Troubled PC connection to Ubuntu server

By chris ·
I am about to pull out whatever hair I have left...

I have a single LAN with Windows, Linux and Mac machines, with one standalone Ubuntu fileserver (using Samba) and webserver hosting several intranet websites.
Everything works perfectly with Mac & Linux, but mostly non-connectivity from all Windows PCs (XP Home, XP Pro & 7) - there seems to be no rhyme or reason.

Check this out:
1) All IPs are static and have internet connectivity.
2) I can successfully ping (both name & IP) all PCs and the server from all the Macs, Linux, and from the server.
3) I can successfully ping (both name & IP) all the Macs and Linux machines from all the PCs.
4) I can successfully ping (both name & IP) all the PCs from all the other PCs
5) But I cannot ping the Ubuntu Server from any PC except.......

.......I did the following testing from several PCs:
200 pings of 32 bytes to the server:
The first 188 pings timed out.
The last 12 replied.
time to reply - 3263ms for the first one, two at 1ms, one at 250ms, and the other 8 at 1ms.
Then I pinged 50 - all replied, and I connected to server shares and intranet websites.
Went to get a cup of coffee.
Connection gone.
Pinged 50 - all timed out.
Went to bathroom.
Pinged 50 - timed out except last 6 pings.

Trick is, during this whole day, the Macs and Linux machines never lost connection with the server...

Does anyone have an idea, or should I be talking to Rod Serling?

I'll be gone for the weekend to recuperate - will touch base here Monday.

Thanks much in advance.

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All Answers

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For the sake of clarity

by seanferd In reply to Troubled PC connection to ...

"Windows machines" (or whatever) - not "PCs". PC is a (now loose) term for architecture, not a term for "MS Windows".

Thing about ping is that you will never know how the server name was resolved. Try nslookup to see if DNS is resolving, or nbtstat, or whatnot.

You might want to try Wireshark or some other packet capture and analysis utility to see what is happening between the Windows boxes and the server.

If this is a sudden appearance of a problem, review the latest Windows Updates for possible clues.

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Some questions

by r_widell In reply to Troubled PC connection to ...

Are the Windows machines making a wired or wireless connection? My wife's WinXP Home machine frequently loses it's mind when attached over a wireless connection, while my Ubuntu laptop keeps working fine using the same AP.

Is the Samba server also acting as a PDC in a Windows Domain or is it just a Workgroup-style sharing situation?

That info may help to hone in on where the errors are occurring.

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More info

by chris In reply to Some questions

Thanks for the replies.
I was just being a lazy typist using the term PC for Windows.

The connections are all wired CAT 5 through a 24 port gigabit managed switch. Ubuntu server unit is connected to the switch in a 2-port LAG (NIC bonding 802.3ad).

No domain - just one Workgroup.

As I mentioned, all the units can connect to each other just fine, but the Windows units can't consistently connect to the Ubuntu server (mostly cannot connect, but can connect once in a while).

I was wondering if it might be some kind of network speed differential problem, given the link aggregation I set up for the server. But the Macs & Linux zoom on it, and I configured it for auto-negotiation. And I get the same results whether a Windows NIC is 100 or 1000 mbs.

Another possible suspect: for network browsing, I have Samba set up as WINS server, Domain Master, Local Master, Preferred Master, OS level 33 and allow all hosts.

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WINS (?)

by r_widell In reply to More info

I'd be most suspicious of the WINS configuration as the none of the machines need it (in this scenario), but the Windows machines will try harder to use it if it's configured.

Some of the various "net" commands from a Windows CLI should help you determine where the problem lies (and the Samba docs will be a real aid here). I confess I've never tried using any of the "netsh" commands against a Samba server, so I don't know if they'll work or not.

The brute force approach would be to first ensure that the OS level on the Mac and Linux workstations are all less than that of the server. You may have a workstation ignoring the "domain" aspect and setting itself up as the Master Browser due to an incorrect OS level setting.

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