Microsoft KB Archive/246494

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Unable to Browse NT Network from Windows 3.11, NT 3.51, 4.0 and 95 Clients

Article ID: 246494

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11

This article was previously published under Q246494

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


When you attempt to browse from Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11-, Microsoft Windows NT 3.51-, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0-, or Microsoft Windows 95-based clients on a Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network running through a Windows NT Server 4.0-based computer, you may be unable to see resources on different segments of the network.


This behavior can occur when the browse list for the network is incomplete because clients running Windows for Workgroups 3.11 or Windows 95 are winning browser elections on their network segments and then not sharing the browse lists with the primary domain controller (PDC). This prevents clients from browsing for resources on some network segments.


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To resolve this issue, disable maintenance of a browse list on the Windows 95 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11 computers. Follow these steps:

  1. On each of the network's Windows 95-based computers, disable the default browse list maintenance by editing the MaintainServerList value in two registry keys:
    1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit) and locate the first registry key you need to edit:

    2. Change the MaintainServerList parameter to zero (0), and then click OK.
    3. Locate the second registry key you need to edit:

    4. Change the MaintainServerList parameter to zero (0), and then click OK.
    5. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.
  2. On each of the network's Windows for Workgroups 3.11-based computers, disable maintenance of a browse list by adding a line to the System.ini file:
    1. Open the System.ini file in a text editor such as Notepad.
    2. Add the following line to the [network] section of the System.ini file:

    3. Save the changes to the System.ini file, and then restart the computer.
  3. On each of the network's Windows 95- and Windows for Workgroups 3.11-based computers, add entries to the Lmhosts file to designate the PDC of the domain.
  4. Make sure that the WINS Client (TCP/IP) protocol is listed at the top of the binding for the Server and Workstation services on the network's Windows NT 4.0- and Windows NT 3.51-based computers, and that TCP/IP is installed as the default protocol on the Windows 95- and Windows for Workgroups 3.11-based computers.


By default, when a Windows for Workgroups 3.11-based computer is the master browser of a network segment in a Windows NT-based domain, it does not share its browse list with the domain master browser (the PDC). However, Microsoft has updated files that enable this functionality. For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

102878 Information on Browser Operation

A networked computer running Windows 95 or Windows for Workgroups 3.11 needs entries in the Lmhosts file to indicate which computer is the PDC of the domain. These Lmhosts entries are not necessary on Windows NT-based computers, which use the NetGetDcName application programming interface (API) to identify the PDC.

The Lmhosts file is located in the C:\Windows folder on computers running Windows for Workgroups 3.11 or Windows 95. If you want to browse for resources on remote Windows NT-based domains, you must add the \0x1b entry for the PDC of each remote domain to the Lmhosts file.

For example, the PDC (master browser) of the domain named GOTHAM has the NetBIOS (network basic input/output system) name of BATMAN. BATMAN uses the IP address of Add the following lines to the Lmhosts file:     BATMAN     #PRE     #DOM:GOTHAM     ''GOTHAM         \0x1b''     #PRE

When you designate the domain master browser by specifying the sixteenth character of the NetBIOS domain name, it is absolutely imperative that the NetBIOS name of the domain occupy 15 characters before you specify the NetBIOS suffix. There must be a total of 20 characters between the quotation marks (15 characters for the NetBIOS name, and 5 characters for the NetBIOS suffix). Use spaces after the NetBIOS name so that the length of the domain name plus the spaces is 15 characters.

For additional information about using the Lmhosts file, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

180094 How to Write an LMHOSTS File for Domain Validation

163409 NetBIOS Suffixes (16th Character of the NetBIOS Name)

Additional query words: nt 4.0

Keywords: kbprb KB246494