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It sounds like you want a configuration similar to one of the first ones in the Samba 3 by Example book. It is supplied either by the samba package or a samba-doc package. You will still need to set up the directory ownership & permissions, and add a user owning the share, but using "force owner" and "force group" it won't matter which user or password you entered.
edit gggrrrrrrr i hate samba who ever made it is a security paranoid dumb ass
Wrong... Whoever made windows was too lazy to bother with proper security. Passwords are something that should be expected, especially when sharing important files which might appear in the /root/ directory.
And yes, the service does need to be restarted (at least I think it does).
Samba is easy to setup if you read the smb.conf file. It show you step by step what to do. Anyway, here is a quick steps to get it up and running.
1. create an account on your linux box ---> useradd userid
2. create password for samba share ---> smbpasswd -a userid
3. go to your windows box and browser to your linux server
4. select your samba share and type in your samba userid and password
5. Of course, if your samba userid & password match your windows userid and password. Samba will not challenge you for userid and password.
As for restarting the samba, you shouldn't need to reboot your server. All you have to do is service smb restart for Fedora and Red Hat.