Network Places not showing computers at different sites ?

By achen2002 ·
Here's a description of what was done and what's the problem:

We have a couple sites connected to each other through VPN. We retired an old Windows 2003 server at the main site, which was the DHCP / DNS / WINS server. We put DHCP and DNS roles on the replacing server (2008 R2) but decided not to do WINS because we thought we won't need it anymore.

Later on we found out from a 3rd party program that we use in daily basis -- from a list of PC's that it populates, all computers on remote sites are missing. It is a big problem for us because we use this program to provide supports. It's the same result when browsing workstations in Windows Explorer (for example, on a XP machine, go to My Network Places - Microsoft Windows Network - {Domain}, we only see computers that are under the same network.

We immediately though thit is related to WINS, so we install the WINS feature back on the Server 2008 R2 box, re-configured replication with other WINS on other sites, confirmed that WINS records are being replicated to this server, added WINS information into DHCP server (option 044 and 046), and have DHCP clients renew from DHCP server.

However from a workstation I still only see computers that are on the same site, not any remote site. I have confirmed the following things:

- On the WINS server, those computers names are shown in records.
- from a client workstation, address of WINS server that it obtained from DHCP is correct.
- from a client workstation, if I use nblookup, I was able to resolve the name of a PC at different site through the WINS on the Windows 2008 R2 server.
- There is no other changes on VPN, firewall, or routers d;forum-table#question-346502-post-formuring this period.

I like to find out what protocol Windows OS uses to populate the list shown in Network Places, and fix my mis-configuration. Let me re-address here, it's not that it is important for us to see those computers *in network places*, but the software that I mentioned above is displaying the same list as shown there, so I concluded I don't need to get that software involved in the troubleshooting here, if I can make those missing computer names to show up again in Network Places, my problem within that program is resolved at the same time.

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All Answers

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things to check

by markp24 In reply to Network Places not showin ...


did you have the clients renew refresh there ipinformation so it get the wins info,
on the client when you do an" ipconfig /all" does it show the wins server?
In the network settings of the client is wins enabled?

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Reponse To Answer

by achen2002 In reply to things to check

1. yes we did ipconfig /release and /renew, and they all got correct WINS server info. (The new Windows 2008 R2 server)

2. Of course WINS is enabled across the board, we didn't change anything on clients.

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lets check who is the master browser

by markp24 In reply to Network Places not showin ...

sounds like the Master browser currently elected is not your server, try download the Resource kit and use the browser tool "browstat getmaster" to check which system is the elected master browser.

i ran across this aricle on the wins proxy, maybe theres somthing in here that may help

hope this gets you somewhere.

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Check computer browser service on the DNS server

by IcebergTitanic In reply to Network Places not showin ...

Also make sure the Computer Browser service is set to automatic on the DNS server(s), and that it is currently started.

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