Windows 7 Pro – Server 2003 connectivity problem

14925 pts.
Tags:
Windows 7
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
Windows XP
Windows XP Professional
Windows XP Professional SP3
I have a domain that includes several Win XP Pro SP3 computers, as well as a few Windows 7 Pro systems. There are 2 servers that are running Server 2008, 3 that are running Server 2003. The problem I am having started about a week or two ago.  The Windows XP computers have no problem at all seeing all the shares on all the servers.  The Windows 7 computers have no problem seeing the Server 2008 shares, but at (seemingly) random times they lose the ability to see the Shares on the Server 2003 systems.  If I want to map a drive at a time when the Server 2003 shares are not visible, I can still do it by typing the //server/share path and it will work, even if the server does not appear in the selction list. Thanks, Flame

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One solution seems to be to disable the Firewall service. Just turning the firewall off does not work. All the network computers are already behind routers and a hardware firewall system. After disabling the firewall service all the shares became visible. This happened on each of the Windows 7 computers as I made the change. No restart was needed.

I’ll update this if I find a better way, but for now it all seems to be working.

Thanks,
Flame

Update 5/16/11 –
In a nutshell, the above “fix” does not fix. I’m Still trying to figure this out. (I should probably move this to the discuss section until a REAL solution is found…) Running out of ideas. Any suggestions would be VERY welcome.

Thanks,
Flame

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  • Koohiisan
    Do you see any event log items in regards to changes to which computer is the 'master browser'? I believe it is the one that controls the listing of shares and general visibility. Correct me if I am wrong, however.
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  • Guardian
    That's can be the case some computers try to become the master browsers and fail (especially winXP Pro). Also ensure the Server has no High CPU usage during such times when shares appear not to be available
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  • Rakei
    yes, Ive seen this happening, but with XP.. Disabling Friewall didnt help us..but we reinstalled Service Ad. Protocol in Local Connection properties General tab, in which File Sharing Network became visible again..Havent seen it occur with Win7..seems like an ongoing fault..Is this a common issue or is their a reason behind this??//
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  • Flame
    The problem literally comes and goes. I'm sure there is a reason for it "coming" or "going" but I have not found it yet. Any one of the 6 Windows 7 computers on the network may or may not have the ability to browse network shares on the older (Server 2003) systems. I'm running out of hair to pull out, but I do have a fine collation of forehead shaped dents on my desk... Help? Flame
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  • Koohiisan
    Is there anything interesting (and perhaps common) in the event log on those computers?
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  • Guardian
    Hi again, I think the only way to go around it is to disable the computer browser of the computer that keeps trying to be a master browser. (the service "Computer Browser") So i think you need to check in the event log (on server) which computer is trying to be the "Master Browser" and go and disable it the service on the actual computer. I'm still trying to remember what i did when this happened but this was on winXP Pro. Regards NMM
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  • Flame
    I *think* I have it fixed (hope springs eternal...) I reapplied security settings on the domain controller (I made no security setting changes) then I rebooted the DC. When the DC was back up all Win 7 machines were able to browser the network. Hope this solution "sticks". I'm still not sure WHY this happened (it started about 2 weeks or 3 ago), I'll update this if I do find out. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions, I've learned a bit as a result of the help. Thanks again Flame
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  • Koohiisan
    @Guardian Yes, you have the steps for fixing an errant master browser correct. I've followed that same process recently myself. @Flame Congrats on the fix! What would we do without all these phantom computer problems to chase down...? ;)
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  • Flame
    If there were no phantom problems to hunt down, we would probably just spend the day surfing the web, or playing WoW and Halo. Wait, my users already think that's all I do...<sigh>
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  • batye
    I would check firewall settings
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  • Hsfilmswap
    How did you reapplly the security settings?
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