Browse List of Computers in “Microsoft Windows Network” on Windows 2000 has missing entries

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Windows 2000 Server
Happy New Year to one and all. How can I get the Browse List of Computers in "Microsoft Windows Network" on Windows 2000 to show ALL of the Computers in my Subnet? I have several Domain Controllers on the Subnet, but I cannot see all of the Workstations within those Domains from the Browse List on my Windows 2000 Server, despite being able to Ping them by name and map network Drives to them okay! One of the reasons for wanting all the Computers visible in the Browse List is because I am trying to Administer the Symantec Anti Virus Client on all of the PCs from the Server. The Symantec Management Console appears to use the Browse List as the souce of available Computers to manage, so I am stuck until I can get all the the Computers visible! Can anyone help me out please?

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You need to ensure the Computer Browser service is running on the machine you are checking from. This keeps track of the network. Look out for Master Browser clashes on your DCs which can screw this up, as well as ensuring all the machine subnet masks are ok.

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  • Ioexch
    I'm not sure if it's the same for all versions of Windows, but, you will want to make sure that the 'Client for Microsoft Networks' is installed and active on each of your PC's. To check this is Windows XP: Open Control Panel, Open Network Connections, Right-click your network connection and select Properties, Then make sure you see 'Client for Microsoft Netowrks', and make sure there is a check next to it. Hope that helps, Ian
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  • Mraslan
    First of all, whats the clients OS? are they all Windows 2000, or is there is any Windows 9x boxes there? Second, in Symantec Corporate Edition, there is an import feature, that is you can write the machine names in a text file, and import this file when you browse for the clients In my opinion, Microsoft Networks Browsing feature is one of the worst things you can depend on, it has many problems and if you have your network separated by subnets, then many problems you must deal with, Installing WINS might help you
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  • Madwand
    I have seen some sites / vendors recommend turning off the PCs browse feature to get a performance boost. May just need to check the Services on the "missing" PCs to make sure the service / client is running.
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  • Bobkberg
    I get the feeling that something is missing from this picture. Mraslan has pointed out problem with routers, etc. Before proposing any possible solutions, I'd like to pose some questions. 1) Henry, you mentioned that you have multiple domain controllers. - Are they all for the same domain? - Where is the PDC with respect to the BDC's? - Is WINS running on all domain controllers? - Are there (Horrors!) multiple PDC's for the same domain? - Are all clients authenticating to the domain controllers (as opposed to merely being members of a workgroup with the same name) ? - If there are multiple domains, have appropriate trust relationships been established with them? - Do the event logs on all DC's show any signs of elections being forced by "rogue" DC's or any other system? * For example, there was a known issue with older SAMBA installs (about 5 years ago, give or take) winning browser elections locally, but never maintaining proper browse lists. - As mraslan pointed out, what does the network/router picture look like? Is is possible that you might need to turn on UDP Helper functions on your routers? Post some replies to these questions, and the group as a whole will be in a better position to assist you. Bob
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  • HenryKafeman
    Thank you for the suggestions on Forum and a couple of private messages. I have managed to get a bit further - first some details of my set up (each Server is its own PDC for itself and its Workstations which are members of the Domain): Server 1 - W2K IP x.y.z.2 Server 2 - W2K IP x.y.z.40 and a.b.c.201 (dual network cards) Server 3 - NT IP x.y.z.20 Workstation 2.1 - W2K Pro a.b.c.101 Workstation 2.2 - W2K Pro a.b.c.102 Workstation 3.1 - NT Work x.y.z.38 Workstation 3.2 - NT Work x.y.z.39 Now all PCs have the "Computer Browser", "Workstation" and "Server" Services running. I believe All the PCs have 'Client for Microsoft Networks'. Wins is not being used. Servers 1 and 2 have DNS (for their Domains). Searching for the missing Computers from Explorer did not find them. I have not yet checked if netbios is enabled on all the PCs. Now the normal Mask for Subnet x.y.z is 255.255.252.0 I found that 3.2 had 255.255.255.0 - when I corrected it and rebooted it magically appeared in the Browse List on Server 1! I used the IP addresses of 2.1 and 2.2 in a text file and imported them to Symantec Antivirus on Server 1 which has now allowed me to Administer them okay. Doing this actually made Server 2 visible in the Browse List on 2.2! However, on rebooting Server 1 and looking at its Browse List, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 3, 3.1 and 3.2 are not visible! Pinging seems to sometime make them appear - not sure if this needs to be done from one end or both? Any more ideas or suggestions?
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  • Bobkberg
    Henry, if I understand your last posting correctly, you have built multiple PDCs (Primary Domain Controllers) for the same domain. PLEASE tell me this is not correct!!! For any given domain, there must be one, and only one PDC. All other domain controllers MUST be BDCs (Backup Domain Controllers). If you want to talk about this on the phone, then send me a private message, and I'll send you my phone number. Bob
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  • HenryKafeman
    Bob No there are 3 separate Domains with 3 separate PDCs - Servers 1, 2 and 3. This is in our Software Development Lab where Server 1 is for Building Software, Administering AntiVirus, etc. Server 2 is a Test setup running Windows 2000 and one particular Configuration of Equipment simulating a Customer's Site. Server 3 is a Test setup running Windows NT and a different Configuration of Equipment simulating a different Customer's Site. I hope that clarifies the situation?
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  • Mraslan
    Hi there, Its not wrong to have even in the same subnet multiple PDC's as long as they are all in different domains. In your case i suggest that you Install WINS on Server2 (The Dual one) and configure the entire network to use it for NetBIOS name resolution. Regarding that when you restarted Server1, it took a long time to get the complete browse list, this is what i meant by that Microsoft Networks are one of the worst things to depend on, to your knowledge, in some cases it might take more than an hour for the browse list to be correctly displayed to the entire network. The probblems with the Microsoft Networks are browser elections, and the transfer of the Domain Master Browser and the browse list from one machine to another which takes a long time, beside that it usually depends on broadcasts which doesn't cross routers. WINS should help you speed up things, but it will not be a 100% complete solution, and its better to disable in all machines except the the one that will hold the WINS role to participate in the election process, to do that, navigate to the following key HLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesBrowserParameters, edit the "MaintainServerList" value and set it to "yes" on the WINS Server, and to "no" on all other computers. This way no server will try to participate in the election process and the WINS server will always hold the browse list, note that this server should be up most of the time, and should be up and running before any other machine.
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  • Cimpeva
    Subnets and ping are concepts of TCP/IP . Domain controllers and "computer browser" are part of Microsoft networking, which runs on top of TCP/IP .
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