dhcp leases and master browser?


OSNN Senior Addict
ok, we had a very odd problem today...all of a sudden, no dhcp leases were being handed out by either of our domain controllers. a static ip would work fine, but any requests for new dynamic ip's were just not going through. stopped and restarted dhcp service on both dc's, still no dice. then i noticed that event viewer contained multiple entries (over a period of months) where a user's laptop was announcing itself as a 'master browser'. as soon as i asked that user to shut down, dhcp was back up and leasing ip's.

as far as i understand, the browser service (and servers) are for locating resources on the network. so, if the laptop won the election for domain browser and was acting as a domain browser, would that be a cause for dhcp failures?



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Political User
Looks like the registry needs to be modified on that laptop, modify these values:

Key: System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters
Name: IsDomainMaster
Data Type: REG_SZ
Value: FALSE

Key: System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Browser\Parameters
Name: MaintainServerList
Data Type: REG_SZ
Value: Auto
that is what they SHOULD be set to, so it plays nicely on the network :)

EDIT: Do NOT Disable the local computer browser service, that will stop the problem but will also cause communication issues between the laptop and other machines on the LAN


OSNN Senior Addict
Thanks, already checked that earlier :)

As obvious as this may sound -- I was looking in the wrong direction the whole time. The IP addresses being doled out to clients were 192.168.x.x not APIPA. Sounds to me like someone ran a DHCP server on the network. Is there any way to track who did this with my two DC's?


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Political User
You can try to ping, if it's still out there, do a "arp -a" on the address. That should give you the MAC, which you can probably then track down.

If it's already off the network though, might be out of luck.


Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
Yeah.. it sounded to me like there was a rouge DHCP server out there.

If they already turned it off, it will be harder to track down.

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