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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix Network
Seems that people are having issues with browsing windows networks via the Panther Finder. Well I was anyway. The symptoms were that limited or no servers were being listed in the Network "directory" and sometimes servers where not characterised into workgroups (i.e. they all appeared in the Network root directory).

Using the built in SAMBA tools, I was able to isolate the problem: The Domain Master Browser (DMB) wasn't responding properly. Why this was, I'm unshure. The DMB is required for browsing of Windows networks, and is either specified by a network admin or is automatically selected by computers on the network. Watching a few processes from the terminal, I noticed that a smbclient process (using the IP of the DMB as an argument) was attempting to talk to the DMB (Panther uses smbclient and scripts to do this). The process was blocked until the DMB responded, which it didn't, thus the corresponding folders and icons the Network directory where not updated by the Finder, and the loss of network browsing.

The DMB for a workgroup can be found using the command nmblookup -M WORKGROUP, where WORKGROUP is the workgroup your Mac is in.

The solutions:
  1. If you have access, shut down the DMB machine so that the Windows network can 're-elect' another Windows DMB. If this doesn't work, try executing this command:
    smbcontrol nmbd force-election
    This should fix the problem.

  2. If that didn't work, or if you administrate your own network, you can make the Mac the DMB by editing the appropriate SAMBA configuration files (this is what I did).
Read the rest of the hint for my solution...

There are two files used in Panther for this. On located at /etc/smb.conf and the other in /var/run/smbbrowsing.conf. These files vary slightly, however, both are altered by using the Directory Access app (used when you want to change work groups, located in Utilities).

So in my particular situation, I wanted the Mac to take control and become the undisputed DMB of my home network . The steps performed were:
  1. In System preferences, stop Windows File Sharing.
  2. Use Directory Access to alter the your workgroup (if necessary).
  3. Add the following:
      domain master = yes
      preferred master = yes
      local master = yes
      os level = 255
    
    just below the line [global] in BOTH /etc/smb.conf AND /var/run/smbbrowsing.conf using vi or pico or some other editor. You will need super user privileges (sudo). Make backups just in case!!
  4. In System Preferences, start Windows File Sharing
  5. In the Terminal, execute the following:
      smbcontrol nmbd force-election
    
    This forces the Windows network to look for a new DMB (hopefully your Mac!).
That's it. Your Mac should now be in control of the Windows network (use the command at the beginning of the hint to see if your Mac's IP is listed). Be careful using this hint on networks that you do not manage, as your computer may take them over, and place you in a lot of trouble. Talk to your admin first!

One last thing to note. If your machine goes to sleep, the Windows network will not operate properly, unless it automatically finds another DMB, which is where this hint started....
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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: joshpearce on Nov 20, '03 12:46:10PM

i didn's see anywhere that you changed the settings on a windows machine, so I may be confused, but how is it possible that when your mac is asleep, windows networks will not operate properly. By this I mean will windows machines be able to browse eachother after this hint is implemented?



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: Anonymous on Nov 20, '03 01:20:14PM

If you leave the settings on the Windows machines at their factory default, when your Mac is serving as the DMB, then when your Mac goes to sleep the Windows machines will lose the ability to browse the network (connected servers will remain accessible) for a few minutes until another Windows machine is collectively designated to serve as the new DMB.



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: jammjamm on Nov 20, '03 01:14:24PM

I can connect to my Windows XP shares when I go to Go -> Connect to Server

My "network" alias has a Date Modified of 12/31/1903. Inside it, there's "servers". Inside that is My-Computer.local only (no workgroup or windows shares). My workgroup is WORKGROUP on Windows and Mac.


$ nmblookup -M WORKGROUP
querying WORKGROUP on 192.168.123.255
name_query failed to find name WORKGROUP#1d

$ smbcontrol nmbd force-election
Can't find pid for destination 'nmbd'

These results are before and after editing the smb files per instructions.

In sum: Windows network browsing doesn't work for me.



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: feelphree on Nov 20, '03 05:56:05PM
It wasn't exactly clear in the hint, but you have to be logged in as su for the smbcontrol nmbd force-election command to work. Otherwise you'll get an error like:

ERROR: Failed to initialise messages database

It took me three tries to realize this... : )

Great hint, I have been having problems with this since I upgraded a week ago. Thanks!

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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: dwt on Nov 21, '03 03:46:03AM

Well, the problem with this otherwise fine hint is that "nmbd" is simply not running on my mashine. (And I guess on many standard installs too)

So there must be another first step to do to make this work.

