Home Network Connection Problems: Computer Browser

I was researching Windows XP tweaks on Black Viper's website concerning a system slow down issue I was having on my Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop. In his tweaks for the Services I came across the Computer Browser service, which he said was safe to "Disable". This service is also dependent upon the Server and Workstation services to function. I had set Server to "Manual" and left Workstation on Automatic.

I have a home network set up with my PC and when I turned the laptop on there the network connection icon in the taskbar on both computers showed a yellow exclamation mark and a balloon message appeared that read: Windows - System Error: There is an IP address conflict with another system on the network.

Now if I turn the Computer Browser service back on then the error message will go away. I found this very odd, for on Microsoft's Knowledge base it says: Microsoft Active Directory services in Windows 2000 and Windows XP replace the computer browser service used in earlier versions of Windows to provide the network basic input/output system (NetBIOS) name resolution. The browser service in Windows 2000 is provided for backwards compatibility with client computers that are running earlier versions of Windows.

I do not have Windows 2000. I have Windows XP Home. So according to this I shouldn't need the Computer Browser service or any of its components. Yet when I disabled the Computer Browser service I get the error messages. Now my PC will connect to my router and show "Excellent" connection, but my laptop shows "Limited or no connectivity..."

If I enable the Computer Browser service this will all go away, but according to Microsoft I shouldn't even need this service since "Microsoft Active Directory services in Windows 2000 and Windows XP replace the computer browser service used in earlier versions of Windows..."

I have Windows XP Home installed on my laptop so this doesn't make any sense. If anyone has any suggestions on this I would appreciate hearing them.


- dc
5 answers Last reply
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  1. Well, XP Home has no AD connectivity. It cannot be added to a domain and based on your post I find it highly unlikely you would have a 2k or 2k3 windows domain setup anyway.
  2. Ok .... that reply didn't help me at all. I haven't a clue what you're talking about, but it would have been nice if you could have given me some ideas what to do.

    Anywho, I found what I needed. A friend who is also an IT programmer told me that the "Microsoft Active Directory services in Windows 2000 and Windows XP" are for those running on a corporate network. Since I'm just running a home network I need to have the Computer Browser service running.

    - dc
  3. I have seen this conflict message before in my net. In my case it was related to a static IP iset on a print server that conflicted with a DHCP address assigned to one of my computers after a reboot.
    How many computers are in your home net?
    What cable/DSL router are you using?
    If you have none then what is your addressing scheme?
    I assume they are all DHCP enabled and that you don't have static IPs anywhere, including network printers if you have any.
    XP uses the Computer Browser service and it should be enabled.

    PS: This isn't a wireless issue
  4. Well you mentioned Active Directory. AD has no bearing on your problem since Active Directory is a component of a windows 2000 or 2003 domain. Something you haven't done. Obviously since you didn't comprehend my response. Glad you found what your looking for.
  5. I have only my desktop PC and my laptop. I bought a D-Link DI-624 router because I am planning on getting a wireless account soon. A friend told me about making a home network so I could move files and such from the desktop to my laptop by just dropping them in the share folder. This sounded like a good idea since I'm a graphic designer and quite often I multitask between both systems. I have no idea what static IPs, DHCP, or an addressing scheme is.

    Anyway, I have it all figured out now. Thanks anyway.

    PS: Oh well.
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