[Samba] networking problem/Domain not available

Robert S robert at spotswood-computer.net
Sun Nov 28 11:30:08 MST 2010

I've got a client - a cheap client - and they want to add a new file server 
(samba sharing) to their network. They have one samba server already acting as 
the domain controller (PDC) and file server (and DHCP server). The wiring is a 
nightmare, and everything is daisy chained through 3 different non-
programmable switches. They have no more open ports on any of the switches. 
Further, the switches are about 40 feet from the servers in another room.

My plan was to take the cable that connects the domain controller (PDC), plug 
that into a new switch as the uplink, then connect both the old and new samba 
servers (a member server according to testparm) to the same switch. The new 
switch has all auto-uplink ports, so cross-over, non-cross-over isn't an 

The problem is when I do this, none of the workstations (XP based) can find 
the domain controller any more (domain not available). I switch the cables 
back (remove the switch), everything works fine. Use the switch again, same 
problem. This means it's not the signorseal problem.

For kicks to see if it's a bad cable or switch, I used a live Linux CD on my 
test workstation (this one is having the problem) when the connection is 
running through the new switch and it got a lease from the PDC (it's also a 
DHCP server) and can ping the PDC no problem. This, to me, says it can't be 
the cable or new switch and is pointing the finger at XP.

But what is causing XP to fail? Domain authentications with very tiny TTL??? 
Any other troubleshooting tips?
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