Does simply starting "nmbd -d" as root work?

cu martin



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: elemental on Nov 21, '03 10:10:39AM

I'm having a slightly different SMB browsing problem that isn't being talked about as much. When opening 'Network' in finder, my Samba server (Debian, Samba 2.2.3a-12.3) is shown, and its three available shares are visible, but two of them are shown as blue folders while the third is the normal network icon. The shares represented by blue folder icons appear empty when opening them. I can still mount these shares fine using CMD-K. The shares have worked fine in the past and stopped working for no readily apparent reason. This problem persists across reboots of my Mac and smbd restarts on both machines.

The instructions here, and in various posts on the Apple support forums, hasn't made any difference. The Samba server is still configured as the master browser because there are other computers on the network and my iBook, being a laptop, is often asleep or gone with me.

Any suggestions?



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: tidavis on Feb 04, '04 07:22:30PM

I've been having a similar problem using debian samba 2.2.3a-12.3 On my machine I'm able to mount the shares normally but I can't write to the shares using finder. (I get a "you do not have sufficient priviliges" error) I am however able to use other programs (such as safari) to save things there. I fiddled quite a bit and have gotten nowhere other than simple not using finder to copy files.



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: jvandyke on Nov 21, '03 03:56:44PM

I can't browse for smb servers either, on a LAN running Novell but while using Jag I just did file swapping via Windows file sharing and all was well. I can connect to PC workstations using ip but can't browse. Spent 45 minutes with Apple support and he said they are working on it. I can't implement your ideas as I can't rip into this network. Problem in Panther apparently as Macs running Jag here file share fine with PCs and Panther, Panther sees the Macs. Feels like 10.1 all over?



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: jvandyke on Nov 21, '03 06:09:24PM

Moved to another Microsoft Networking network and browsing works fine, something about the other network environment apparently.



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: jvandyke on Nov 22, '03 08:40:14AM

This from another list
Haven't you heard? You have to turn off Auto-Login, then everything will work near normally. Not as good as 10.2.4-8.

I didn't believe it myself until I did it. It worked. There's rumors that it "may" be fixed in 10.3.2

I haven't tried it yet.



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: elemental on Nov 22, '03 10:36:22PM

That's not a fix, as I've already got auto-login disabled. It's never been enabled on this machine.



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: downinit on Feb 09, '04 07:16:36PM

I had a similar situation. I could see all of the windows servers on our network, but they all showed up directly under network. I didn't even realized their was supposed to be a folder for "local" and "workgroup". On one machine all I did was turn off smb browsing and change the name of our workgroup on the other machines to something other than "workgroup". Suddenly both folders showed up under network. Funny thing is when I tried to set the workgroup name back to workgroup both folders dissapeared.

On my other machine I found another samba config file located at /library/application support/Samba Sharing/ I simply added the line workgroup = "name of workgroup" to this file and now this machine works as well.

The names of the files are backup.sscf default.sscf and test.sscf does any one else have these files?



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: osxfan57 on May 04, '04 09:42:32PM

This is a great hint! For the first time, I can see the Windows PC (named HENRY) on my Network in the Finder. However...when I click on Connect, I get the following error message:

The alias "HENRY" could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found.

So while the computer shows up in Network Finder, I can't access it still. What could have happened and how do I restore the alias??
Thanks.

---
iMac 17, OS 10.3



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: cbaumann on May 06, '04 08:14:39PM

This problem is only supposed to occurs in Networks that do not have a Windows 2000 or 2003 Server - Primary Domain Controller with OS 10.3 Macs enabling SMB sharing. Under "default" settings a Mac will win the Master browser election process should there be no Primary Domain Controller (which by default is set to be your Master Browser Server). Even if you set/promote a Windows Computer to be the Master Browser Server, the Mac will win the election process without a PDC on the network. If there are two Macs on the same network with SMB sharing started, they will "fight eachother" to win the election process without either elected = workgroup computers can no longer access the Master Browser Directory service and cannot find computers on the network. This occurs even if you have elected/set/promoted a Windows computer to be the Master Browser Server without a PDC.

We see this as a bug in Mac OS X unless you are running Mac OS X Server.

A client Macintosh on a network should not be performing the function of a server - For Any Reason What-So-Ever. As a primary or backup.

We recommend editing the global variables of the smb.conf file as such:

[ global]
domain master = no
preferred master = no
you can set the os level to a lower priority to ensure the Mac will not win the election process as well as stated in the original article.
Information from this is gathered from Apple Computer Technical Support and samba.org

Note: Observed but unverified- When one SMB Mac was elected the Master Browser Server, it out-perfermed the Windows Master Browser Server that was pre-set. Responses from opening the network neighborhood and workgroup seemed faster when the Mac was providing Browser services - Not surprising?



