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Intermittent Home Network DNS Issues (I think)

  1. Aug 25, 2010 #1


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    OK, I posted here a while back with issues home networking, specifically between varying operating systems (Ubuntu 10.04, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7...sigh).

    Either way, suddenly the other day, I was on my desktop and noticed that I could find my girlfriends Windows XP machine via Samba. Previously, I was accessing her shares via IP address, and only IP would work. I couldn't do a permanent mount because I don't have a static IP set up on her machine (that and it's only a bandage).

    Anyways, so I noticed that I could directly access the Workgroup, view her shares and print to her printer via computer name. Aside from that, my Windows Vista laptop could access both her and my samba shares. Everything was working fine.

    Today, it's not. No settings or configuration have changed at all. Today, I'm forced again to access her shares via IP, and she can't get to my samba shares at all.

    I have no idea what the issue is. I previously thought that there was some DNS issues, but occasionally it seems, domains names and computer names are being resolved correctly. I have no idea why one minute it works and the next it doesn't.

    Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2010 #2
    I am not an expert on Samba or Ubuntu..but I did set this sortof network up last year when the kid went to college. I am also not in networking mode right now, but have you lost visibility of the entire workgroup, or just the XP machine?

    I suggest setting up your linux system as the DNS server, that will eliminate all of the networking issues with the varying windows versions and the router itself.

    The key is to eliminate your router settings and networking configuration as the problem.

    Are the windows machines professional versions or the home versions of the operating systems?
  4. Aug 25, 2010 #3


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    I have Linux machine working as a server (Samba included) here, together with several Windows computers (2 to 4 depending on circumstances). Seems like at least sometimes order in which computers are switched on matters - if server is started first, Samba usually works OK, if one of Windows computers is started first, net starts to act strangely. But as server generally works 24/7 that's rarely a problem.

    Other thing I have noticed is that even if I can't see computers/shares in the network neighborhood, they are there and can be accessed - just using shortcuts prepared when it was possible.

    Check if the order in which computers are started matters, and check if shortcuts to net shares work.
  5. Aug 25, 2010 #4
    Did you do any updates recently?
  6. Aug 25, 2010 #5


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    When it's not working, no computer will be able to see anything on the workgroup. Likewise, the linux box won't be able to see the workgroup at all, but can still access everything (shares and printers) via URL.

    They're just home versions.

    Curiously enough, the network is working again now. No computers have been restarted, but now everything is playing nicely. Really weird.

    I'll try restart sequences tomorrow and see if anything changes.
  7. Aug 26, 2010 #6


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    Like here.

    I have read somewhere long ago that it can be a problem with which computer works as a master/name server (whatever correct name for that is in the Microsoft p2p) - there are some kinds of conflicts which slow down address resolving. But the protocol is designed in such a way that after some time computers decide between them which one will rule the net :wink: That's why order of switching matters - first one is more important than the latecomers. In my experience if Linux machine is started first, Samba/net works usually OK, but if I have to restart the Linux for whatever reason, and Windows machines were working in the meantime, that means troubles. But I have never investigated the issue, so I can be completely wrong.
  8. Aug 26, 2010 #7
    Off the top of my head, I believe one windows issue that could cause this is with the protocol stack, and the binding. I would check the xp and the vista machine to see which windows native protocols are being bound to the adapter ( and the order in which it is binding them ).

    Check the netbios machine names on the windows systems.

    The XP machines might be loading some of the older windows network clients that are not really used anymore. netbeui is one of them.

    There are some issues with xp and NAT mixed with newer windows versions and the peer to peer. I think the whole thing works using netbios and NAT, so small version issues magnify. I would also check the service pack on the xp machine.

    The reason I asked about the verisons, is that Microsoft cripples the networking components in the home versions, and one of my conspiracy theories is that it causes alot of unusual networking issues.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
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