happy new year, everybody!
anyway, are you starting the samba deamons on startup? What distro are you using (I apologize if I missed it)??
In Slackware, you can put the following lines in 'etc/rc.d/rc.local' or any other script that starts up (although I recommend rc.local, it's easier to keep track of) on boot. The lines are:
Some distros come with an rc.samba file in the '/etc/rc.d/" directory, but I personally haven't messed with anything other than Mandrake and Slackware.
Also, remember that Mandrake will not allow servers to be started unless you install it in 'Higher' security mode. I ran into this problem a couple days ago on my laptop.
I would highly recommend using the 'domain master = yes' and there's another argument that makes the linux box the browser master for the local workgroup. This not only greatly improves network performance, but it will let your Windows boxes see eachother and the linux box everytime!
just curious, are you running any kind of firewall on the linux box?
Anyone who can fill in the blanks or correct me, please do.
edit: by the way, you shouldn't have to mess with the smbusers file at all. To get rid of a user type "smbpasswd -x user" and then type "smbpasswd -a user" to add the user back into the samba users configuration (where 'user' is the username you're going to use). Also make sure there's no spaces in the usernames or passwords, and make sure all the passwords are correct in case.