Disabling the computer browser service worked. I have not noticed any issues with systems since disabling. Thank you.
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