Master Browser not working on server

Discussion in 'Server Networking' started by Perry Diels, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Perry Diels

    Perry Diels Guest


    We have a small peer-to-peer network with 1 Windows 2003 server (Standard
    Edition) It's roles are file & print server and Internet sharing.
    On all the workstations I have disabled the browser service, the problem is
    that the server doesn't show any workstations in its browser list. A soon as
    I start the browser service, on any workstation in the network, the Master
    Browser seems to be moved to the latter and the list of available PC's is
    correctly setup (after a couple of seconds or at last a couple of minutes)
    When I turn it back of then the Master Browser becomes te server (according
    to the "browstat status" command), but unfortunately the list is never
    correct.... only the server itsself and sometimes a workstation are listed.
    The server is the only station we never shut down, hence I want it to be the
    Master Browser all the time. Any idea why the server is the only station in
    our network not able to perform this mission?

    All help appreciated,
    Kind Regards,
    Perry Diels, Mar 7, 2005
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  2. Perry Diels

    Bill Grant Guest

    Are all the workstations and the server itself in the same workgroup? It
    seems like the server and one workstation are in a different workgroup from
    the other workstations.
    Bill Grant, Mar 7, 2005
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  3. Perry Diels

    Perry Diels Guest

    Hello Bill,

    Thanks for your answer.

    Yes they are all in the same workgroup. Meanwhile I have discovered that
    just after booting the workstations, they do appear in My network
    Places\View Network Computers, but after a while they dissapear. Connection
    from server to workstation and vice versa remains intact, it is possible to
    browse in both directions (for example via run \\PCName)

    I don't understand why the browse list is not maintained. Any idea?

    Thanks again,
    Perry Diels, Mar 7, 2005
  4. Perry Diels

    Todd J Heron Guest

    On the Windows 2003 Server , go into Network Connections > LAN Connection >
    Properties > General Tab. Deselect the checkbox for File and Printer
    Sharing for Microsoft Networks > click OK > Check the box to enable it again


    Is IsDomainMaster configured with TRUE or FALSE?
    Todd J Heron, Mar 7, 2005
  5. Perry Diels

    Perry Diels Guest

    Hello Todd,

    Thanks for your answer. I have followed the steps as you describe but it
    didn't help.

    The setting in the registry is set to TRUE
    The setting just below "MaintainServerList" = Yes. I don't know if that's
    important, just in case!

    The only machine that remains always visible from the browse list is the
    server itself... the workstations only after booting.

    Another remark, less important for the time being but it might be a hint,
    from My Network Places\Entire Network\Microsoft Windows Network\ only one
    Workgroup is visible. That's the workgroup where the server and workstations
    belong to, but occasionally other PC's that belong to other workgroups are
    connected to our network. Those workgroups never show up from this place
    .....not normal isn't it? I remember that the different available workgroups
    should be listed here.

    Best regards,
    Perry Diels, Mar 7, 2005
  6. Perry Diels

    Bill Grant Guest

    The display you see in Microsoft Windows Network is just a graphic
    version of the browse list. The browsing process is a bit strange if you
    have multiple workgroups but no domain. Only a domain controller, in fact
    only the PDC (or PDC emulator in w2k/2k3) can merge browse lists. Also
    stopping the browser service on all machines except the server could cause a
    problem with multiple workgroups.

    Are all these machines in the same segment (ie on the same wire)? No
    routers, bridges etc? No remote access servers?
    Bill Grant, Mar 7, 2005
  7. Perry Diels

    Perry Diels Guest

    Hello Bill,

    Thanks again for your answer.

    Al the machines are on the same segment, there's only switches between them
    (no routers).
    There is a remote access server configured on the same server (W2K3 VPN),
    but thats via the second NIC, connected to the outside world (Internet)

    Could that cause a problem?
    Perry Diels, Mar 8, 2005
  8. Perry Diels

    Bill Grant Guest

    It sure can! (So can the external NIC) .As soon as a remote user
    connects, the server acquires an additional IP, so now it has three.
    Multihomed browsers have been a problem since NT days, and the software is
    still essentially the same.

    You need to disable Netbios over TCP/IP on the public NIC and also on
    the "virtual" interface. The latter requires a registry edit. See KB 292822
    items 1f, 1g and 1h.
    Bill Grant, Mar 8, 2005
  9. Perry Diels

    Perry Diels Guest

    Hello Bill,

    I have followed the steps as described, both NETBIOS disabled and KB292822.
    At first, after rebooting the server and all the workstations, it looked
    fine. The Master Browser is the server and al the connected stations were
    visible from the browser (on all stations including the server). I was
    confident that this was the solution, but today when restarting the
    workstations (not the server) the same problem appears again. The
    workstations show up but after x-time only the server remains visible from
    network browsing.
    Perhaps any other bright idea?

    All the best,
    Perry Diels, Mar 8, 2005
  10. Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Mar 8, 2005
  11. Perry Diels

    Perry Diels Guest

    Hello Michael,

    Thanks for your answer.
    The result of browcon (I ran it on a workstation as well as on the server,
    both with the same error:

    PDC/Domain Master Browser: not found
    The domain master browser for the specified domain could not be found.

