Q

Why aren't all my computers visible in Network Neighborhood?

Last July a Department of Education vendor set up a Dell lab in my school. It consists of 34 GX250's running Win2k SP3 with a Dell Poweredge server running Win2k Server and enforcing various group policies. Somehow the way it's set up, the only machine visible on the network is the DC. None of the client computer names appear in Network Neighborhood. I've been trying to figure out how this was done. I'm guessing it's some kind of N.A.T., but so far I haven't found any evidence of that. What are your thoughts?
There are many things that can prevent computers from showing up in the browser. One way is to set the REG_DWORD registry value Hidden to 1 at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ \SYSTEMCurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters\.

In a WAN, the use of multiple segments without a WINS server breaks browsing so you must have NetBIOS name resolution for browsing to occur. In a Windows 2000 domain, DNS provides name resolution, but not for browsing. With only 32 computers, it is unlikely that this is the problem, but it is another thing that can prevent browsing from functioning.

It's also interesting that you have 33 systems on your network. Browsing typically sets up a master browser for every 32 systems --- perhaps this is part of the issue. While the browser service is not necessary for browsing to occur, the browsing service is used by the master browser. If all clients have the browsing service turned off, perhaps there is an issue here.

A good article on browsing issues and some information on tools used to trouble shoot them can be found in the transcript of a web cast at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=%2fservicedesks%2fwebcasts%2fen%2ftranscripts%2fwct061003.asp.

This was first published in February 2004

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