[Samba] Computer disappears from workgroup - why?

chrislpnt christopherlpnt at gmail.com
Fri Nov 7 19:54:20 GMT 2008

I am using a simple workgroup-based Windows network with 4-6 computers. One
is a Debian Etch server with Samba 3.0.24-6. The server is the WINS server
for the network. I can browse the network fine and access shares on the
server at all times. Trouble is, ONE machine (XP Pro SP3) that runs pretty
much 24/7 spontaneously disappears from the list after a while. Let's call
it //XFILES. This means, no matter from where I browse the network, XFILES
is not listed anymore. All other computers are listed fine. I can still
access XFILES' shares directly (e.g. "search for computer" finds it) but
depending on the client this is not always possible. So I'd really like for
the list to be accurate.

To give you an example what I did:

 /etc/init.d/samba stop
 rm /var/lib/samba/wins.dat
 rm /var/cache/samba/browse.dat
 /etc/init.d/samba start

I.e. deleting wins.dat and browse.dat and restarting Samba. After the first
access of the server's shares from XFILES, smbtree shows the complete
network, wins.dat and browse.dat are both created and updated and I see all
computers when browsing from anywhere. Then, after a while of waiting,
changing nothing on the network, suddenly XFILES goes missing. It is then no
longer listed in browse.dat but I had seen it listed in wins.dat so the
latter doesn't seem to be relevant. What "brings it back" is when I browse
XFILES' shares from XFILES itself, but that is not always possible.

My question is: What causes an always-on machine to spontaneously disappear
from browse.dat? Is there any way I can debug this? Down below I have
attached my relevant smb.conf settings.

Kudos to anybody who can shed some light on this.



   workgroup = MYWORKGROUP
   announce version = 5.0
   server string = smbserver
   wins support = yes
   name resolve order = hosts wins bcast lmhosts
   domain master = yes
   preferred master = true
   winbind enum groups = yes
   winbind enum users = yes
   strict locking = no

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