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Troubleshooting Computer Browser Issues

Understanding Computer Browser and Protocols
Browsing in VPN
Can't share after 15 minutes
In a small mixed OS network, you may want to disable W2K/XP master browser and keep w9x or NT master browser
Re-register NetBIOS name
The master browser has received a server announcement from the computer <computer name> that believes that it is the master browser
What is NetBT_<driver_name>
Windows 2008 WINS Issue

Windows 2012 R2 Network doesn't show any network computers - Resolution with screenshots

Understanding Computer Browser and Protocols

The computer browser is to display a directory of all known computers or domains that the computer can reach. The purpose of the browser service is to collect and report the existence of other computers on the network that are sharing file, print, and other resources from the active browser or master servers on each of its active endpoints such as each network protocol that is running on each network card. For example, a computer with TCP/IP and NetBEUI installed on the network interface cards A and B would have four endpoints for the computer browser client.

If the browser client is trying to locate a browser server on each endpoint. It waits until it either one receives valid information or times out on each endpoint before returning. This process can be slow if there is an endpoint that does not contain browser servers or  the active network card is not connected to the network. Also Multihomed servers can create unexpected and undesirable effects with the browser service and a master browser cannot be multihomed because the PDC will contact only the master browser on one of its network adapters.

In general, computer browser performance improves with fewer protocols or network cards on a computer. All domain controllers must be singlehomed computers for browsing to operate correctly. Also the computer browser is dependent on NetBIOS. Therefore, in a mixed OS network environment (win9x, NT, ME, W2K and XP), you should have a WINS server in a domain network and enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP (instead of loading NetBEUI) on w2k/xp in the home or small network.

In a small mixed OS network, you may want disable W2K/XP master browser and keep w9x or NT master browser

In a small mixed OS workgroup network, you may want to disable W2K/XP master browser and keep w9x or NT master browser because XP/W2K always win elections over others, and other previous OS doesn't understand it.  To disable master browser on W2K/XP, go to Administrative Tools>Services, stop the Computer Browser.

Re-register NetBIOS name

To re-register NetBIOS name, run nbtstat -RR command.

What is NetBT_<driver_name>

To troubleshoot browser problem, the important data is NetBT_<driver_name>, which indicates the protocol and network card binding, also known as an "endpoint." The potential protocols you may see are: Nbf_netcard = NetBEUI NetBT_netcard = TCP/IP (or NetBIOS over TCP/IP) NwlnkIpx = IPX/SPX (NwLink) [will not indicate netcard] NwlnkNB = NetBIOS over NwLink [will not indicate netcard].

The master browser of a domain is always the primary domain controller. If it's not, you will get lots troubles.


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