Technical Problem - roaming profiles

Martin Thomas mthomas at
Sat Jul 7 18:52:24 GMT 2001


I have a lot of trouble with the roaming profiles
served by Samba to Windows 2000 clients.

Excuse me for this rather long mail to the technical
mailinglists. But for me the problem is a 'showstopper', 
if I can't get the profiles work reliably with 
Samba it's the end of my 'no M$ on the server' dream.

I already posted this question to the samba-ntdom 
mailing-list and contacted one of the samba2.2-developers 
via e-mail but did not get a response. 

And yes, I tried both Samba 2.2.1 CVS and TNG CVS,
and my problem is with both. Because of that, this 
mail has been send to both lists.

The error message from Windows 2000 SP1 during profile
download is:

 The file \\samba\Profile\..\.. can  not be copied to
 c:\documents and settings\.. ask your System Administrator
 Reason: The specified network name is no longer available

 (translated from german)

I activated the logging of the login-procedure in 
Windows 2000 and found out that the Windows-API
function CopyFile returns Error 64 which means:
The specified network name is no longer available 
(ERROR_NETNAME_DELETED) according to the 
API documentation.

The error does mostly occur with larger profiles (around 20 MB),
with smaller ones it works most of the time.

The first thing the Samba developers ask for is a
log with debug-level 10. But if the debug level is
set to 10, the error did not occur. It seems to be
a timing problem. Sometimes the error occures even
with debug-level 10 but it is only reproduceable with
debug-levels up to 4, at least today. A debug-level of 100 works
everytime but the server is much to slow with this. 

You can find the level 4 log.smbd from samba 2.2.1 cvs on

I can reproduce this problem on Samba 2.2.1 cvs and
Samba TNG cvs - so the versions seem to handle roaming profiles
the same way. 

The history: right now I'm using an old machine (P133, 32MBRAM,
Debian Linux with 2.2.18Pre21 kernel) as a PDC for the
domain with 4 Windows 2000 SP1 clients in 2 subnets.
(back from the time where Samba 2.2 was 'not for 
production use'). The small server
handles roaming profiles without reproduceable problems,
although my colleques told be, that they get the 
error messages about the network name sometimes,
but I can not reproduce it.

I plan to update all clients (around 20) from Windows 9X to W2K
and use Samba as a PDC for all of them. 
Facing the large amount of network traffic and server
load that the  roaming profiles produce and since the 
larger server has some redundant hardware I' trying
to transfer the PDC functions to a larger machine.

Since Password-Serving and login-script work with the 
stronger machine I think the transfer was successfull 
(MACHINE.SID etc.) but the discribed problem about 
the roaming profiles can only be reproduced on the stronger 
machine (PII400, 256MB, Suse 6.3 Distribution 
updated Kernel 2.4.5 because of kernel op-locks). 
The profile download works with the high log-level so
it seems to be a server (=Samba) and not a client 
problem (ok, it might be a problem caused by 
both sides - but it seems more Samba related).

Again: I THINK there is a timing issue, if the
Samba server is 'slow' which means on a slow machine
or slowed down with high debug level it works.
But the high debug levels slow down the main
file server too much.

Even tried a dual Samba configuration (TNG as PDC
and 2.2 as file and print server) it worked 
expect of the roaming profile handling with low
debug levels (I normally use 2).

I have no more ideas, tried to analyse the source
code but I'm not good enough to understand it.
Spend several nights in the office, when no-one
needs the server and I could 'play' with it and
tried nearly every setting in smb.conf and several
samba-versions (2.2.0a, 2.2.1cvs, TNG cvs)

I know that this mail might not be enough information
but I hope that I raised your interest and you
are willing to help me. I also know that it's 
difficult to reproduce the error, so it is hard
to give me a hint.

Please contact me, if you need more information.
Please even write me an e-mail if you don't
think it is a samba error I just need some
feedback... I'm desperate - at least the 
server operator in me is.

Thank you very much for reading this - hope
my english was good enough to explain the

mthomas at

Martin Thomas
(not only) System-Administrator at the 
Institute of Environmental Engineering
University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
+49 631 205 4642

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