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Windows clients unable to see Windows Server 2008 shares when server is powered on after a laptop (with wireless). The server and other client have cabled connections.

Example situation

Laptop powered on (wireless) (L), another client powered on (C), Server powered on (S). C cannot see S but can see L. Turn laptop wireless off, C can see S.

Already checked

There are no IP address conflicts. What else can I check / any suggestions as to what may be causing this?

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+1 for strange issue... :D – BenGC Jul 1 '11 at 22:42
@BenGC Tell me about it! I have had this issue on and off for about 2 months, but only now have I narrowed it down and can I replicate it 100%. I held off asking the question for ages because it was so weird! – psynnott Jul 1 '11 at 22:43
so have you checked basic network functionality (e.g. ping)? By name as well as IP address? When you say "can't see" the shares, do you mean they are not available to browse in the network or do you mean you can't even browse to them by \\servername\share? What about (assuming you can ping) \\ServerIPaddress\share>? – RobM Jul 1 '11 at 22:44
@Robert yes, ping works both by name and IP address. I can't see the shares as I can't see the server by browsing. Not tried going directly though. – psynnott Jul 1 '11 at 22:51
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This sounds like possible conflicts with Windows Networking Browse Master elections. The following provides some insights as well as a few tests to determine/troubleshoot -

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I think you're onto something. Using nbtstat, I can see that the server is Master on it's VMWare adapters only, and that the laptop is Master on the LAN. Now, why would the laptop not have a complete client list for the secondary client to get access to the server? – psynnott Jul 1 '11 at 23:04
Any chance the laptop is running Vista or Windows 7? The election favors the latest versions of Windows, but that is not always ideal when Microsoft quietly makes major functionality changes in the backdrop. – user48838 Jul 1 '11 at 23:10
The laptop is running Windows 7. Is there a way to force Windows Server 2008 to be master? – psynnott Jul 1 '11 at 23:19
You might try the following on the 2008 server -…. Don't forget to backup first... – user48838 Jul 1 '11 at 23:27

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