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    Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    Help!
    We have 5 pcs on a small office lan, all with Windows XP. 4 of them, including the "server" (just a client we don't use as a workstation) have XP home, but 1 client has XP pro on it.
    Am I correct in guessing that the pro client takes over as "browse master" or whatever the equivalent is with "Microsoft Active Directory services " when it joins the lan ??
    Can someone tell me how to identify the browse master from my XP Home client, and maybe how to stop the XP Pro client from cutting in, cos when it does, the other clients seem to lose the lan! :-( (At least, that's my best guess of what's happening)
    Thanks.

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by bigaldoc on 01-Sep-03 09:20. )</P>
    <hr>...Am I correct in guessing that the pro client takes over as "browse master"... <hr>
    I'm no expert, but I think you're right. If you open a command prompt and enter <big>NBTSTAT -A <computername></big> using each network machine name in turn, the machine that's acting as the "Boss" should have an entry with "_MSBROWSE_" in its list somewhere. I believe the Pro machine has the highest priority in the pecking-order, other than maybe a true server. You put quotes around YOUR use of the word server. Does that mean your LAN is a PTP workgroup, not a Domain?

    Edited to add: Correction! In my attempt to make it stand out, I used an uppercase -A in my example and it should be lowercase -a if you use the machine's computername. The uppercase is for using IP address.

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    Re: Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    Ah - you had me going! I dilegently used the upper case, and sure enough - got a cryptic message that I'd used the wrong format, which only made sense once I logged in & saw your correction. :-)

    Of course, now I'm at home with only a win2k pc to test it on and it works, so I'll have to wait to get back to the office to confirm this works for the xp home pcs.
    I tried a command like that yesterday on the xp home pc and was told it wasn't a valid command. I may have either mistyped it, or used a different command.

    and yes - we just have 5 pc in a workgroup - no domains... (No true servers with which to setup a domain.)

    Thanks Al,

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    Re: Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    OK, now then for the other half of your question, we may have to wait for another, more network experienced Lounger to jump in. My only experience with Browse Master was on the DOMAIN at work. Our network gurus had me turn OFF browse master on ALL the workstations so they wouldn't be trying to act as the boss and slowing down cross-network access. But I don't know if you can do that in a workgroup setting. Worse yet, I can't find the attached setting at all on my XP Pro machine. It's there in Win98 and WinME but I haven't found it yet in XP. I suppose what you were gonna do is disable it on the Pro machine and let the others "compete" for the master browser job, huh?

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    Re: Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    Yep, you're right - I wanted to ensure our "server" was the server!
    The annoyig thing is that I remember doing this a yr ago in another office with Win2K machines, and finding the same thing - the browse master option isn't as accessible as it is in win98 / ME etc. But I know I found it somewhere - trouble is my email archives are a mess, so I can't find where I noted it down. :-(
    Not to mention that it's changed in XP anyway.
    Maybe someone can shed more light, without me losing sleep over it.

    BUT - back in the xp office today, and the xp pro machine DID NOT take over as master when switched on last, so my little theory was wrong and I'm left unable to explain why the boss's computer suddenly couldn't find any peers on the lan. Humph.

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    Re: Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by bigaldoc on 03-Sep-03 09:21. I checked your provided link and it DOES use the "Maintain Server List" title.....)</P>Hey, good job, Stuart! I can't imagine why MS makes you modify the registry and not change that property under File and Printer Sharing. Here's what my registry looks like. Do you suppose this is the setting, since I use a Workgroup, not a Domain?

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    Re: Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    Edited by StuartR to add the MaintainServerList to the end of the parameter string as in BigAlDoc's post following

    According to Appendix I of the Windows 2000 Server core TCP/IP Networking Guide you can specify the following values for the registry setting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Services Browser ParametersMaintainServerList


    <table border=1><td>No</td><td>This value prevents the computer from participating as a browser.</td><td>Yes</td><td>This value makes the computer a browser. Upon startup, the computer attempts to contact the master browser to get a current browse list. If the master browser cannot be found, the computer will force a browser election. The computer will either be elected master browser or become a backup browser.
    This value is the default on a computer running Windows 2000 Server and Windows NT Server.</td><td>Auto</td><td>This value makes the computer a potential browser. It might become a browser, depending on the number of currently active browsers. The master browser notifies this computer whether or not it is to become a backup browser.
    This value is the default for computers running Windows 2000 Professional and Windows NT Workstation.</td></table>

    I'm pretty sure that this is exactly the same in Windows XP

    StuartR

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    Re: Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    I found similar articles -
    Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - 314067
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;EN-US;314067
    and
    http://www.interex.org/pubcontent/enterpri...1/ntqa0901b.jsp
    Both of which also discuss the the "IsDomainMaster" entry in registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesB rowserParameters

    It's not clear to me just what's the difference between this entry and the MaintainServerList entry??

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    Re: Workgroup Browsing in XP (XP SP1)

    that's weird, now nbtstat says NONE of our pcs are master brower! ??
    no surprise, I can't actually find the workgroup in windows explorer either!
    NO - wait for it - the other client is msbrowse again! aarrgghh.
    I GOT IT - that client has a wireless lan connection AND wired connection - it's being found as 2 diferent mac addresses - only 1 is msbrowse!!
    I wish i could reboot it and the server to see if the server can do the right thing.
    Sometimes seems as if it's just good luck that windows pcs work at all!??
    I've changed both the isdomainmaster and maintainserverlist on our "server" to the values that should make it the master, but unfortunately I left one of the other pcs on overnight and seems the server hasn't managed to take control yet..??

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