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This network:

I have a samba server in the main office LAN.

I have multiple satellite offices, 3 hops away. Wins and netbios work fine, using both windows servers and samba servers. Such as:

[ main ] -- [office a]
[ lan  ]  -- [office b]

I tried to move one office to be one hop PAST another office. Such as:

[main office lan] -- [office a] -- [office b]

... and the routing, pinging, and porning all work great.

But the machines in office B can't SMB connect to any machines in the main LAN.

As far as I can tell, it is because netbios isn't making it between main and B.

net view ip.of.samba.server gives "cannot find path".

nbtstat -A ip.of.samba.server shows nothing.

The routers are Procurve 2800-series Layer 3 switches with ip routing enabled.

Do I need to enable udp broadcast forwarding?

   ip routing
   ip udp-bcast-forward


  ip forward-protocol udp .....255 netbios-ns
  ip forward-protocol udp .....255 netbios-dgm

if so, which way? Do I need to enable that on each routing switch along the way? for every vlan? and what about TCP?

Hopefully someone here has run into this before.

picture of the network

I am trying to get rid of VLAN 20, send all the traffic for Office B thru 19 then 18. This all works for normal pinging, surfing, etc. so the routes are good.

share|improve this question
You have full connectivity, and no firewalls or NAT between your office machines and the server? Can you ping the clients from the server, and server from the clients? You shouldn't need netbios at all to do a net view \\ – Zoredache May 1 '13 at 22:43
yes, i can traceroute and ping in all directions to and from everyone. vnc, http, imap, smtp. no problem. so I thought I was good to go, then found ALL the mounted SMB shares in office B were disconnected. nbtstat -A ip.... from office B showed empty. Office A was ok. And when I put vlan 20 back, put routes back, then nbtstat -A ip.... showed the usual info. net view same errored out when 2 lans away. net view worked when vlan 20 was used again. no firewalls or nat, just static routes. – user145837 May 1 '13 at 22:49
1. "cannot find path" doesn't sound like a NetBIOS problem to me. - 2. If you're using WINS, and it's working correctly, and all of the clients are configured to use WINS then you shouldn't need to enable broadcast traffic across any of the routers. - 3. If the lack of broadcast traffic across the routers were the problem you would have already experienced it as it wouldn't have crossed the routers you already had in place. – joeqwerty May 1 '13 at 23:44
up vote 1 down vote accepted

NetBIOS broadcasts are used in name resolution and mailslot communcations (primarily). The nbtstat -A ip-address command you reference, and net view \\ip-address use plain old unicast TCP to communicate, since no name resolution is involved. You don't need to do anything with NetBIOS broadcasts.

If it were me, I'd sniff the traffic at a test client and at the server and see if all the traffic is getting through. I get a sneaking suspicion that you've got some traffic filtering somewhere that you don't realize.

share|improve this answer
fav'ed for the effort. – user145837 Nov 25 '13 at 21:30
So, what did you end up finding? – Evan Anderson Nov 26 '13 at 2:13
ended up canceling the whole idea for another reason entirely. (: – user145837 Nov 26 '13 at 14:09

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