[Samba] WINS corruption alleged

Edward Quinn ed2.7183 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 10:50:49 MST 2010

I searched but was unable to locate a close match for this case.  I doubt
that Samba was the culprit here, but unus vir nullus vir.  Your feedback
would be appreciated.

    Windows clients, mostly WinXP desktops, got "no logon servers are
available" when trying to access shared directories on fileservers.  The
Windows domain controllers run Win2k3.  Member servers range from NT4 to
Win2k8, plus three Alpha-VMS platforms running Samba 2.2.8.  WINS Manager
Active Registrations showed the expected IP address for Domain Master
Browser and Domain Controller.  But there was another record matching that
domain name.  It was Type [1Eh]Normal Group Name and had the IP address of a
Samba server's secondary network interface.

Immediate Response:
    The lead Windows sysadmin concluded that the Samba server caused
corruption of the WINS database by improperly assuming the role of domain
controller or master browser.  The SMBD service was then disabled on the
Samba server, and after that the WINS database was rebuilt and all the
Windows servers were rebooted.  Users were back to normal the next day.

Corrective Action Proposed:
    The Samba server in question has primary and secondary NICs in the same
subnet.  The "interfaces" configuration option is blank.  Other   global
settings include:
        security = DOMAIN
        domain logons = No
        os level = 20
        preferred master = No
        local master = No
        domain master = No
        wins server =
        wins support = No
    After reviewing the configuration, the Windows lead recommended setting
"os level" to 1 before re-enabling Samba in order to prevent future WINS
corruption problems.  Samba V2.2.8 had been running on several VMS hosts for
more than 8 months using the settings shown. All participated as members of
the Windows domain and shared directories on the network without incident.

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