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: eviltwin on Apr 05, '05 06:57:06AM

Just thought I'd let people know this hint about editing the smb.conf files worked for us, we had 3 Macs hanging when trying to connect to a Redhat file server. Adding these two lines to smb.conf seems to have done the trick. Thanks.



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: withinavoid on Jul 17, '04 04:24:35AM

This hint/fix worked perfect for me. Nothing was showing in the finder, and could not connect directly to any servers either. After setting my G5 as the master browser everything works great. I wanted my Mac as master anyhow so I can share files to my xbox as well. Thanks.



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: tlmurray on Mar 03, '05 05:49:25PM

I have four computers in the house. Few combinations connect to each other well, but it's one combination I want to address first, and I will start with connecting in one direction: from Mac to Windows.

192.168.1.100: Mac PowerBook, Panther 10.3.8, all Apple updates, firewall disabled, SMB sharing enabled, several folders belonging to user TIM are shared. Workgroup = MSHOME. Machine name = Tim.

192.168.1.102: Gateway, WinXP Home Edition. Firewall disabled. Several folders for user administrative-level user DannyM are shared. NetBIOS enabled. Workgroup = MSHOME. Machine name = danny.

Other info: Using Linksys BEFSR81 8-port router. No other firewall software. The physical link between these systems is okay: In order to get a file from his machine to mine, I start the Mac's FTP server, and Danny runs an FTP program.

Below are my methods of trying to connect and the result

METHOD 1:
Computer > Network > MSHOME > Danny > Connect button > authentication DannyM:password > OK.
Result is the alias DANNY could not be opened because the original item cannot be found.

METHOD 2:
Connect to Server > smb://192.168.1.102 > Connect > authentication DannyM:password > Finder cannot complete the operation because some data in smb://192.168.1.102 could not be read or written. Error code -36

METHODS 3, 4:
Connect to Server > smb://Danny/DannyM:password > Connect > authentication DannyM:password
Connect to Server > smb://192.168.1.105/Danny:password > Connect > authentication DannyM:password
Operation cannot be completed because one or more required items cannot be found. Error -43.

A tried sudo smbcontrol nmdb force-election but it didn't improve anything.

Any ideas?



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: tlmurray on Mar 03, '05 09:23:44PM

Fixed it! I used the explicit path:

smb://workgroup;userid:password@machinename/sharedobject
or
smb://MSHOME;DannyM:password@danny/SharedDocs



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: osxfan57 on Jun 02, '05 01:47:29AM

Sorry to report that this doesn't work for me. Since I upgraded to Tiger with archive and install, I can no longer browse the Windows PC on my home network. I can see the Windows server in the network browser, but I can't connect, no matter what I try. All I get is "Sorry, the operation could not be completed because an unexpected error occurred. (Error code -41)."
I can see the Mac from the Windows PC, however, and copy files to and from the Mac to the PC no problem.
I would like to delete the Network folder but there is no such folder under Automount (at least in Tiger).

---
G5 2.5GHz 1.5Gb RAM, OS 10.3.7



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: Jonathan75 on Apr 26, '06 07:49:19AM

oh, and that "smb://MSHOME;Daniel/SharedDocs" bit, for any novices reading this, doesn't get entered in a web browser, you have to go to the finder, click 'go', click 'connect to server', and enter it there (changing your friend's computer's name from 'Daniel', of course)



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10.3: Potential Windows server browsing fix
Authored by: Jonathan75 on Apr 26, '06 07:51:11AM

That one did it for me: smb://MSHOME;Daniel/SharedDocs got me connected to my brother's Windows PC. n.b. i think the 'Daniel' bit was what he decided to name his own notebook at some point; it was visible in any case, in the finder (in the network bit, in MSHOME). Our housemates have similar names!

Anyway, my mac did prompt me for a password before connecting, so i just gave it my administrator one, and it was happy with that.

oh, and that "smb://MSHOME;Daniel/SharedDocs" bit, for any novices reading this, doesn't get entered in a web browser, you have to go to the finder, click 'go', click 'connect to server', and enter it there (changing your friend's computer's name from 'Daniel', of course)

This is on 10.4.6, April 2006, really Apple should have sorted this one by now: all this address stuff is nonsense really, insofar as making Macs easy to use is concerned.



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