Computer Browser service

Discussion in 'Server Networking' started by MSNews, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. MSNews

    MSNews Guest

    Hi
    Does anyone know if I need this service running on client machines?

    I have machines promoting themselves and member servers doing the same.
    I read you can stop this on all machines except the ones you want to be
    browsers.

    Is that true? What do you lose by doing this? I read that it breaks "my
    network places" but I know it doesn't from a quick test I did but am I
    missing something.

    What is the best computer browsing configuration for a domain with multiple
    sites and vlans? It is a single domain though and all xp clients and 2003
    dc's with some 2000 dc's.
     
    MSNews, Nov 17, 2005
    #1
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  2. The only ramification of disabling the computer browser
    service is preventing the machine from becoming a master
    browser as you already know from your test. The machine
    will still send a host name announcement to the SMB and
    be able to request the browse list as well.

    As for disabling it on every machine except your servers or
    the machines keep in mind the machine will trigger an error
    message in the event viewer and in a large environment you
    may have network overhead issues e.g., not enough backup
    master browsers. A machine will force an election when a
    master browser cannot be contacted so I would look for
    connectivity issues before statically changing your client
    machines.
     
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 17, 2005
    #2
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  3. MSNews

    MSNews Guest

    Well, my thought is maybe this is because of the VLANS, so is there
    something that needs to happen on the router connecting the vlans for this
    to work?
    I ran browstat and I don't get what it is suppose to show me so I ran
    browmon and I see which machines are becoming master browsers and backups
    which seems right, however My network places is not getting updated
    properly.
     
    MSNews, Nov 17, 2005
    #3
  4. Can you elaborate?
     
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 17, 2005
    #4
  5. MSNews

    MSNews Guest

    Sorry, sure.
    So basically Browstat shows me some browsers and they are all servers which
    is great.
    However, browmon shows varying things and that changes and that may or
    maynot be an issue
    But Browcon shows me that we have around 15 master browsers and then 50
    backups.

    So why are we getting so many? I would love to really get a handle on what
    machine are browsers.
    I seem to get the feeling alot of people stop the browser service on clients
    so they don't promote themselves.
    However, why don't they go to the right server in the first place?
    Why does dc2 on the .20 subnet think it is the domain master browser as
    oppose to seeing dc1 on the .30 as the domain master browser? Is that
    normal for vlans or is that a router config issue?

    Basically I have checked and it does appear that My network places is much
    better off now. However after using "Browcon" i noticed I have
     
    MSNews, Nov 17, 2005
    #5
  6. Answeres inline:

    The number of backups is correct and the 15 MBs may be correct as well
    depending on how many subnets you have on your network.
    This is a workaround usually for a deeper issue IMHO.
    Open a dos prompt on this machine and run nbtstat -n. If you don't see
    an domain name 1b unique name in the cache this machine is not acting
    as the DMB. Only the DMB or PDC emulator registers that paticular
    name which uniquely identifies that machine as the DMB.
    When a machine cannot contact a master browser on its segment (SMB) it will
    force an election in order to become the SMB. Almost all of these problems
    are
    related to NetBIOS connectivity. Personal firewalls block this type of
    access and
    so does blocking NetBIOS packets on the router.
     
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 17, 2005
    #6
  7. MSNews

    MSNews Guest

    Thanks,
    so do you think I need to start with finding out what the router is doing?
    I was told it blocks all traffic between vlans?
    So should I ask the router admin to enable "IP HELPER" on the router?
     
    MSNews, Nov 17, 2005
    #7
  8. MSNews

    MSNews Guest

    Ok, the 1b is not there.
    I am going to use just this thread so I can track your great help.

    My situation is this.
    I have multiple vlan's, probably 10 or more.
    But 2 of them are the ones I really am concerned with for our Symantec AV
    and such.
    I have another which is VPN but I know that I am probably asking for to much
    to have those machines show up in my network places.

    So right now I have machines on the .20 and .30 vlans promoting themselves
    and I don't know why. Traffic is fine, dns is good, wins seems fine, I have
    no errors yet machines are promoting themselves.
    So what should I look for and in one message I thought you mentioned that
    the router is probably blocking netbios traffic and I have been told it
    blocks all traffic between vlans, however authentication, dns, and mapping
    drives works, so how is that possible?

    What would you suggest I do next?

    Thank you so much for all your help.
     
