Manually Populating Network Neighborhood with Static Entries for Browsing

This article was previously published under Q210327
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Browse lists often do not consistently contain all computers in a Windows NT network. This is caused by a variety of factors that range from individual computer configurations to inadequate name resolution.

This article describes the browsing functions within Network Neighborhood. You may have computers running Windows NT Server or Windows NT Workstation that require constant enumeration in Network Neighborhood. It is possible to obtain this functionality statically.

NOTE: The remainder of this article assumes that basic network connectivity is already established throughout the network, especially for the target computers.
More information
Use the following steps to ensure that computers are consistently listed and available in Network Neighborhood. This operation requires that the target computers are running and connected to the network. Because this method of creating a static Network Neighborhood involves creating .lnk files on your hard disk, you can populate other computers in the network by simply copying these files as shortcuts. The .lnk files need to be stored in the %SystemRoot%\Profiles\%Username%\NetHood folder.

NOTE: The NetHood folder is located in the %SystemRoot% folder in Windows 95 and Windows 98. This folder is hidden by default in Windows NT.

Performing these steps does not affect the ability of a workstation to work with or connect to other workstations or servers in the network, and it does not affect administration of the computers in question.

  1. Configure network connectivity. At a minimum, the computer you use to create the static Network Neighborhood entry must be able to use NetBIOS name resolution with the target computer. This involves the installation and configuration of protocols such as NetBEUI, IPX/SPX, and TCP/IP on the computer involved in nonrouted environments. Proper name resolution is needed in routed environments. This scenario includes Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), Domain Name System, and the Lmhosts files.
  2. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Computer.
  3. In the Named box, type ComputerName (where ComputerName refers to the name of the computer you are statically adding to Network Neighborhood), and then click Find Now.
  4. After the computer is found, drag the computer icon into Network Neighborhood. Click Yes, when you are prompted to create a shortcut.
  5. After you put the icon into Network Neighborhood, you can rename it. To populate many computers on the LAN/WAN, the .lnk files created during this process can be copied to the NetHood folder of any user profile. After you log off and then log back on, the static entries in Network Neighborhood are permanently listed.
For more information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152562 How to Use Windows 95 to Connect Computers on a Network
102908 How to Troubleshoot TCP/IP Connectivity with Windows NT
128233 Comparison of Windows NT Network Protocols
185786 Recommended Practices for WINS
150800 Domain Browsing with TCP/IP and LMHOSTS Files

Article ID: 210327 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 04:40:00 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbinfo KB210327