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Hi,
I am having very weird issues accessing some of the computers in our workgroup. Some of the computers can’t see other computers in the workgroup. The strange part is that they can ping by IP and by Name. Using run \\ComputerName wont find them but run \\ComputerIP will work fine.

The computers that can’t be reached don’t have any problem from there end and can be reached by most of the other computers.

We recently “upgraded” the DNS/DHCP/WINS server from Linux to Windows server2003.

Any Ideas?

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Last Post by DimaYasny
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i get this problam on my home network sometimes (no DNS or wins, all machine are xp home with workgroups) i dont know why it happens.

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hey daywraith,

since you have server2003, have you considered running a domain rather than a workgroup?

I feel certain this would solve your problems. If you need help setting it up, let us know and myself or someone else on here will walk you through it step by step.

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Hi, I had the same exact problem myself earlier today...Three machines on a workgroup that could ping eachother, but could not see eachother by name...after an hour of going through the network setup wizard several times on each computer, I tried something different...
I went to the properties page for the network connection and installed the following protocol:
"NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol"
After I installed that, everything immediately started working correctly...
(All three machines were XP Home...)
Hope this helps!
-Eric

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Thanks for the replies,

To: Duki
I would like to try setting up a domain (for the experience if nothing else) but I would have a very hard uphill battle to get it approved. The company I work for is a research institution with a large number of highly skilled and fiercely independent tec savvy employees. About 50%+ have masters/doctorates in technology related fields. Previously there was no network admin, people just got round the cooler and came up with a solution. There are a lot of weird user requirements, to be honest I don't know what a lot of the devices plugged into my network do, GPS devices, acoustic/electromagnetic scanners, custom built electronics etc.

While I haven’t had a lot to do with domains/active directory I think they generally work best with in homogenous environments don’t they?

To ft3ssqeek:
Thanks for the tip I will look into it. Could you ping by name? This is the part that is kind of confuses me. I think it will give me the clue to fixing the problem I just don't know enough about how the windows master browser, WINS, DNS and NetBIOS work.

P.S The computers are XP Pro machines.

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To be honest, I did not attempt to ping by name, but I did do an nslookup on the ip addresses and it returned the correct name, so I'm assuming that had I tried to ping by name I would have been succesful...(shrug)

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IPX/SPX has nothing to do with this :)
anyhow, if you upgrade the network to a domain, this problem will be easily solved. another way, if you have static IP addresses, is to write a hosts file, and spread it among the workstations. that way no dhcp, dns or wins is needed. but it is quite a strain to manage such a system if you make frequent changes.

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I will start looking into upgrading the network to a domain. I don't think I will be able to get enough support to push it through but it will be interesting. Does anyone have any good guides to upgrading to a domain?

I have been examining DNS records and there is something weird going on. The reverse lookup seems to be full populated, I did notice that there was a double entry, two computers had 192.168.2.85 how could this occur?

The forward lookup is nearly empty. The static entry's I configured are there and maybe 10 other machines. Not sure why 10 DHCP machines are there while the other 100 or so aren't. The DNS is configured to lookup the WINS server if it can't find an entry.

The WINS server contains entries for both the computers in the DNS and the missing DHCP machines.

Anymore help would be greatly appreciated.

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well, promoting to domain is very simple, just run dcpromo and follow the wizard. but first, remove the dhcp, dns and wins services, dcpromo will set those up for you during the domain setup, and fit them to the domain

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Thanks DimaYasny that was a impressively quick reply :-O

Will give it a go latter this afternoon. I have a virtual network setup with vmware for testing purpose will tell you how it goes.

I still need to fix my current problem, any ideas?

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that is mostly usual windows behaviour, workgroups never were too good for networking since directory services started being used by MS.

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That's what I keep hearing, :(

Seems strange it’s kind of got me interested. Why only some computers? It's not that vital for my users because if they want access to a computer they can do a nslookup computer name then connect via run \\IP but now I really want to know why run \\computername won't work.

Does anyone know what services/protocols are being used when you try and access a computer via run \\computername.

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Thanks DimaYasny,

I had a read over the link you provided and related articles, but I'm still a little confused. My clients have Hybrid node types so in theory clients should register themselves with a NetBIOS Name Server (NBNS) upon start up.

I haven’t specified or setup one of these myself so I presume the clients are defaulting to b-node behavior which may be having problems because of routers etc. How do I setup one of these servers and how do I tell my clients about it. I presume there is a setting in DHCP server somewhere that will tell clients about it.

Or is there a way to use WINS server for this lookup instead?

I’m not sure if this will actual fix the whole problem because some of the computers having problems are on the same subnet.

I used browstat status on my computer and one of the other computers in my subnet that was having problems this is the result.

My computers:

Status for domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{F142FA66-E3E3-4067-80D8-E4BA91D57D12}
Browsing is active on domain.
Master browser name is: MYPC
Master browser is running build 2600
1 backup servers retrieved from master MYPC
\\MYPC
There are 1 servers in domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{F142FA66-E3E3-4067-80D8-E4BA91D57D12}
There are 1 domains in domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{F142FA66-E3E3-4067-80D8-E4BA91D57D12}



Status for domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{F716E62E-C6BB-45CB-A14E-CD0C1DF99001}
Browsing is active on domain.
Master browser name is: MYPC
Master browser is running build 2600
1 backup servers retrieved from master MYPC
\\MYPC
There are 1 servers in domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{F716E62E-C6BB-45CB-A14E-CD0C1DF99001}
There are 1 domains in domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{F716E62E-C6BB-45CB-A14E-CD0C1DF99001}



Status for domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{384CA00D-B26C-4B1D-94BF-E7BFB3746FBF}
Browsing is active on domain.
Master browser name is: MYPC
Master browser is running build 2600
3 backup servers retrieved from master MYPC
\\AJW
\\BJS
\\FRED
Unable to retrieve server list from MYPC: 71



Other Computer



Status for domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{7B5Bd080-78C2—46F2—BBC1—E4E324EF2645}
Browsing is active on domain.
Master browser name is: RM1
Master browser is running build 2600
1 backup servers retrieved from master RM1
\\RM1
There are 1 servers in domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{7B5Bd080-78C2—46F2—BBC1—E4E324EF2645}
There are 1 domains in domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{7B5Bd080-78C2—46F2—BBC1—E4E324EF2645}



Status for domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{219D74AE-8EB0-4ED3-ACCF-FC78FEBDEC35}
Browsing is active on domain.
Master browser name is: RM1
Master browser is running build 2600
1 backup servers retrieved from master RM1
\\RM1
There are 1 servers in domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{219D74AE-8EB0-4ED3-ACCF-FC78FEBDEC35}
There are 1 domains in domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{219D74AE-8EB0-4ED3-ACCF-FC78FEBDEC35}



Status for domain QWE.RTY.NZ on transport \Device\NetBT_Tcpip_{4CE8C0A8-44FE-492F-9618-EC37DED58D11}
Browsing is active on domain.
Master browser name is: RM1
Master browser is running build 2600
3 backup servers retrieved from master RM1
\\GILLAN
\\DTAWSUS
\\BJS
Unable to retrieve server list from RM1: 71

I'm not sure If I an interpreting these results correctly but this indicates that there are multiple master browsers on the same subnet doesn't it?

Edited by happygeek: fixed formatting

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wins is netbios name server actually.

anyhow, looks like for all the workstations, the WS itself is the master browser. you have to set up the server to have top priority in that. but switching to domain is still much simpler

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