Thursday, July 24, 2003

188305 - Troubleshooting the Microsoft Computer Browser Service

188305 - Troubleshooting the Microsoft Computer Browser Service: "SUMMARY
Although there is no centralized method to determine if the browse list across a WAN is complete, there are techniques to determine if the servers on a particular segment are represented in the browse list on a remote segment. These same techniques can be applied on all segments throughout the WAN. However, the results of these tests can change if the roles of the servers change when browser elections occur. Only if all the servers in a domain throughout the WAN are completely static, and no servers come online or go offline, will the results of these tests have meaning over time.

The tests that are described below rely on the Browstat.exe utility from the Microsoft Windows Resource Kit utility. Sample output will be for the TCP/IP protocol only. Also, as with most network problem diagnosis, to troubleshoot the browser service, the administrator must have full knowledge of the network segment boundaries and router configurations on the network. As an example, assume that a client on a remote segment does not have a server in its browse list that is located on another segment.

Because of the time sensitivity of the Browser service and its use of broadcast datagrams, you should not perform these steps until after you wait for the 48-minute cycle (the full propagation cycle in a multiple-segment domain environment).

Remember that name resolution among all browsers is critical and that the first thing to do is to establish a robust name resolution infrastructure with WINS. A lot of time can be wasted trying to track down browser issues, which are really caused by name resolution problems. "

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