Samba can't keep NT shares mounted

Steve Rhodes srhodes at
Fri Sep 24 15:51:16 GMT 1999

I have been trying for some time to create this failure in a controlled 
environment.  I have just now been able to experience the failure, but not 
quite as controlled as I would like, and certainly not the version I would 
prefer, as I am running 2.0.1 in this example.  I have gone through a 
number of theories on this subject, which I though would be useful to 

Theory 1.)  The failure is caused by excessive network traffic

   This doesn't seem to be the case.  I put together a test setup in my lab 
and flooded the network with pings.  The storm was pretty impressive, but 
the connection held tight.

Theory 2.)  The failure is caused by a period of inactivity.

  This may indeed be a piece of the puzzle, and seems to be one of the more 
popular notions going around.  However, in the same laboratory setup 
mentioned above, I disconnected the client machine overnight, and it was 
still working properly upon re-connection the next day.

Theory 3.)  The failure is specific to a particular configuration of 

  This is not the case, as I have received correspondence from a number of 
people with servers ranging from OS2 to NT as a PDC, all with the same 

Theory 4.)  The failure has something to do with the DEBUG option in the 
source code.

  The theory goes that the DEBUG option will work, but if it is turned off, 
that is where the problem starts.  Something to do with attempting to write 
out error messages.  I haven't had the opportunity
to observe this directly, but it is an interesting theory.


Having said all that, I would like to relate the configuration under which 
I was able to observe the failure, and present YAT (Yet Another Theory)

The basic concept behind this configuration was to use files set up on an 
NT web server through an apache server on Linux by smbmounting the NT drive 
in the apache html directory.  This was the original configuration in which 
I observed the problem earlier this year.  For maximum possibility of 
inducing failure I set it up as an smbmount on /mnt/test, the built a 
symolic link to that from a /home/httpd/html/Test directory, which is in 
the apache document path.

This way, somebody can connect to the apache server on the Linux box and 
view the html files which are kept on the NT box.  The underlying reason 
for this is that the NT files are updated by a daily batch process which 
runs every morning.  A rather complex system was built around the NT box, 
so it was impratical to re-build it on Linux.  We needed access to those 
files from the Linux box for security reasons, hence the smbmount.

At first, it looked like I was going to get the same result I had been 
experiencing throughout this process, the smbmount looked rock solid.  Many 
hours went by, and every time I checked the connection, it was still 
working.  However, this morning when I checked, it was broken.

This leads into my new theory.  I have seen a number of posts indicating 
that if files are changed on the smb server, that this causes issues on the 
mounted smb client.  It wasn't entirely clear to me what those issues were, 
it seemed to be a lack of current data from the perspective of the client, 
or perhaps even a broken connection.  In any event, I am speculating that 
the update process on the NT box in my configuration above may be the 
trigger that induces the failure.  Most of the files are over-written 
during the update, and this may be a reason for the broken connection.

I will be continuing to pursue this issue and narrow down the 
variablesassociated with the failure.  Thanks to everyone that has sent in 
messages on this problem, and kudos to you if you have managed to read 
through this lengthy post.


Steve Rhodes

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