Winston Lawrence

Project Manager & Occasional developer

Browstat - NetBIOS troubleshooting secret weapon

Browstat.exe is a microsoft command line tool that was originally provided as part of the Windowss 2000 support tools. Browstat.exe is the secret weapon that Windows sysadmins use to troubleshoot NetBIOS browsing problems. While it is no longer supported by Microsoft on current windows platforms it still works and if you have NetBIOS on your network you should make sure that you have a copy. NetBIOS is a ubiquitous part of the windows networking realm - any programs that allow users to browse the network for printers or computers or map drives, are generally using NetBIOS browsing.  Browstat.exe lets the system and/or network administrator quickly determine the primary cause of a browsing problem.

Microsoft example

Microsoft has an excellent write-up and examples of how to use Browstat.exe on its support site:, so I am not going to reproduce how to install, configure and test the installation in this post.  Actually for most windows environments there is no need to install anything, just extract browstat.exe from the cab file and run it. You should have at least some basic knowledge of how NetBIOS browsing works in order to use this effectively. This is not a tool for everyday use but when you have a network browsing problem this tool is your single best  opportunity to quickly resolve the problem.

Winston Lawrence

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