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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Computer Browser Services
How Computer Browser Service Works
Computer Browser service is a networking technology used by Windows-based computers to collect, distribute, and obtain browse lists, which are collections of information about workgroups, domains, and the computers within them. The service is essential for computers running Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition to browse for resources and it is required in Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 for using applications such as My Network Places, Windows Explorer, and the net view command.
Computer Browser service typically uses connectionless server broadcasts to communicate between nodes. Registration, announcements, and browser elections are performed by the service to provide the network with a list of available resources.
Computer Browser service operates ideally in a Windows network where several computers play various browser roles. Together, these browser roles form the browser system.

Computer Browser Service Architecture

The architecture of Computer Browser service is complete when several computers are brought together on a network to perform browse service roles. Individually, these roles are just parts of the browse service, but when combined on the network, they form a browser system that enables efficient sharing of network resource information.

Browser System Roles

There are five browse service roles that computers can play in the browser system:
  • Non-browser
  • Potential browser
  • Backup browse server
  • Master browse server
  • Domain master browse server
The figure below shows an example of browser system roles played by computers on a single subnet.
Browser System Containing Browsers and Non-Browsers on a Subnet
System with Browsers and Non-Browsers on a Subnet The table below lists each of the browse service roles and describes its function in the architecture of the browser system.
Browser Roles and Functions

I suggest install all updates for your Symantec AV and then perform a full virus scan. If no virus is detected, I am afraid that this issue is not related to viruses.

For the Computer Browser service issue, please refer to below:

Cause: If security software or firewall blocks file and printer sharing and ports for file and printer sharing, you may not be able to start the Computer Browser service.


1. Make sure the dependencies such as Server and Workstation services are running.
2. Make sure you enable File and Printer Sharing on the firewall.
3. Make sure no security software blocks these ports: TCP 139, TCP 445, UDP 137 and UDP 138.
4. This error is the result of setting MaintainServerList=No in the registry while still having the Computer Browser service active.

Meanwhile, I suggest trying System File Checker on your computer:

1. Insert the Windows Server 2003 installation DVD into the DVD-ROM; Click Exit if the auto-menu pops up.
2.  Click Start, click Run, type cmd and press Enter.

sfc /scannow

Can you start the Computer Browser service now?

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