Windows 7 SP1 and Samba

After successfully installing Windows 7 SP1 on my wife’s new workstation I noticed right away that the system was no longer able to access my Samba NAS. After searching around for a while and trying various tips, such as making sure the following Samba configuration values were enabled:

security = user

encrypt passwords = true

server signing = Auto

I was still having no luck. This was with Samba 3.6.6 and everything had worked prior to SP1 upgrade.

Looking around a bit more I discovered as of SP1, Microsoft enforces 128 bit encryption on file sharing and disables the older 40 – 56 bit encryption. This is great except it seems Samba doesn’t yet support this, at least not in the NT1 protocol mode (Which I’ve found to be the most stable).

So the fix was simple, under Advanced Sharing Settings, which is accessed from the left side panel in Network and Sharing Center you should find the option: Enable file sharing for devices that use 40- or 56-bit encryption


After changing that, I was able to once again access my Samba NAS without problems.

I guess I could have used security = ADS Samba configuration option, but I didn’t want to bother with the mess of active domain controls for a single windows box.

Another thing to look at is the LmCompatibilityLevel value in Windows registry. This key can usually be found in


If the REG_DWORD type key doesn’t exist, then you’ll need to create it with the name


Generally assigning a value of 1 is found to solve most people’s windows client issues.

Lastly, and this is critical, make sure you add the windows user to the samba user database, This can be done with the smbpasswd -a option. Neglecting to do so will cause you much frustration.

Unetbootin + Windows install

So… Unforantly for me, I had to reinstall Windows 7 on my wife’s work station. Personally I can’t stand Microsoft OS’s so this was quite the chore.  To make things easier I decided to just install via USB disk (Who uses CD’s anymore??). To do this I utilized my favorite application, unetbootin.

Sadly, this didn’t work. I neglected to have unetbootin install on an NTFS based USB stick.  After formating the stick to NTFS and remounting it (in read/write mode), I restarted unetbootin, this time with the installtype and targetdrive arguments:

unetbootin installtype=USB targetdrive=/dev/sdd1

Once started, I had it write out the image to the USB stick, popped  it into my wifes work station and was off to the races!


A cheap ZFS file server build

So the last month or so I’ve been working on replacing my aging FreeBSD 7.4 RELENG server, running the stable, but some what scary GEOM RAID5 hack (vintage 2008). The system was a total hack, running in an old mid-tower case with various external disk caddies. It worked, and worked well for many years, however it was slow, rebuilds took days, and I couldn’t get 1000 Mbps LAN connection working (long story).

So that all said, it was time to upgrade, however I had a few requirements for the new system:

  1. Cheap! I hate spending money on computer parts.
  2. Reliable
  3. High capacity
  4. Reasonable performance
  5. Easily repaired
  6. QUIET!

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ZPcheck version 1.4 released

Hi All,

Today I’m releasing ZPcheck version 1.4, which is the initial public release. It’s a simple tool to regularly check and report on ZFS pools. Included in the reports generated by ZPcheck are smartd logging (if available) from your system logger. This is useful when you’re dealing with problematic pools and providers. Any ways the tool is released under the GPL 2.0 and is free for all to use. It requires Perl 5.10 or later and some Perl modules, all of which can be installed easily through CPAN.

Click here to downloda zpcheck-1.4.tar.gz