WD TV Live Plus, Network Shares, Media Servers, Master Browsers Oh my!

I’ve recently begun having problems with my WD TV Live Plus.  The first and most obvious symptom was that I was no longer seeing any of my 2 PCs under Network Shares.  When I went to the Media Servers selection, I saw various servers (2 PCs + 3 DirecTv boxes) but as I scrolled through the list the WD would spontaneously reboot itself.

Thanks to this excellent post: http://community.wdc.com/t5/Networking/Troubleshooting-Windows-File-Sharing/m-p/92642#U92642  I was able to deduce that the problem arose when my laptop was the master browser.  When the desktop was the master browser everything works fine, and since it’s on 24/7 that is the case most of the time.  When the laptop takes over, that’s when the trouble begins.  BTW, both are Win7 64bit machines.

So I see one potential *fix* to the problem and one potential *workaround* that I would love suggestions on. 

First the fix: Find out why the shares don’t show up when the laptop is master browser.  This has a pretty stock standard firewall setup, just the normal windows firewall with not custom rules.  Not sure why it doesn’t like being master browser, but if anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them.

Second the workaround.  If I can’t identify and fix the problems with the laptop, a decent workaround would be to make the desktop the preferred master browser.  I’ve seen how to do this on Windows Server machines, but not any for Windows 7.  Maybe they are the same, but I’m looking for confirmation of that.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

There’s a post from TonyPh12345 that explains how to set the MB, I’ll see if I can find it and link it.

Nah, it wasn’t from me…

I don’t have any experience with forcing certain boxes to be the MB.

My post was about how to figure out which box IS the MB.

My mistake :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think there is any way to force a Windows machine to be a Master Browser on a workgroup network. As far as I recall the priority scheme is hard-coded in Windows. It was always Windows client versions lose to server versions of the same generation and newer Windows versions beat older versions, but still with a client  losing to a server version. This may have changed though.

Personally what I do is run a Linux server on my network with Samba configured so its priority will always ensure it is the Master Browser. Has worked for me for many years. My Linux server is nothing fancy, just an aged Linksys NLSU2 (could probably called an antique today). Just have it configured to be Master Browser, Print server and Scan server, but not used for file sharing.

As said this configuration works well for me, and if I start having obvious master browser problems on my network (e.g. machines can’t see each other) then I know which device is the most probable cause.