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fix master browser issue on network - need HELP

Posted on 2014-01-22
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Last Modified: 2014-03-28
we have a network that has multiple segments.  all the servers are on one segment.  on all the computers NetBIOS over TCP/IP is enabled, file and print sharing in installed, and everything has static IPs

something or some computer has stolen the mastr browser role, only computers on their respective segments can see each other on the explore network.

most of our computers are windows 7

how do I set the domain master so I never have this issue again?

we do not use WINS
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Question by:amoos
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Expert Comment

by:Miftaul
ID: 39800534
Masterbrowser concept is r.i.p now. We need to care about this if using wins or netbios nane resolution within the domain.

Disable the master browser service on all computers using gpo,
Computer Configuration- Windows Settings- Security Settings- System Services
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Author Comment

by:amoos
ID: 39800543
ok.  then we use NetBIOS over tcp/ip on  every NIC

so then how would I find out what device on my network stole the browser service?  

or how do I get back to where I can view any computer on any segment?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39800547
WINS definitely would help (and simplify) here. Other than that, you can only disable Computer Browser services on all but server machines - and make sure NetBIOS broadcasts are passed to all segments, and I suppose exactly that is the issue.

Are you using VLANs, or what exactly do you mean with "segments"?

A working DNS should be all you need, on the other hand.
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Author Comment

by:amoos
ID: 39800559
if I disable the master browser service on all pc's then will this prevent my computers from going to UNC paths?

will they still be able to see all the computers on each segement if the browser service is disabled?
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by:amoos
ID: 39800561
yes we use VLANS.
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Expert Comment

by:Miftaul
ID: 39800566
Is netbios ovef tcp a requirement in your network. Do "browstat status" on your server to find out the master browser.
Masterbrowser service is disabled on 2008 onward dc, we need to enable the service on the pdc role holder.
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Author Comment

by:amoos
ID: 39800580
do I need to install the WINS feature on my server in order to prevent this?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39800590
VLANs require routing if crossing, which stops NetBIOS broadcasts from being seen outside of each segment (which is part of the purpose).

A working DNS server configuration, containing ALL machines, should do IMHO. But setting up WINS makes it easier, and the Browser Service is indeed disabled by default on more recent servers.

However, UNC paths and Browser are not related. Visibility and Browser are. If you type a well-known UNC path, it will always work (if DNS/WINS name resolution works).
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Author Comment

by:amoos
ID: 39800592
I just enabled the computer browser service on the 2012 DC that is the pdc role holder.  do I have to restart my DC now?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39800605
No restart. Starting the service should start the election process. After that, the Browser service listens, and collects infos - which might last (I recall a update period figure of 50 minutes, but that's from NT4 times ...).
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Author Comment

by:amoos
ID: 39800621
once I have enabled the browser service on my dc that is the role holder do I still need to disable the computer browser service for all my pc's through group policy?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39800724
Yes. Several effects often lead to election of arbitrary PCs, and those only providing partial info then, being confusing as is the case now.
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Author Comment

by:amoos
ID: 39800752
Cool. Now if I disable the computer browser service for all computers will that hurt computers that would need to use a unc path?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39800767
Again: No. As long as Browsing does not work, you can't click on the machines, and drill down to the shares and folders, but you can type in \\server to do the same.
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Author Comment

by:amoos
ID: 39807471
do I need to have the maintainserverlist key and IsDomainMaster key on the primary DC?  if so what do I need to put? and if so then after the keys are created then do I need to reboot the server?
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39808615
You should not need to touch those keys at all on a server.
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Author Comment

by:amoos
ID: 39812027
I understand that I do not need to touch them but what I was asking is that they do not exist on my 2012 DC that is the primary so do I need to put them in there and if so then what do I need to put as the values
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Qlemo earned 500 total points
ID: 39812251
No need to create them either. The defaults work fine. You only need to create and change if you want to forcibly change the default automated behaviour.
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