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Disappearing subnet clients from Windows Explorer window

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  • Disappearing subnet clients from Windows Explorer window

    I've noticed that clients from our third subnet disappear from Windows Explorer windows when I browse the list of computers for our domain. Here's our layout.

    Subnet 1
    Two Server 2003 DC's
    Two DNS Servers
    One DHCP Server
    Subnet 2
    One Server 2000 DC
    One DNS Server
    One DHCP Server
    Subnet 3
    One Server 2000 *Member* Server
    NO DNS Server
    One DHCP Server (points to Subnet 1 for DNS lookups)

    The disappearing act seems to happen after the servers on Subnet 1 have been running for quite some time. Rebooting the server on the missing subnet does not change anything. Clients can still be accessed by their IP's. They can usually be accessed by their hostnames, as well. They simply don't show up in the tree listing of Windows Explorer.

    We have a WINS server set up on Subnet 1 and 2, while Subnet 3 is pointed to Subnet 1 for WINS. All the DHCP settings look accurate to me. The Computer Browser service isn't showing any weird messages in the event logs.

    Any tips?

  • #2
    Re: Disappearing subnet clients from Windows Explorer window

    Network browsing is accomplished via NetBIOS broadcasts so I would look at your WINS configuration. Network browsing across subnets usually requires WINS and I have always used 2 WINS servers on the main subnet (assuming a hub and spoke WAN configuration). If it works sometimes, then I would suspect it is not related to NetBIOS broadcasts being blocked at the routers or switches. Can you configure a second WINS server on subnet 1 and remove the WINS server on subnet 2? Of course you'll have to change your DHCP options and any statically assigned hosts to update them for the new WINS location.