I find that the best way to use SAMBA between Linux - Linux or Linux - Windows is to use IP Addresses rather than names, unless you have a good domain system set up?
Before you can use Samba, you need firstly to start the Samba service when you want it, or at boot time.
These (may not be exact..?):
will start certain parts of SAMBA for you.
Once started, any changes you make to /etc/samba/smb.conf, need to be put in place by restarting the service - just swap the word "start" with "restart" above.
If you are having more specific trouble, ie - with your smb.conf file, perhaps you could post it here? Or search the forum for more specific details. But generally as long as you and your windows machines are in the same workgroup, same subnet, and can ping one another - samba should work.