In recent articles, we’ve discussed
Windows NT’s Computer Browser service and the different roles that
computers can assume. We also explained how you can tweak the
registry
to modify this service. Now, let’s look at troubleshooting
it.

Here’s a common problem: Sometimes you can’t
see all of the servers in Network Neighborhood. You know the
servers are still there because you can access them by typing
\\computername in the Run dialog box. In this instance, the
most obvious problem is the Computer Browser service.

Before you begin troubleshooting, get familiar
with the entire browsing process, from the election process to
building the list to accessing the list. To help you get started,
the NT 4 Resource Kit offers two utilities for troubleshooting
browsing problems.

Browser Monitor (Browmon.exe) is a graphical
application that displays information about the Computer Browser
service on your network. It shows all domains and workgroups on
your network and provides additional information about the
computers. For example, you can find out which computers are master
browsers, which ones are backup browsers, etc.

Browser Monitor also displays some statistics;
for example, you can find out the number of server announcements,
number of election packets, etc. This utility is easy to use, and
it’s a good place to start when troubleshooting browsing
problems.

While Browstat.exe is similar to Browser
Monitor in functionality, you use the Browstat.exe utility from the
command line. You can also employ this tool to display statistics
and information about the master and backup browsers, force an
election on a remote domain, etc.