potential browser

Definition of potential browser in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Potential Browser?

A computer on a Microsoft Windows NT network that can assume the role of a master browser or a backup browser if required to do so. If a new backup browser is needed, the master browser can appoint a potential browser as a backup browser. If a new master browser is needed, an election takes place to determine which potential browser should assume the role. If a computer running Windows joins a Windows NT network and its MaintainServerList parameter is set to either Auto or Enabled, it informs the master browser that it is a potential browser.

The MaintainServerList parameter is configured differently depending on the version of Windows involved:

  • Windows NT uses the following registry key:
    Hkey_Local_Machine
    System
    CurrentControlSet
    Services
    Browser
    Parameters
  • Windows 95 and Windows 98 use the Browse Master property in File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks.
  • Windows 3. x uses MaintainServerList in the system.ini file.
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You should disable MaintainServerList on machines running Windows 3. x , Windows 95, and Windows 98 because these operating systems are used on client machines that can occasionally be rebooted, causing spurious elections to occur.

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