Discussion in 'Server Networking' started by jay, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. jay

    jay Guest

    Stupid question time.
    I've got the problem of not being able to see computers in my network
    neighborhood across a subnet boundary (VPN link, one domain). On one side of
    the link is Windows SBS 2003, on the other, XP Pro machines. Server side is
    running WINS and when I display Active Registrations from the WINS console,
    all of the remote computers are on the list. I can ping the remote computers
    by name but nothing shows up in the Network Neighborhood and a DOS command
    issued on the server side like ">dir \\ComputerName\c$" works on the server
    side but not on the remote side.
    Do we need WINS on the remote side? Is there any way to install WINS service
    on the remote side without installing Windows SBS 2003 (or equiv)?
    jay, Jul 11, 2005
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  2. No.
    You need WINS on the whole thing.

    WINS doesn't care "where" it is. What is important is that *all* the
    machines use it in their Network config.

    Phillip Windell [MCP, MVP, CCNA]
    Understanding the ISA 2004 Access Rule Processing

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Guidance

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Partners
    Phillip Windell, Jul 11, 2005
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  3. jay

    jay Guest

    Thanks, Phillip.
    In fact, the remote computers all point to the Windows SBS 2003 computer for
    WINS. As I mentioned, the WINS service knows the names and IP addresses of
    the remote computers -- it just doesn't seem to want to communicate this
    information to network neighborhood.

    jay, Jul 12, 2005
  4. jay

    Bill Grant Guest

    It doesn't really work like that. The list you see in NN is built by the
    computer browser service. Each subnet builds a list using broadcasts. The
    Domain Master Browser (which will be your DC) then merges these lists to
    produce a network-wide browse list. The only function of WINS in this
    process is to provide a way for the DMB to contact the segment master
    browsers. It can't do this without WINS because the WAN link blocks LAN

    So what you have is a computer browser problem. It looks as if the DMB
    is not building a combined list. If the remote site doesn't have a server,
    you may need to put them in a workgroup for browsing to work. There is a
    description of the computer browser service in KB 188001 and a
    troubleshooting guide in KB 188305 .
    Bill Grant, Jul 12, 2005
  5. jay

    jay Guest

    Thanks, Bill. I've started to get into those KB articles that you referenced
    and the answer is in there, I'm sure. I simply haven't been able to digest
    all of it yet!

    In your response you said: "If the remote site doesn't have a server, you
    may need to put them in a workgroup for browsing to work." The remote users
    log onto the single domain on the server at the main office. I thought
    workgroups and NT domains were mutually exclusive. Am I wrong there?

    jay, Jul 13, 2005
  6. jay

    Bill Grant Guest

    Yes, domains and workgroups are mutually exclusive. If the remote site
    was a workgroup, the clients would not be domain members.

    That comment was a bit off the main topic. Your problem seems to be that
    the domain controller can't find the segment master browser in the remote
    site. If the remote site was a workgroup or another domain it might work
    because the DMB uses a different method to find them.

    Browsing across WANs is usually tricky. If there are firewalls involved
    it can get trickier if the Netbios ports get blocked. If you really want it
    to work, you will just have to wade through the murky depths of the browser
    Bill Grant, Jul 14, 2005
  7. jay

    jay Guest

    Thanks, Bill.
    I'll just put the hip boots on and get at it!

    jay, Jul 14, 2005
  8. jay

    Jason Gurtz Guest

    You need to have a WINS server on each subnet for browsing to work
    reliably. That means running an MS Server product such as 2003 Server
    standard (not sure if web ed. has WINS). If you have the knowledge, a box
    with SAMBA running on it can emulate WINS.

    There is no other way. Yes, it's friggin ridiculous to pay ~$800 plus
    hardware just to have network browsing! Go yell at them so they fix this


    Jason Gurtz, Jul 21, 2005
  9. jay

    Jason Gurtz Guest

    Actually, I forgot, you can maintain an lmhosts file on each machine
    (%systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc\lmhosts) to enable reliable NB
    browsing. That's pretty ridiculous too!

    Oh yea, if your WAN link between WINS servers is slow--less than 256Kb or
    so--you may need to maintain the lmhosts file on your WINS servers. Then
    again, maybe they fixed that bug since NT4; who knows? Sorry I don't have
    the Q article at hand to support that.


    Jason Gurtz, Jul 21, 2005
  10. jay

    jay Guest

    It is ridiculous, isn't it? If yelling would fix the problem, believe me, I'd
    be yelling!
    Thanks for you help, Jason.

    jay, Jul 24, 2005
  11. jay

    Bill Grant Guest

    You don't really need to have a WINS server on each subnet. What you do
    need is a browse master in each subnet. You do need to make sure that ALL
    machines register with WINS, so thet the DMB can find the SMBs using WINS.

    If you do have a WINS server in each subnet, you probably need to have
    them setup as push-pull partners so that each WINS server has a complete
    list for the entire network.
    Bill Grant, Jul 25, 2005
  12. jay

    jay Guest

    Thanks, Bill. It looks like I've got a lot of reading ahead of me before I
    get this thing to work, but I appreciate your help.
    jay, Jul 25, 2005
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