Master Browser Problem with Workgroups

By tipstir ยท 5 replies
Mar 17, 2008
  1. I've been working on this problem for a while. I know it comes and goes and even being expert, as you can always have some issues you just can't for the life of you figure out the cause is? Yes the quick way is to backup and blow out the OS and re-install a fresh copy.

    Or use image backups that worked prior to the problem. Service Pack 3 is out suppose to fix these problems but just can't have that SP3 on one box and not on the other systems. I fall into this problem where I can't run SP3 on all boxes due to the third party software drivers problems. That would really screw-up my network here. I could bring all workgroup systems into a domain and run active directory.
    Another program is Network Magic, but that's kind of flaky to use and not always reliable to use or count on...

    Still just want to keep this as it is. I just got to my devices on the network.

    4 wired desktops XP SP2 (MCE 2005)
    4 wireless laptops XP SP2 (MCE 2005) and Pro Mix
    7 wired/wireless media players

    15 network devices active... two additonal desktop are down at the moment one server another one would make it 6 total in desktops.

    Problem number #1 The Network Places
    Can't View Worksgroups
    Can't View shared Folders

    Can't View Worksgroups
    Enabling NetBios over TCP/IP and adding Router IP to Mertic did works for a few years down but doesn't do it like prior.

    Making all desktops and laptop to use static IP instead of the DHCP does work but still not reliable.

    Fix-Forced: Can't View shared Folders
    I can now view shared folders by \\ip address\ open the shares on those network pcs and copy and drag the shareds to My Network Places under Internet. That works.

    I've created a Flush-Fix.cmd which runs and clears out and fixes socket and any tweaks made by third-party software. But that still doesn't fix the problem I did once twice, but not the third time.

    Disabling firewalls doesn't do it either.. Running the Guest account nope. I usually disable the guest account. I also force the systems to connect using Classic Mode. All system also login with the same name and password also it's an admin.

    Now making one PC as the Master Browser


    MaintainServerList = Auto (default) choices are Auto, Yes, No
    IsDomainMaster =FALSE (default) choices are True and False

    So what I did was create NoMasterBrowser.reg
    Set it to:

    MaintainServerList = No
    IsDomainMaster =FALSE

    Then I ran this on all PCs except the one that will be the Master Browser.
    I also did notice that Computer Browser service fails to load on all network pcs. But now since I've made one the Master browser the Computer Service loads again.

    If you got any ideas or methods do join in... I'll post my results as it happens...
  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,473   +126

    Forgot to mention I am testing with:

    BROWSTAT WFW workgroup name

    This is a free network ultity from MS Browstat.exe I place that into C:\Windows and run it from cmd prompt under Windows.
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,473   +126

    Al righty this worked! All PCs can browse shared folders, directories, and printers. Follow the steps in the first post to move shares folders into My Network Places.

    MasterBrowser Changes to Registry is available below attachment.
    Here you go for those of you who are having problems with your Workgroups Network. There is a readme.txt included.

    Attached Files:

  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,473   +126

    I've restored my Caller ID Server and it wasn't able to saved incoming data on calls to the main file server. Now it can and also it can see My Documents on the network. All PCs on the network access the same shared drive and folder directory for My Documents. Once I got burnt real bad, but I did have a backup of My Documents. This time one HDD is used for My Documents, My Pictures, My Music all the stuff for Office 2003 and Office 2007 for storage. Corp Compaines do the same why not do it at home I say.. Then you can backup that to a image file and store that somewhere else just incase of emergency.

    I am glad this is working again...
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Master Browser requires NetBT (NetBIOS over Tcp)

    the correct values for the keys are documented to be:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Browser\Parameters isDomainMaster REG_SIZ {TRUE,FALSE}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\lanmanserver\parameters isDomainMaster DWORD {0,1}

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Services\Browser\Parameters isDomainMaster REG_SIZ {TRUE,FALSE}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\lanmanserver\parameters isDomainMaster DWORD {0,1}

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters MaintainServerList REG_SIZ {No,Yes,Auto}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters isDomainMaster DWORD {0,1}​

    Tip Set the MaintainServerList entry to No on computers that are frequently turned off or removed
    from the network, such as portable computers. This ensures that a browse server remains available,
    helps to reduce browser elections, and reduces network overhead caused by a browser.
    Disabling browsing on client computers also reduces the network overhead that results from browser

    Peer-2-Peer (also SOHO; Small Office/Home office)
    two to ten systems on the LAN

    Account authentication is performed by one of the following two methods:
    * Authentication by the local account database, for computers in workgroups and stand-alone computers.
    * Authentication by a domain account database located on a domain controller, for computers in a domain.​
    Windows XP Professional uses the Kerberos V5 authentication protocol as the default
    authentication method for domain access and NTLM for local access.

    Computer Browser and Browsing Roles

    The Computer Browser service provides a method of locating shared resources within
    a domain or workgroup environment. The service transparently designates certain
    workstations or servers as browse servers, which maintain master browse lists,
    or directories of all shared resources on the network.
    The Computer Browser service designates other workstations and servers as browsers,
    which contact the nearest browse server to obtain the master browse list.

    Browsing is required by network applications that use SMB, such as My Network Places,
    the net view command, and Windows Explorer.

    which says that the Master Browser must be accessible on the Workgroup, but
    the system making the request is not required to be the Master Browser

    In the MS KB823659, here are some considerations for Shares;
    #8 Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts
    #9 Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and shares
  6. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,473   +126

    Very good Jobead...
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