    However running "browstat status" or "browstat getmaster" give a positive
    result, the answer is that ourserver is the master browser.
    In the registry of our server both lines are correct:

    = Yes
    = TRUE

    On all workstations this is No and FALSE respectively.

    Why is the diagnostic result of Browcon different of Browstat?
    Please note that I'm not sure what to enter as Identify IP Subnets in
    Browcon, hence I keep the default setting "local_subnet localhost"

    Any other ideas or hints greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,
    Perry Diels, Mar 8, 2005
  12. Hi Perry,

    Answers linline:

    Attempt to map a share from the PDC to the workstation and vice
    versa first by name then by tcp/ip address. If any fails post the exact
    If you only have 1 machine on this paticular subnet acting
    as the master browser I would recommend you have at
    least two more machines maintaining the list as backup
    master browsers. Next I would set the IsDomainMaster
    setting to false on all machines on that paticular subnet.
    Basically this gives the machine a better chance of becoming
    an SMB (subnet master browser) but doesn't guarentee this
    will happen. Its best to let the machine criteria determine the

    It's possible browstat is finding the SMB but not the DMB.
    The PDC is always the DMB or PDC emulator that's set
    in stone.
    Depends on which subnet the machine is on which is running
    the application. That will be the local host. You need to put
    the subnet the problem machine is on and the subnet which
    cannot see the problem subnet.
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Mar 9, 2005
  13. Perry Diels

    Perry Diels Guest

    Answers linline:
    This works perfectly in both directions. No errors at all.
    Even though the other machines are not all the time on line? Remember that
    the only machine that is 'always' on is the W2K3 server.
    Is this not contradictory to the fact that we have disabled on all
    workstations the 'computer browser' service?
    That's exactly how it is.
    That's new for me, I was not aware of the existance of a DMB (Domain Master
    Browser right?)
    Can this be configured apart from the SMB in w2k3 server, and how to do so?
    I only know a little bit of subnetting, I understand that the second portion
    of an IP address determines the subnet, but I don't know what name is
    assigend to a subnet. Where can I find that? Note that our network is Class
    B and, correct me if I'm wrong, each machine is on another subnet because
    the third octet of the IP address, assigned by DHCP from the w2k3 Server, is
    a different number. I don't know what name would be used in Browcon to
    differentiate those subnets.

    I hope my questions make sense, sorry but I'm not an expert in subnets and
    this level of TCPIP.

    Thanks for your patience,
    Perry Diels, Mar 10, 2005
  14. Now if you have multiple domains make sure each PDC can
    communicate with each PDC.
    Then I would make sure all machines have the IsDomainMaster
    as false and enable the computer browser service. By default
    with no changes the PDC is always the DMB and the SMB for
    it's given endpoint. The other machines will share the backup
    master browser role.
    This is contradictary to what you've posted earlier. You said
    each have the IsDomainMaster setting as true. Maintain list
    should also be true.
    The machine holding the PDC emulator role is the DMB. The DMB is
    responsible for gathering the local lists from all SMBs and passing back
    to those SMBs It will also query WINS for other 1b names to get their
    domain wide lists. The SMB gathers the local list for it's endpoint. Each
    machine will send a host name announcement packet to the SMB
    during the boot process at increasing intervals finally leveling out at
    12 minutes.
    Depends on your subnet mask e.g., a subnet mask of puts
    your machines on the same subnet. Now if the mask is
    then they are indeed on different subnets.
    No problem at all.
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Mar 10, 2005
  15. Perry Diels

    Perry Diels Guest

    Attempt to map a share from the PDC to the workstation and vice
    There's only one server W2K3 standard. No domain ... it's a peer to peer as
    I said in one of the first posts.
    Sorry for any confusion, I cannot remember I said as such.... I meant to say
    that those setting are "true" on the server, bur NOT on the workstations.
    OK I understand, but what to enter in the Browcon fields ... the IP
    addresses instead of a name?

    You proposed in a previous post to have at least 2 machines setup to act as
    Computer Browser (enable that service).
    I have chosen two machines that are most often on-line, on one of them the
    Computer Browser service does not want to start again. The error message is:

    "The Computer Browser Service on Local Computer started and then stopped.
    Some services stop atomatically if they have no work to do, for example

    I have checked the dependency's, there are two which are started. I have no
    idea why on this single workstation that service won't run. It did before!

    Best Regards,
    Perry Diels, Mar 11, 2005
  16. Wow I apologize I was thinking of a couple other threads which
    have primary. There is no DMB to merge the domain wide list
    which makes browsing remote workgroups impossible.
    No problem at all. Setting all false is my recommendation.
    You haven't given me the subnet mask so I can't tell you specifically
    but you have to put the network id e.g., a machine with an address
    of with a mask of will have a network id
    of Hope this helps.
    If the MaintainServerList is set to false the computer browser cannot start.
    Post the event id.
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Mar 11, 2005
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