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Windows 7: How to determine master browser in Windows 7

06 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
How to determine master browser in Windows 7

My network is peer-to-peer, so there's no domain controller to act as master browser. I have a Seagate Blackarmor NAS 220 device on my network that can act as a Media Server, and it responds to master browser elections and sometimes wins. If all the computers on my network do not respond, as when they are sleeping or hibernating, the NAS wins by default, and when it does, it is not smart enough to really perform the role of master browser in Microsoft's scheme of things, so network browsing does not work and computers no longer show up in Network browser. I can still access other computers using UNC names, but can't pick them out of lists that are populated by information from the master browser. With earlier versions of Windows, Microsoft had a utility named browstat.exe that would report back the master browser situation, in particular identifying which computer was acting as master browser. That utility does not work on Windows 7 (at least on my 64-bit version), and I haven't been able to find any replacement. Does anyone know of a replacement that would enable me to easily determine which computer is acting as master browser on my Workgroup?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Dec 2011   #2

W7 Professional x64

From reading this, I can't see any way to 'force' master browser.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

I put together a batch file that uses browstat to determine the Transport name for my "domain" (WORKGROUP) and then it will force a new election using the browstat elect command. I've made several of my computers preferred browsers so they will win against the NAS 220 in the election that ensues. I had hoped the forced elections would be automatic when any of those computers came online, because a preferred browser coming online is supposed to automatically force election, but that does not seem to be the case, at least not when I tested it. Perhaps there's a significant delay before the forced election takes place. My script uses browstat dumpnet to find the name of the transport (which appears to be browser-specific) and then that transport value is used in the browstat elect command. It appears to work fine, and I have menu choices from the script to allow me to check which computer is master browser before I force the election. A copy of the batch file is attached. If it were to be used for a peer-to-peer network with workgroup/domain other than WORKGROUP, I believe the batch file would need to be modified to either plug in the proper domain name or add code to automatically figure it out.

Attached Files
File Type: bat browstat.bat (922 Bytes, 1035 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Dec 2011   #4

Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 , W7 ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by trippap View Post
... using the browstat elect command...

Good initiative, but browstat is not supported in Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Yes, I know browstat is not supported, but I have two XP computers on my network so I can use browstat there to reset the master browser if it gets hung up. It's a better solution than rebooting my NAS. But it would really be helpful if the Technet folks at Microsoft would come up with a browstat for Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to determine master browser in Windows 7

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