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  • Network Browsing only partially works

    Here is my setup:

    Corporate office in Chattanooga, TN with point-to-point T1's going to Dallas & Boston offices connected with Cisco 2501 routers. Each office has a local dc, dns, dhcp and wins server and all are working properly. In dhcp, netbios is set to enabled over tcp/ip by default and all machines are registered correctly in the WINS tables of all WINS servers. Servers:

    Boston: Win2K3 DC (local dns, dhcp, wins)
    Dallas: Win2K DC (local dns, dhcp, wins)
    Chattanooga: Win2K PDC (local dns, dhcp, wins), Win2K DC (backup local dns, dhcp, and wins), Win2K3 DC

    Subnets:

    Boston: 192.168.145.x
    Dallas: 192.168.135.x
    Chattanooga: 192.168.125.x

    When browsing the network from Chattanooga, I can only see Chattanooga machines. When browsing from Dallas, I can see both Dallas and Chattanooga. When browsing from Boston can see Boston & Chattanooga.

    From anywhere in network nslookup works, as does rdp.

    All the documentation I've found about problems with network browsing have to do with not having a wins server. I have a local wins server for each subnet and still cannot browse my entire network. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Network Browsing only partially works

    Sounds like you need to synchronise the 3 WINS servers.

    I found these 2 MSKB Article which should help point you in the direction:
    * Setting Up WINS Replication Between Untrusting Domains (http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;168509)
    * Recommended Practices for WINS (http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;185786)

    The articles may be a little old, but the principles and most of the instructions should be close enough to help solve the situation.

    Basically, you need to get the replication setup between the 3 WINS servers. The replication will take anything between 12 and 72 hours for the WINS databases to be fully synchronised.

    I know that there is also an option somewhere of the order of service which a workstation should refer to to resolve machine names on the network. If you set the DNS server(s) higher in the search list than the WINS servers, that should also help a bit, but it could place more stress on the DNS service depending on the number of workstations in your environment.

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    • #3
      Re: Network Browsing only partially works

      A couple of things.

      I do believe your problem is directly related to WINS. That is because NETBios browsing does not cross networks. Browsing is a broad-cast based service and if the machine you are trying to locate is not on the same physical subnet then you will not be able to browse to it. However, you will still be able to ping it by IP, see it through DNS and even connect to it by RDP.

      I think you need to look at your WINS servers. I think you need to see that the PCs are configure to use WINS. You will need to check that the WINS servers are replication partners to one another and you need to check that WINS related ports are open on any firewall devices you may have between the sites.

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      • #4
        Re: Network Browsing only partially works

        I guess the reason why I am stumped by this is that we don't have any firewall devices between sites... only XP 2 Windows Firewall on all XP clients. However, it's only some XP clients that are unable to be browsed. What specific ports need to be opened up for WINS traffic on Windows Firewall?

        The WINS servers in Dallas and Boston both replicate with my primary and secondary WINS servers in Chattanooga. As far as I can tell, my WINS servers are working. Do you have any specific settings that I should be looking for to determine whether WINS is properly working?

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        • #5
          Re: Network Browsing only partially works

          Do you have 2 Wins servers at your main site??

          Personally i always set my wins servers to have push/pull replication that way all you servers have an up to date copy of the wins database

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          • #6
            Re: Network Browsing only partially works

            Wullieb1 is correct in that you need to look at your WINS Push/Pull replication setup. If there are no firewalls in between, you don't need to check for failed connects based port/protocol.

            Just for a test and to show that it is solid technology. Why don't you configure all clients to connect to a one central WINS server. Your site sounds small enough for you to get away with it. Just configure the DHCP scopes on your DHCP server.

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            • #7
              Re: Network Browsing only partially works

              Originally posted by MrCaps
              Wullieb1 is correct in that you need to look at your WINS Push/Pull replication setup. If there are no firewalls in between, you don't need to check for failed connects based port/protocol.

              Just for a test and to show that it is solid technology. Why don't you configure all clients to connect to a one central WINS server. Your site sounds small enough for you to get away with it. Just configure the DHCP scopes on your DHCP server.

              Good idea.

              How fast are teh connections between offices???

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              • #8
                Re: Network Browsing only partially works

                Sites are connected via Point-to-Point T1 (1.5Mbps). All WINS servers are set up for push/pull replication with each other. I have changed the replication pattern to all replicate to the Primary WINS server only, so there should only be 1 replication for each WINS server back to the primary.

                I have found that I am able to see 1 of my machines in the Boston office from Chattanooga, but the others still aren't showing up.

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                • #9
                  Re: Network Browsing only partially works

                  Did you try MrCaps suggestion of setting the clients to use your primary WINS server for WINS resolution??

                  Are you getting any replication errors in the Event logs for your servers??

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                  • #10
                    Re: Network Browsing only partially works

                    Check for replication errors.

                    Also the replication may not be fully complete yet, so may have to still wait for another 24 hours or so (assuming there are no replication errors).

                    Other option is to try MrCaps' suggestion.

                    James

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                    • #11
                      Re: Network Browsing only partially works

                      Originally posted by emjtech
                      Chattanooga: Win2K PDC (local dns, dhcp, wins), Win2K DC (backup local dns, dhcp, and wins), Win2K3 DC
                      Come to think of it - why not remove the 2nd WINS service on the Win2kDC. It is actually not neccessary is you have the other WINS services from the other sites replicating with this office.

                      It also just complicates the whole matter and leaves the option opens of a workstation refering to the incorrect WINS server (for whatever reason - I've seen this happen) and setting up a replication partner with the 2nd WINS service (causing replication to take just so much longer!)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Network Browsing only partially works

                        Just another off the ball question.

                        Do you really need WINS???

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