    MSNews, Nov 17, 2005
    #8
  9. No but you can verify the following ports are open:
    UDP 137, 138, & TCP 139
     
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 17, 2005
    #9
  10. Verify the following ports are not being blocked:
    UDP 137, 138, & TCP 139
     
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 17, 2005
    #10
  11. Also open a dos prompt and run net view on each machine.
    What do you see?
     
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 17, 2005
    #11
  12. MSNews

    Bill Grant Guest

    I would like to go back to the comment about disabling the computer
    browser service on workstations. This comes up from time to time. People
    usually want to do it for the wrong reasons.

    When a workstation can't get a browse list, it assumes that the browser
    service has failed and it forces a browser election. It forces an election
    by announcing itself as the new browse master.

    Admins see the workstation trying to promote itself, and assume that the
    workstation is the problem. In fact is it just a symptom that the browser
    service is sick. Stopping the computer browser service on that workstation
    isn't going to fix the problem. It will just mean some other machine has to
    trigger off a browser election when browsing fails.
     
    Bill Grant, Nov 18, 2005
    #12
  13. In

    Michael, MSNews guy also posted this same issue in the DNS groups. I
    suggested to use WINS to ensure Netbios nameresolution across the VLANs.

    MSNews guy, if I may suggest, next time it is your benefit to cross-post so
    all of us can colaborate together because the responses will go to all
    thegroups at one time, and all YOU have to do is check one group for any
    answers from any of the other groups.


    --
    Ace

    This posting is provided "AS-IS" with no warranties or guarantees and
    confers no rights.

    If this post is viewed at a non-Microsoft community website, and you were to
    respond to it through that community's website, I may not see your reply
    unless that website posts replies back to the original Microsoft forum.
    Therefore, please direct all replies ONLY to the Microsoft public newsgroup
    this thread originated in so all can benefit or ensure the web community
    posts it back to the original forum.

    Ace Fekay, MCSE 2003 & 2000, MCSA 2003 & 2000, MCSE+I, MCT, MVP
    Microsoft MVP - Windows Server Directory Services
    Microsoft Certified Trainer
    Infinite Diversities in Infinite Combinations.
    =================================
     
    Ace Fekay [MVP], Nov 18, 2005
    #13
  14. MSNews

    Jake Guest

    THanks,
    So in order.
    1st - ace, what is the best method to cross post because this is a pain for
    me and all of you great guys helpin me out.
    Ace- you want me to make sure wins is running and that I have a wins server
    on each vlan and they are replicating. THat is in place now and working fine
    as I don't see any errors anywhere except machines promoting themselves.
    You mentioned that each dc should point to itself first in the nic
    properties and the 2nd dc as the next dns server in the nic properties, these
    are dns/wins servers.
    However, doing that just fills me up with more errors in the event logs.

    Michael, So what you want me to do is run netview and send what I see in
    this post?
    You want me to see if the ports you specified are allowed through the
    router, I believe they are not and was told by the network guy he would have
    to turn on IP helper to do that? WHat ports are they and what needs to be
    open for the 2 dc's to be on different vlans? IS is just those ports or
    others? Should he just allow all traffic to and from the dc on vlan1 to dc
    on vlan2?
    You mention that it seems the clients are then writing the entries to the
    wrong smb? HOw do I find that out and why does that happen?
    WHat can I Do next to move forward with this issue?

    Bill, I agree about this because I have READ HUGE amounts of threads and
    articles but nothing shows me what to really do that is the best way and
    RIGHT way to fix this. Many seem to just disable the browser service. I
    want this working right but also like the idea of disabling it just to have
    complete control over what can be a browser.

    So my dc1 is 2003 on subnet 20, this is a dns/wins box.Nic properties have
    dc2 listed first for dns and itself as the 2nd dns box. For wins properties
    under nic config only itself is added in there and the "Use netbios settings
    for dhcp" is checked. DO I need to enable netbios over tcp specifically and
    is that recommended for all servers running static IP's?
    DC2 has the same config, so it points to dc1 first for dns and then itself
    2nd., and wins is the same]
    these 2 wins servers replicate
     
    Jake, Nov 18, 2005
    #14
  15. MSNews

    Jake Guest

    My last thought on this before I wait for the feedback is this.
    WHat is the switch doing here that maybe part of the problem? Is that even
    an issue?
    I know that the cisco guy tells me he is positive that traffic does not pass
    through the vlan.
    How is that possible though if I can browse that vlan, map a drive, etc?
    Should he enable ip helper on the cisco switch or should he do something
    else that lets' these 2dc's to talk? But replicaton works fine, dcdiag
    works, netdiag, etc.
     
    Jake, Nov 18, 2005
    #15
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