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XP Pro machines slow to show NT domain in Network Neighborhood

We're in the midst of our AD migration. We currently have an NT4 network, but keep our file/print/authentication services on our Novell 6 network. We've built a parallel environment in AD to migrate users, groups and files in chunks.

The problem I've run into is that XP Pro workstations take a very long time to show the NT domain when browsing in Network Neighborhood or when trying to map a drive. Windows 2000 workstations on the AD domain (even a VMWare box on an XP Pro machine) and can easily browse both domains.

I'm confident that our DNS is functional and properly set up. To reduce headaches, DNS, WINS and DHCP have been installed on Windows 2000 servers in the old NT domain. Any ideas?

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The NT domain is using only WINS and broadcasts as its means of announcing services. Windows 2000 machines first try DNS as do XP machines that are in an AD domain. XP and Windows 2000 machines that are in an NT4 domain use WINS first. So, the machine migrated to AD domain will switch to your DNS name resolution method and most likely have an easier time locating services. The machines in the NT4 domain will still be using NTLM and WINS to locate and authenticate. Check your WINS configuration to see that all of the systems are properly registering there. Also, use BROWMON and BROWSTAT (Windows Resource Kit) to check out what the master and backup browsers are. You may find out they are unstable servers or even workstations that can produce odd results when viewing via Network Neighborhood.

This was first published in June 2003

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