[Samba] Need Help Getting Windows XP To Use Samba Properly [Closed]

Hodges, Robert CTR USAF AFMC 520 SMXS/MXDEC robert.hodges.ctr at hill.af.mil
Mon Jan 3 06:36:30 MST 2011

Jeremy, All,

I truly appreciate your willingness to help me work on this further.
Unfortunately, we have simply run out of time.

To make matters worse, I cannot provide traces, logs, etc because this
is a classified government system that cannot be exposed in any way,
which means rather difficult and sometimes problematic troubleshooting
limitations that may keep this problem from being solved.  However, this
error is found all over the internet and rarely do you ever see a fix
for it.  When I have seen one, it's not a fix that works for me.

To make matters worse, Microsoft stamped a "Microsoft has confirmed this
to be a problem with the products specified" on WinXP and Samba.
Microsoft has no fix, they have tried many times before, and as it now
stands, appears to be disinterested in providing a hot fix due to the
remaining shelf life of XP.  Any support you get form Microsoft on this
particular issue is what they call a "best effort", and do not guarantee
a fix like they do with their own products.

For anyone that wants to play around with this, here's the config:

All static IPs
Workgroup only, no domain
Solaris with Samba loaded, a few shares, enabled as WINS server,
configured as Master Browser
No DNS server
XP has WINS setting pointing at Samba box, hosts file used instead of
DNS, lmjosts file NTO in use because of WINS on Samba, XP's Computer
Browser service disabled to force XP to see Samba box as master browser
(otherwise will elect itself as master browser and totally ignore Samba)

WinXP can map to any resource on Samba with zero problems - it is not a
permissions issue.  Attempting to browse to a Samba resource, however,
produces "The specified network name is no longer available" in XP.  If
Computer Browser service enabled on XP, XP may or may not be able to
browse to Samba box (this is entirely unstable, because within 15
minutes, if XP has elected itself as master browser, XP will eventually
time out and lose the server list, and "Specified network no longer
available" error returns).
Never, is WinXP able to retrieve the browse list from Samba.  Microsoft
claims that this is because the network configuration is too simplified
and because real WINS and DNS servers are not in use.  All we're trying
to do is get one stinkin' XP workstation to talk to one stinkin' Samba
box in a simple workgroup.  That's it.  So far, it's got everyone that
looks at this problem absolutely baffled as to how this could not work.

Those who have looked at it and given up:

US Air Force
US Marine Corps
Various private military contractors
Samba email list group (best support so far, but still no dice)

Again, thanks to all who have tried figuring this out.  I know I haven't
given you much to work with, so don't feel bad.  It's just that I have
simply run out of time to get this resolved.


 -----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Allison [mailto:jra at samba.org] 
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2010 3:04 PM
To: Hodges, Robert CTR USAF AFMC 520 SMXS/MXDEC
Cc: samba
Subject: Re: [Samba] Need Help Getting Windows XP To Use Samba Properly

On Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 12:29:53PM -0700, Hodges, Robert CTR USAF AFMC
520 SMXS/MXDEC wrote:
> Well, here's what's happening.
> Microsoft Tech Support confirms that this is a problem with Windows
> There is no fix, and I don't expect one coming considering XP's end of
> life in 2012.  All Microsoft has are workarounds.

Don't throw in the towel just yet. I've never seen a WindowsXP
box that won't work with Samba, we just need more info.

> Microsoft's recommendations are to add more servers to the mix (DNS,
> WINS, etc) and if that doesn't work, then one of their several
> "workarounds" is to dump the use of Samba altogether.  None of the
> proposed workarounds work for us, we're locked into a specific
> configuration.
> So both Microsoft and my shop are throwing in the towel on this one
> we're resorting to simply mapping to all the shares instead of having
> users browse to them.  Sounds simple, but this represents a huge
> and documentation change on many levels for us, a lot bigger than
> could know.  A very frustrating and expensive workaround if you knew
> scope.

Don't do this yet. I haven't seen any debug logs from
you, or a network trace. Changing your config without
proper investigation is completely premature IMHO.

> This decision to pull the plug was made after I came across an online
> forum where someone had this very same issue, worked with Microsoft
> Support for 7 months(!), and it never got resolved.

We have been networking Windowx XP boxes to Samba
for longer than anyone still working in Microsoft
Tech support, trust me on that :-). So I'd still
like to fix this properly.

> So, it sucks to be me.  

Please get the network trace and debug level 10 log
of the Windows XP box trying to connect to Samba, this
should give us the information we need to fix it.


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