Windows 7 computers showing up in network as "Media Devices"

I have a network with over 20 computers.  Lately, around 5 of them are showing up as Media Devices under Network (as well as computers in each case I believe).
This just clutters up the display and I'd like to eliminate this behavior.
I can access the computers but don't know what settings to change to avoid this.
File and Printer sharing, etc. is expected so turning it off isn't a solution.
Why would some do this and most others not?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAsked:
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Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Those machines probably have set up as Media Servers by running the corresponding sharing services. Switching those services off will remove their display.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:

1. The Problem

Media devices showing

2. Go to Network and Sharing Center

click on change advanced sharing settings

3. Media Streaming

Change Media Streaming Options

4. Block Media Streaming

Block All

5. Done

Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Media Streaming is Off
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Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
turn off upnp or dlna
Turn off network discovery. This will not affect file and printer sharing.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
UPNP is off.

What will be the noticeable effects of turning off network discovery?  Will the computers still show up in Network?
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Network discovery is used if you have no server (in a home, peer-based network). It is not necessary for browsing the network.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
OK.  This is a peer-to-peer network.
So, what do you mean "it's not necessary for browsing the network"?
What doesn't work if Network Discovery is disabled?

Name service?
"Network" page not populated?
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Network device info like Media Streaming Server, beamer, switch ... will be missing. You still still see the names of Windows PCs.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
OK.  I did an experiment.
This is on a Windows 7 Pro system.
I turned off Network Discovery.
The system disappeared from the "Network" / Computer list. (Not what I wanted)
I believe it was still accessible via UNC and IP address.
Then I turned Network Discovery back on.
The computer is *still* not visible again in the "Network"'Computer  list after days.....
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
The Browser service or WINS is responsible for that view. Maybe you have no machine running the Browser service, or it is the wrong one having been elected to be Master Browser ATM. Anyway, it is unreliable in a non-server environment.

if you have a machine running all the time, stop all other Browser services, and run only that single one. You might want to add one other machine in case that machine goes down.
In the advanced sharing settings does it show if your on a home or work profile? This will be listed on the first dropdown item.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Qlemo:  "it is unreliable" is a very interesting way to put it.  I would have to agree.  Yet, it's what's available and users expect to make use of it.

As background, on this network, none of the Browser services are turned off.
So, I turned off the Computer Browser service on the Master Browser to force a change.
With the new Master Browser, I get this:

results of running nbtstat -a [ipaddress] on two computers:

      Name                              Type         Status
   SAO                       <00>  UNIQUE      Registered
   WORKGROUP      <00>  GROUP       Registered
   SAO                       <20>  UNIQUE      Registered
   WORKGROUP      <1E>  GROUP       Registered

   Name               Type         Status
 FRED_40R             <00>  UNIQUE      Registered
 WORKGROUP      <00>  GROUP       Registered
 FRED_40R             <20>  UNIQUE      Registered

The first computer "SAO" shows up in the Network/Computer list and the second computer FRED_40R does not.
Same result using LANSCAN (which also identifies the Master).

I note that the
WORKGROUP      <1E>  GROUP       Registered
entry only shows up for the first one and not for the second one... so that's a difference but I don't understand
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
<1E> designates Browsers taking part on elections for the domain or workgroup noted (see The records shown should be ok, but you can't identify more than that.

Are you able to use a (local) WINS or DNS server?
You have to define a network type on the pc.

I'm surprised turning off network discovery caused this issue.

I assume the pc is behind a server correct? On the pc in question have you run gpupdate /force
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
All of the computers involved are in workgroup:WORKGROUP and all of their networks are type: Work .. or they would be / should be.  The workstation involved certainly is.
I should have said that this is a peer-to-peer network.

I did discover that this workstation had its Computer Browser service disabled.  I enabled it but don't see any changes, even in the nbtstat results.  Still not on the list of computers.  (Did I say this is Win7 Pro?)

I wonder if this could be a clue:
When I open "Network" on this one workstation (the one that's missing from the list), the list populates very slowly.  Maybe 5 computers of 20-25 show up initially and then the Network "address bar" shows a green bar moving slowly to the right.  Eventually all of the computers are listed (except this one).
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
the missing machine needs to have the "server" service running
Supports file, print, and named-pipe sharing over the network for this computer. If this service is stopped, these functions will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I would have expected the "server" service to be running and it is.  Thanks for the suggestion.

The population of the "Network/Computer" list remains to be dreadfully slow.   I've tried Wireshark on this workstation but I'm not quite sure what to look for.  It almost seems like it's polling all the computers on its own.  But I don't see that in the traffic necessarily....
For troubleshooting purposes can you give the pc in question a different name. Something like Freddy1 or whatever you choose.
After you have done that reboot and see if it is now connected as you like it to be.

To change name click orb or start then right click computer select properties. Then under Computer name,domain,workgroup settings click change settings on the right. Rename and reboot. Please post back.
Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
joinaunion:  Interesting idea.  I change it to "fred" which gets rid of the underscore character.  Wading through some of the DNS rules, it appears that sometimes it's allowed and sometimes not in computernames.  Yet, this seemed to not matter.  There are a number of other computernames on this network with underscores in them.

I turned on ipv6.  Also no change.

The treatments of DNS led me to read about multihomed network interfaces.  
This computer has a couple of added NICs just for the purpose of capturing mirror ports.
So, I disabled them and now it seems to be working normally.
And the Network/Computer list populates rapidly - i.e. more normally.
It seems to have to do with a Weak... rule and where the packets go.

So then I turned off TCP/IP altogether on these two interfaces (mirror port NIC don't need it) and it still appears to be working fine.  Only time will tell with a network like this.  ah, patience.

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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Thanks all!  There were any number of good pointers and ideas.  And, the last one led me to the solution somewhat indirectly.
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