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Old 03-26-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
SwissHeritage
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How do addresses get associated with computer names on a local network?


I'm trying to access Vista shares on a Pavilion and an Inspiron on our router network, from slackware on my Satellite. It works every time if I use IP addresses, but if I use the computer names, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Mostly it doesn't. When the computer names aren't working, smbtree gives me this on both computers:

WORKGROUP
\\SLACKWARE Samba Server
\\SLACKWARE\IPC$ IPC Service (Samba Server)
\\SLACKWARE\tmp Temporary file space
\\PAVILION-DV6700 Pavilion dv6838nr
timeout connecting to 218.83.175.154:445
timeout connecting to 218.83.175.154:139
cli_start_connection: failed to connect to PAVILION-DV6700<20> (0.0.0.0). Error NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED
\\INSPIRON-1420 inspiron 1420
timeout connecting to 218.83.175.154:445
timeout connecting to 218.83.175.154:139
cli_start_connection: failed to connect to INSPIRON-1420<20> (0.0.0.0). Error NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED

Does that mean that it's looking for both computers at 218.83.175.154? If so, where could it be getting the idea to associate that address with those computer names?

I looked up that address and found out that it's in a range of addresses reserved for my ISP. I suppose that it's coming from my ISP somehow, but how and why? Why would my slackware or Samba be asking my ISP for the addresses for computers on my local network?

I'm always able to map the Pavilion on the inspiron, and the Inspiron on the Pavilion, even when I'm getting those errors on slackware on the Satellite. Does that rule out the router as the source of the 218.83.175.154 reported by smbtree? If so, then where could that address be coming from, and what could be attaching that address to those computer names?

My slackware is configured to use our router as the DNS, which relays the requests and responses for Internet addresses. Could the router be relaying requests for those computer addresses to my ISP DNS? If so, why do the computer names work for me some of the time, and not others? In any case, why would the router relay requests for local computer addresses to the ISP DNS?

I might try configuring the DNS in slackware so it doesn't relay through the router, and see if I still have the problem.

Meanwhile, does anyone have any ideas about how requests for addresses for computers on my router network could be getting relayed to the DNS of my ISP? Meanwhile, can anyone tell me how the system distinguishes between address requests for computers on the local network, and address requests for computers on the Internet?
 
Old 03-26-2009, 10:37 PM   #2
paulsm4
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Hi -

I'll betcha' if you had Windows XP (instead of Vista) ... it would probably work each time/every time.

Anyway: please take a look at this thread: it's got lots of good tips that might help:

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum...fm/758908.html

PS:
No, your ISP's DNS is *not* keeping track of all the computer names behind your firewall. I suspect you're probably on a home network, and I suspect you've probably got a router and/or broadband modem (cable or DSL) in the mix, one of which is both providing you DHCP, and also managing name resolution (DNS and/or NetBIOS name resolution) inside your firewall.

Anyway: please check out the link, and let us know what you find!
 
Old 03-27-2009, 01:33 AM   #3
SwissHeritage
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Thanks, Paul.

I still would like to know, if anyone can tell me, exactly what happens when Samba looks for a LAN computer by name. How does it tell the router to look for it on the LAN instead of on the Internet? In fact, how does any program or system tell the router to search for a name on the LAN instead of on the Internet?
 
Old 03-27-2009, 08:25 AM   #4
onebuck
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Hi,

Your local names assignments can be provided by the '/etc/hosts' file on your GNU/Linux system.

I also like to add the 'lmhost' file to the M$ based machines for the LAN when you expect Lan Manager problems.
 
Old 03-27-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
paulsm4
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Hi, Jim -

The real answer to your question involves the fairly big topic "Name Resolution".

The short answer is:
a) Samba supports two parallel namespaces: "NetBIOS names", and "DNS names"

b) Either namespace can be configured with a local file (lmhosts and /etc/hosts, respectively) or a global server (WINS or DNS, respectively)

c) There are lots of Variations on a Theme

d) Much of this happens automagically, with little or no configuration on your part, courtesy of the firmware in most consumer-grade Wifi routers and/or DSL modems (and other network hardware you're likely to find at your local Best Buy or Radio Shack).

Here's a fairly good link that covers some of the main, high-level points:

http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/man/...-networks.html

'Hope that helps .. PSM
 
Old 03-27-2009, 08:02 PM   #6
SwissHeritage
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Thanks, Gary.

Paul, that sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks!
 
  


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