[Samba] Error Saving Certain Files in Profile from Win XP PRO

John H Terpstra jht at samba.org
Sat Dec 21 20:51:02 GMT 2002

On Sat, 21 Dec 2002, ___cliff rayman___ wrote:

> running samba 2.2.7 on linux as a PDC.
> client box is win XP PRO SP1.
> When shutting down windows i am getting an error message
> as follows (paraphrased since it lasts for 30 seconds and disappears
> no matter what you do *&*&#$#$ ):
> Problem saving profile Documents and Settings/Start Menu/Programs/
> Accessoreis/Entertainment/Windows Media Player.lnk

This is a feature that strikes some sites. Not everyone has this problem
and we have so far not been able to isolate the cause. For what it is
worth, I have set up systems where no problems have been encountered with
NT/2K/XP profile hanlding, as well as systems where it is a problem that
drives me nuts. In the latter case, nothing short of re-installation of
the Win NT/2K/XP machines seems to solve the problem.

It is my impression (not proven yet) that somethings gets messed up in the
MS Windows client registry during the first time a roaming profile is
handled and that the problem is a very subtle protocol handling issue that
does not show any abnormalities during repetitive traces. We need to
capture a trace of one instance of the offending incidence - and that
seems like we are looking for a needle in a haystack.

Another thing I found is that if the debug level is set to 0 when the
client first negotiates roaming profile handling then no problems ensue,
but if the debug level is set to 3 or more during first negotiation of
roaming profile handling for a freshly installed Win2K/XP system, then
about 2 out of 3 stations will experience a problem. That problem could be
anything from:

1. Pop-up of notepad with the contents of what looks like a .ini file

2. Problems writing a workperfect related file belonging to MS Office

3. Failure to write .lnk files

4. Loss of a part of the Start Menu

Again, it affects in all very few sites, but we know it happens.

So, I know this does not help you to solve the issue, but it may help you
to locate the cause, and that would help us all.

Please note a few comments below, meant to be helpful.

> there are lots and lots of other files and settings that get saved without
> a problem.  i have tried it several times, with some different settings, and
> it sometimes chokes on a different file, but never completes properly.
> here are some of the relevant settings from smb.conf:
>         domain logons = yes
>         domain master = yes
>         logon drive = Z:
>         logon script=logon.bat
>         logon home = \\mars.genwax.test\netlogon
>         logon path = \\mars.genwax.test\profiles\%U

NetBIOS names are limited to 15 characters. Your netbios name is 16
characters long. This may cause name resolution problems in it's own

Secondly, embedding of '.' (dots) in a NetBIOS name is a very bad
practice. If your Win2K clients use DNS for name resolution and your DNS
domain is thecompany.com, then the above NetBIOS names would map to"


This could result in DNS look-ups timing out an adding to timing critical
issues that may contribute to your profile handling problem.

>         os level = 99

Why 99? An OS level of 33 is more than enough and setting it higher does
not add anything. This is trivial so please ignore. My comment is just

>         preferred master = yes
>         security = user
> [profiles]
>         path = /usr/local/samba/profiles
>         profile acls = yes
>         browseable = yes
>         read only = no
>         create mask = 0600
>         directory mask = 0700
> i have tried it with and without profile acls, same result.  profiles
> seem not to work at all without browseable = yes.

I have tried both likewise. Same finding as yours.

> i have checked and windows has created this directory
> and it has proper ownership and permissions for the user to
> write in it.


> there is also a Windows Media Player.lnk that is correctly
> written into the Programs directory
> i have level 10 logs, but they are too big to post here.

And the bas news is, it probably contains nothing to contribute to a
solution given my comments above.

> does anyone know what the problem is, or give me some
> more hints on how to diagnose it?

Hint: Use only freshly installed MS Win2K clients when you capture the
samba logs.

> is anyone out there successfully running 2.2.7 as a PDC
> with windows XP PRO clients?  is everything running
> smoothly for production, or should i downgrade to using
> the samba workgroup features only?

Yes, I am! On my own network. No problems at all, but I installed a new
one last week that had the profile handling problem and it too drove me

- John T.
John H Terpstra
Email: jht at samba.org

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