A service in Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 responsible for enabling the browsing of network resources using Network Neighborhood and Windows Explorer. A Computer Browser service simplifies the user task of locating and accessing network resources by eliminating the need for users to remember Universal Naming Convention (UNC) paths or other network syntax, and by eliminating the need for all computers on the network to maintain their own list of all available network resources.
Computer Browser service.
The Computer Browser service maintains a distributed series of lists called browse lists that contain information about shared resources available on the network. Different computers on the network have different roles.
These computers include the following:
When a client tries to access a shared resource on the network, such as a shared folder on a file server, it first contacts the master browser for a list of backup browsers. Then it contacts a backup browser for a copy of the browse list. Once the client has the browse list, it contacts the file server for a list of shares, and then connects to the desired share.
The Workstation service and Server service must be started for the Computer Browser service to function.
The Computer Browser service uses broadcast packets. To browse on a TCP/IP internetwork consisting of multiple subnets separated by routers that do not forward broadcast, implement Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) on the network, with the domain master browser configured as a WINS client (not a WINS server). This configuration will ensure that the domain master browser will have a browse list with the resources on all subnets in the internetwork, including those spanned by other Windows NT domains.
You can also modify the MaintainServerList entry in the Windows NT registry to enable or disable a Windows NT machine as a backup browser or potential master browser, and the IsDomainMaster entry to force a machine to become the domain master browser. Both of these registry entries are found under: