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The PCH as Master Browser
12-03-2010, 03:28 PM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2010 06:41 PM by nuke12.)
Post: #1
The PCH as Master Browser
I don't know about the rest of you but the PCH as master browser has always caused me issues. The unit is up and down to much to maintain a good browser list. It's also very slow building the list compared to a desktop/server.

I looked into the PCH Samba settings for my C-200 and these are the settings that control this and their current values;

Quote: os level = 20
preferred master = Auto
local master = Yes
domain master = Auto
browse list = Yes

Some of these are Samba default values. The one that bothers me the most is the "os level = 20". This will over ride a WinXP machine that has a level of 16. I'm not sure what level Microsoft has assigned to Vista and Win7. Maybe Vista gets a higher level then XP and Win7 higher again then Vista. That still might only be 17 & 18 which is lower then Samba on the PCH. Then again, maybe they are the same as XP?

Code:
Operating-system values in an election
Windows NT/2000 Server, running as PDC  32
Windows NT/2000/XP, if not the PDC      16
Windows 95/98/ME                        1
Windows for Workgroups                  1

Also these settings come into play in an election;

Code:
Computer-role settings in an election
Role                    Value
Domain master browser    128
WINS client              32
Preferred master         8
Running master           4
Recent backup browser    2
Backup browser           1

How this all comes about, is explained very well here;
http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch07.html

I thought about fixing the Samba server on the PCH. You would have to stop the services, copy in your own smb.conf file and then restart the services. I had my Samba raid server winning the elections but I decided to put it in S3 sleep mode when not being used so that's not working very well. The next option was to make one of my desktops become master browser.

From here;
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libra...59923.aspx
You can see the registry settings that apply. So I did this;
Quote:\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services \Browser\Parameters\MaintainServerList=Yes
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services \Browser\Parameters\IsDomainMaster=True

It's a little like hitting the problem with a sledge hammer but it does work. I notice Vista does not have the "IsDomainMaster" setting but I'm pretty sure you can add the key.

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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12-03-2010, 09:08 PM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2010 09:33 PM by nuke12.)
Post: #2
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
Still thinking on this.

Some people might want the PCH to be the master browser. They probably shut down all desktops/servers while at work or at night, while asleep. In cases like that, the PCH is probably the best selection to hold the browser list. Simply because it spends more time active on the network.

So............

Going with this, Syabas should offer the option in the SMB server config page, "PCH as Master Browser?" and the selection would be "Yes" or "No". "Yes" would set the "OS Level = 128" and "No" would set "OS Level = 1". "128" would pretty much guarantee it would win the election(s) and "1" would pretty much guarantee it would lose the election(s). I think the max value is either 254 or 255?

Anyway, JMHO on this whole issue.

Oh, another good reference;
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/docum...x?mfr=true

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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12-04-2010, 06:46 AM
Post: #3
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
The only case I can think of where you would need the pch as a master browser is multiple pches with drives and the media shared between them..

I've said in the past its causing problems it shouldn't be but also agree there is a case where you need the option to have it.
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12-04-2010, 04:02 PM
Post: #4
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
(12-04-2010 06:46 AM)accident Wrote:  The only case I can think of where you would need the pch as a master browser is multiple pches with drives and the media shared between them..
Do you keep your PCH units in their own workgroup ie. A workgroup that does not contain other desktops/servers?

I'm asking because I would think that even having multiple PCHs with shared resources between them and a desktop/server (something that is up all the time) in that workgroup, the computer/server would be the better master browser.


(12-04-2010 06:46 AM)accident Wrote:  I've said in the past its causing problems it shouldn't be but also agree there is a case where you need the option to have it.

Agreed. Now if Syabas is only listening. It would be a rather simple change.

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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04-24-2011, 01:54 PM (This post was last modified: 04-24-2011 02:03 PM by brdizm.)
Post: #5
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
Has anyone actually managed to permanently alter the smb.conf recently? Digging around it seems this hasn't been done in a while and several things have appeared to have changed in recent firmware releases on the c200.
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05-01-2011, 03:22 PM
Post: #6
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
(04-24-2011 01:54 PM)brdizm Wrote:  Has anyone actually managed to permanently alter the smb.conf recently? Digging around it seems this hasn't been done in a while and several things have appeared to have changed in recent firmware releases on the c200.

This is very difficult if impossible for several reasons. First: smb.conf is generated from scratch on player boot, and second: mount daemon which monitors USB-ports resets smb.conf when sharing a newly plugged USB-disk.
The only thing I can think of is to create a cron task that would check the presence of necessary stings in smb.conf and add them if smb.conf has been reset.
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06-25-2011, 09:29 PM
Post: #7
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
Has anyone found a way to turn off the PCH as the Master Browser? I want my Windows Home Server to be my Master Broswer, but my PCH (I have 2) keep over-ridding it. When that happens my WD Live boxes can not see the network (except for the 2 PCHs).
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06-25-2011, 09:42 PM
Post: #8
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
(06-25-2011 09:29 PM)jericko Wrote:  Has anyone found a way to turn off the PCH as the Master Browser? I want my Windows Home Server to be my Master Broswer, but my PCH (I have 2) keep over-ridding it. When that happens my WD Live boxes can not see the network (except for the 2 PCHs).

Not easely but have you tried what I said in my first post?

Quote:The next option was to make one of my desktops become master browser.

From here;
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libra...59923.aspx
You can see the registry settings that apply. So I did this;
Quote:\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services \Browser\Parameters\MaintainServerList=Yes
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services \Browser\Parameters\IsDomainMaster=True

It's a little like hitting the problem with a sledge hammer but it does work. I notice Vista does not have the "IsDomainMaster" setting but I'm pretty sure you can add the key.

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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06-25-2011, 10:00 PM (This post was last modified: 06-25-2011 10:03 PM by jericko.)
Post: #9
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
Hello Nuke12

Thanks for the reply. I have already set the reg settings on my Windows Home Server months back and its not really solved my issue.

\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services \Browser\Parameters\MaintainServerList=Yes
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services \Browser\Parameters\IsDomainMaster=True

It works fine, except when I reboot my WHS, the PCH takes over. My fix is I unplug both my PCHs then reboot my WHS again, then once up I plug back in my PCHs and everything is fine. I can verify this by running a tool called LANSCAN.exe, its shows all my PCs, PCHs, and my WD Lives and shows "Master" next to my WHS. When I reboot my WHS, and the PCHs become the Master, and I run the LANSCAN.exe it just give me the generic error 53 and shows nothing else.


So its become a PAIN and I hate to reboot my WHS due to all the running around the house to unplug my PCHs, then plug then back in.
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06-26-2011, 02:45 AM
Post: #10
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
I feel your pain.

There is no easy way for a normal user to fix the problem. Something Syabas should fix but only a few people have complained.

Sorry!

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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06-26-2011, 06:18 AM (This post was last modified: 06-26-2011 06:25 AM by Willem53.)
Post: #11
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
(06-25-2011 09:29 PM)jericko Wrote:  Has anyone found a way to turn off the PCH as the Master Browser? I want my Windows Home Server to be my Master Broswer, but my PCH (I have 2) keep over-ridding it. When that happens my WD Live boxes can not see the network (except for the 2 PCHs).

Whoaa... Syabas (accidentally) found a way to keep WD boxes out of your network....

@Nuke12 isn't The PCH supposed to respond to the election the WHS trows and stop being master based on your registry changes?
If so than that's the bug that need to go into MANTIS as it's not sticking to the Master Browser protocol...


PCH-A100/A210/C200/A400 500GB EXT3 HDD<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Onkyo TX-NR1010<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Panasonic TX-P46S10 + 6 Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
10 NTFS 2TB USB drives on 3 hubs attached to the A400, 2 Seagate blackarmour NAS 3TB, 2 Seagate Central NAS 4TB.


The inability to setup and configure the NMT should not be disguised as a defect of the box...
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06-26-2011, 06:31 AM (This post was last modified: 06-26-2011 06:32 AM by zombiehunter.)
Post: #12
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
Hi nuke12

where did you find the browser setting

PHP Code:
os level 20
preferred master 
Auto
local master 
Yes
domain master 
Auto
browse 
list = Yes 

I had a look on my pch and could only find 1 smb.conf
at /etc/samba/lib but is has no browser entries

it would be pretty easy to stop the pch from being a browser (in therory lol)
with a little script or an modding the start_app.sh

PHP Code:
[global]
        
display charset UTF8
        workgroup 
HOMENET
        server string 
Samba Share
        null passwords 
Yes
        smb passwd file 
= /etc/samba/lib/smbpasswd
        log file 
= /etc/samba/var/%m.log
        max log size 
1
        name resolve order 
lmhosts bcast host
        unix extensions 
No
        
use spnego No
        max smbd processes 
10
        socket options 
TCP_NODELAY SO_KEEPALIVE
        load printers 
No
        printcap name 
= /etc/samba/lib/printcap
        dns proxy 
No
        kernel oplocks 
No
        max connections 
25

[share]
        
path = /share
        valid users 
nmt
        read only 
No
        force create mode 
0644
        force directory mode 
0755

[SATA_DISK_A3]
        
path = /SATA_DISK_A3
        valid users 
nmt
        read only 
No
        force create mode 
0644
        force directory mode 
0755 

All advice is supplied packaged by intellectual weight, and not by volume. Contents may settle slightly in transit.
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06-26-2011, 12:55 PM (This post was last modified: 06-26-2011 03:50 PM by nuke12.)
Post: #13
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
Samba has a very long list of default global settings. Smb.conf is used to adjust the default global settings and configure the share points.

The settings I pointed out are part of the default settings and are not being adjusted by Syabas' smb.conf.

Sure, this could be hacked. You could stop nmbd + smbd, restart them pointed to a different smb.conf and life would go on.

In the end, some users could mange it and others could not. SMB is the primary network file sharing system being used on the PCH devices. This is something I feel Syabas should adjust. It's not a bug because SAMBA is doing exactly what its being told. One can only consider it a feature request but one that SHOULD be implemented.

These devices are NMTs and need to live in harmony with the rest of a persons network. In some cases the lack of control over master browser can upset the whole network. In an ideal environment, you want the master browser to be the most stable device on the network and the least rebooted device. The PCH does not fit this role very well IMHO.

Willem, I can't answer your question. Is it a bug because the Windows machine does not recover the role after a reboot? I wouldn't know without packet sniffing the network. The two registry settings worked for me but I picked a Windows machine I virtually never rebooted.

EDIT: I should point out that hacking smb.conf is not as easy as it might seem because of the "shares" section. Syabas dynamically adjusts this as you add/remove things like USB drives. This is something Syabas needs to fix and hacking is not a realistic option. See Roman_V_M's post above.

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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06-26-2011, 06:04 PM
Post: #14
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
The perfect fix is if Syabas just gave us the option to turn it off in a future firmware release. Home Networks are becoming more complex and I think this is something that is going to cause allot of people headaches.
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06-26-2011, 06:46 PM (This post was last modified: 06-26-2011 06:52 PM by nuke12.)
Post: #15
RE: The PCH as Master Browser
My first fix was to change the registry settings on my wife's workgroup desktop. This worked pretty good but we all know about the reboots that a Windows desktop has for updates, virus scanners and everything else.

At that time I had both a domain and workgroup running on my network. In the domain, I had a Linux server running Samba. With much messing around, I ran a second Samba server on the same Linux server but put it on the workgroup. It's sole purpose was to be the master browser and offered no workgroup sharing.

I've since folded the domain and only have a workgroup. The same Linux server running Samba is now in the workgroup and I have it's settings adjusted so high, no other machines can win the master browser elections. This is great because I've went up to a year without having to reboot the box and my browser lists are always there.

One should not have to go to these extremes, to fix a very fixable problem.

If I were Syabas;

1) As a min. fix, I would adjust the PCH units to sit lower on the pole then an XP desktop.
2) A better fix would be to offer an option of "PCH as master browser". "Yes or No". Let the user decide what works best for their network.

C-200, A-110 both playing from a DIY Linux Raid 5 server.

Remuxes, Captures and Transcodes done on a desktop running;
Win7, Intel i7 hexacore processor with 24 GB ram, WD VR OS drive and a WD Black 2 TB data drive.
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