Master Browser problem

Discussion in 'Server Networking' started by jcw 1545, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. jcw 1545

    jcw 1545 Guest

    I do not work on the Network side but I need to get our network guys to solve
    a Master Browser problem, hopefully one of you can assist by giving me the
    correct questions to ask.

    I have read many documents today, all of which seem to suggest that WINS
    should still be employed to ensure the Master Browser stores the correct
    info. We have a large WAN, many locations and subnets, using server 2000,
    win XP Pro for pc's and utilising Active Directory. The network guys insist
    they do not need to use WINS. So, here is my question - is it possible to
    properly control a large WAN such as ours without using WINS. Some sites
    have static IP address's whilst some use DHCP.

    I hope someone can guide me in the correct direction, even if it means the
    network guys are right :0P
    jcw 1545, Nov 19, 2004
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  2. You don't _need_ WINS. What are you trying to do that requires WINS?

    Matt Anderson, Nov 19, 2004
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  3. Sure you don't need WINS, you could use lmhosts files but
    WINS is a dynamic form of lmhosts files. Multi-subnet
    browsing requires Netbios name resolution in order to
    work. Setting up WINS is about the easiest way to
    acheive browsing across multiple subnets.
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 19, 2004
  4. Right... if they need browsing across subnets i agree.

    Matt Anderson, Nov 19, 2004
  5. Yes, WINS is probably the easiest way to get this to work unless
    they are forwarding broadcast packets across the routers which
    will result in browse problems in either case or lmhosts files..

    Browsing across subnets requires at least 1 domain in place. The
    PDC or PDC emulator is responsible for gathering the list; it acts
    as the DMB or domain master browser and the SMB by default
    for it's given endpoint. The SMB (segment master browser) will
    gather the local list from the client machines and forward the local
    list to the DMB along with retreive the full list from the DMB and
    passing back to the client machines. Each machine will send a host
    name announcement packet to the SMB during the boot process at
    increasing intervals finally leveling off at every 12 minutes.. The SMBs
    cummunicate using Netbios which needs Netbios name resolution in
    place. Each DMB will register a Netbios domain name 1b with WINS
    along with quering other 1b entries in order to get their list. Having
    said all of this if the routers are forwarding broadcasts the host name
    announcement packets will be forwarded to remote subnets causing
    browse problems along with a browse error every 5 minutes in the
    event viewer (IIRC event id 8003/8005).
    Michael Giorgio - MVP, Nov 20, 2004
  6. jcw 1545

    jcw 1545 Guest

    Hi Michael (and Matt)

    As I said in my original post, I don't work with networks. However I think
    I can see where our network guys are going wrong. I KNOW we do not use
    lmhost files, I have checked, and as for broadcasting packets - I don't think

    Therefore, I think there is some confusion with DMB and SMB; I say this
    because one of our network guys says we have a DMB for each of our locations.
    Now having the responses to my original post, I can ask more pertinant

    Thanks for the response, I guess I will be posting again before we resolve
    this problem.


    <snip my original question and babble>
    jcw 1545, Nov 22, 2004
  7. If you have a domain on each subnet you do have a
    DMB on each subnet. Each domain has 1 PDC or
    PDC emulator which also acts as the DMB. The
    DCs in each locatioin will have a lmhosts files locally
    in the c:\%systemdirectory%/system32/drivers/etc.
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 22, 2004
  8. jcw 1545

    jcw 1545 Guest


    Sorry I did not make our situation clear, we only have the one domain over
    many subnets; each subnet is at a different location. I would expect, if I
    have understood your previous reply, each subnet to have a SMB which would
    exchange information with the DMB.

    As a matter of interest a friend advised me to use Browmon to examine the
    Domain; when the domain was selected the lower left of the window gives a
    list of servers; this has confused me further because it appears to show all
    servers, pc's and laptop's that are on the domain at that time. Are these
    computers that are able to act as a master browser or are they computers
    which 'are' acting as a master browser?


    jcw 1545, Nov 22, 2004
  9. Hi Jcw,

    Okay then there is only 1 DMB that's the PDC. In theory there should be
    SMB on each subnet reporting back to the DMB.
    All Windows machines by default can act as a master browser, not DMB
    but SMB or BMB (backup master browser). A machine will become the
    SMB when a browse election occurs. The following is used to determine
    which machine becomes the SMB:

    Information on Browser Operation

    In an NT domain environment it's common for a W2k2 or higher machine
    to force an election in attempt to become the SMB and actually win
    of it's OS criteria this causes problems with BDCs which normally win
    election; the result is a partial list where some machines are
    registering with
    the BDC and the others are registering with the W2k or higher machine..
    Win 9x is also known for forcing an election and actually winning over
    SMB causing problems. You can disable the computer browser service
    on the W2k machine using the services applet and disable the same
    on the Win 9x machines by editing the properties of the file and print
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Nov 23, 2004
  10. jcw 1545

    vidro Guest

    Sorry, hope I don't offend anybody and I'm not trying to hi-jack this thread
    but I believe I have a similar problem and I am evidently not understanding
    browser roles in mixed mode NT4/WIN2003.
    I have posted my scenario but if I may give a brief description
    One domain, two subnets, all server and the majority of users are one static
    subnet, second subnet is DHCP with no servers on it.
    users on DHCP subnet can see brows list and can access resources from the
    shares on the server but when trying to connect to desktop shares they get a
    "permission" error. When you do the "net use " command to the same shared
    resource it connect with no problem.
    I believe I have only tried the "net use" to the IP and not the name.
    I think my architecture is not kosher, does any one have any network design
    recommendation in a mixed mode environment with two or more local subnets?
    vidro, Jan 12, 2005
  11. One word: WINS.
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Jan 12, 2005
  12. jcw 1545

    vidro Guest

    Are you recommending WINS even when and if we go full WIN2003?
    I thought Microsoft plan for WINS was to be "absorbed in to the collective".
    Wasn't dynamic DNS going to take it's place?
    vidro, Jan 12, 2005
  13. jcw 1545

    Todd J Heron Guest

    Todd J Heron, Jan 12, 2005
  14. The intention was to do away with WINS but in order
    for cross-subnet browsing to occur you need WINS
    regardless of the platform.
    Michael Giorgio - MS MVP, Jan 12, 2005
  15. jcw 1545

    vidro Guest

    Hum, Well I just add another post prior to revisiting this post in which it
    looks like your links have answered some of the Q? in my other post.
    That being said, in reality NetBIOS and WINS are not going to depart any
    time soon?
    vidro, Jan 12, 2005
  16. jcw 1545

    Todd J Heron Guest

    Afraid not.
    Todd J Heron, Jan 12, 2005
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