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I've recently added a Linux machine to my small network, which consists of three Windows XP systems, and one Windows NT Workstation 4.0 system. Each system has a number of shares on it, and the Linux system also has (so far) one share on it.
Everything works fine, with one strange exception. The Linux system cannot access the shares on the Windows systems which are located on FAT volumes. Attempting to do so results in a long delay, during which time a lot of data is being sent over the network... it's as if the entire contents of the share are being transferred. When the delay is over (anywhere from 10-30 minutes!), there's no error message of any kind, the contents are simply not displayed.
Accessing shares located on NTFS volumes on these same systems works fine, and the Windows machines have no problem accessing any of the shares, whether they are on FAT or NTFS volumes, or those on the Linux machine.
This makes no sense to me at all. My first thought is that something is configured incorrectly on the Linux system, since the shares are accessible from all the Windows systems. But, I can't see how the filesystem used on the server machine makes any difference at all to the client machine, so the problem must be with the Windows systems. Maybe there's some sort of incompatibility between the Samba client and FAT volumes? I don't see how this can be, because I've done a lot of web searching on this subject, and have found nothing about it.
As I see it, I have eliminated evey possible source of the problem, leaving me with no ideas at all! If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
How are you trying to access the FAT shares? I use smbmount '//windows machine name/share name' '/mount point' and I don't have any trouble.
I was using Nautilus. Specifically, I was going to "Places" -> "Connect to Server..." then enter the machine name, and double-click on the share name. I also tried a similar method in the program that comes with KDE (can't remember its name now). This works with the shares on NTFS volumes. I guess I've just become too accustomed to the GUI world! I tried the method you described, and it works -- Thank you.
Now, I'm still puzzled, though. Why the different results, based -- as far as I can tell -- upon the filesystem used on the server?