Detecting a home network hard drive


J

jbm

HP G5105uk Desktop PC running Windows 7 Home Premium. Connected to a BT
Home Hub 3.0 router and a BT Infinity broadband connection. Computer LAN
wired to router, external hard drive connected to the hub via a USB
cable, with a Canon wi-fi printer/scanner to complete the network.

When I switch the computer on, it takes an absolute age for the computer
to detect the BTHUB3 network, almost 5 minutes. Same thing after a
re-boot. The router's "home page" shows the hub as part of the network
immediately, but no amount of "refreshing" from within Windows Explorer
(File Manager) will bring it up. The "BT Home Hub 3.0 Media Gateway" is
listed under "Other Devices (1)" on the Network page of Windows Explorer
straight away, but not BTHUB3 or the connected drive. The
printer/scanner is also shown immediately, though as three different
devices with the same name (1 Printer, 1 Scanner & 1 Multifunction
Device, probably because it includes a built-in card reader)

I must be missing something. Is there some setting somewhere that will
speed up this detection? I only got round to setting up the network a
week ago, when I bought the printer and another USB drive.

One other thing, leaving Windows Explorer open, occasionally the "BT
Home Hub 3.0 Media Gateway" notification will momentarily disappear for
about a second before reappearing. Is this normal?

[Now just to really confuse the whole issue, though I doubt it has any
bearing on the problem since the computer, hub and drive are all
hard-wired together. Me and my next door neighbours have one hell of a
problem receiving a stable broadcast radio signal in the houses (AM, FM
& DAB). We have finally decided it is because the area sits on top of
iron stone rock (fact) and think that below our houses is a solid mass
of pure iron acting as a magnet dragging the signals away (?????). Cars
parked outside our houses cannot receive any radio signal whatsoever!!!
Strangely enough there's no problem with the wi-fi connection from the
hub to the laptop. Thought I'd just mention it.]

jim
 
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P

Paul

jbm said:
HP G5105uk Desktop PC running Windows 7 Home Premium. Connected to a BT
Home Hub 3.0 router and a BT Infinity broadband connection. Computer LAN
wired to router, external hard drive connected to the hub via a USB
cable, with a Canon wi-fi printer/scanner to complete the network.

When I switch the computer on, it takes an absolute age for the computer
to detect the BTHUB3 network, almost 5 minutes. Same thing after a
re-boot. The router's "home page" shows the hub as part of the network
immediately, but no amount of "refreshing" from within Windows Explorer
(File Manager) will bring it up. The "BT Home Hub 3.0 Media Gateway" is
listed under "Other Devices (1)" on the Network page of Windows Explorer
straight away, but not BTHUB3 or the connected drive. The
printer/scanner is also shown immediately, though as three different
devices with the same name (1 Printer, 1 Scanner & 1 Multifunction
Device, probably because it includes a built-in card reader)

I must be missing something. Is there some setting somewhere that will
speed up this detection? I only got round to setting up the network a
week ago, when I bought the printer and another USB drive.

One other thing, leaving Windows Explorer open, occasionally the "BT
Home Hub 3.0 Media Gateway" notification will momentarily disappear for
about a second before reappearing. Is this normal?

[Now just to really confuse the whole issue, though I doubt it has any
bearing on the problem since the computer, hub and drive are all
hard-wired together. Me and my next door neighbours have one hell of a
problem receiving a stable broadcast radio signal in the houses (AM, FM
& DAB). We have finally decided it is because the area sits on top of
iron stone rock (fact) and think that below our houses is a solid mass
of pure iron acting as a magnet dragging the signals away (?????). Cars
parked outside our houses cannot receive any radio signal whatsoever!!!
Strangely enough there's no problem with the wi-fi connection from the
hub to the laptop. Thought I'd just mention it.]

jim
By hard-wired, I take it your computer is connected to a yellow jack,
while the USB hard drive you want to share, is connected to the USB
jack on the back ?

http://www.filesaveas.com/images/bthomehub3_rear.jpg

OMG. Answer (of sorts, it's BT after all) here.

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/32374/c/346

"Connect your USB drive to the USB in the back of the Hub 3. If
you've got a Windows PC, there may be a delay time of up to
*15* minutes for your computer to detect the drive in the
Network folder. So don't worry if you don't see it immediately."

Um, yeah. Don't worry, be happy. This is why we buy high tech devices
with GHz processing speeds, so we'll have to wait up to *15* minutes!

*******

I don't know how to debug SAMBA. In Linux, I've had more than a
few problems with various distros, getting things detected. Like,
Linux picking up a Windows share can take a few minutes. But not
fifteen minutes.

The question would be, what protocol polls, looking for a device.
As I understand it, Windows 7, has perhaps as many as three protocols
it can try, for device detection (including some crusty old legacy
methods). It would be the time constant of these polling protocols,
that might determine when the thing is detected.

This would be running on the Home Hub.

http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/man/manpages-3/nmbd.8.html

nmbd — NetBIOS name server to provide NetBIOS over IP naming
services to clients

These two services also run on the Home Hub. in its role as a Samba
(windows share) server.

http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/install.html

smbd - This daemon handles all TCP/IP-based connection services
for file- and print-based operations. It also manages local
authentication. It should be started immediately following
the startup of nmbd.

winbindd - This daemon should be started when Samba is a member
of a Windows NT4 or ADS domain. It is also needed when
Samba has trust relationships with another domain. The
winbindd daemon will check the smb.conf file for the
presence of the idmap uid and idmap gid parameters. If
they are are found, winbindd will use the values specified
for for UID and GID allocation. If these parameters are
not specified, winbindd will start but it will not be
able to allocate UIDs or GIDs.

From the same document, this would be a config file we cannot read
on the Home Hub internal file system.

Example 1.2. Another simple smb.conf File

[global]
workgroup = MIDEARTH

[homes]
guest ok = no
read only = no

This will allow connections by anyone with an account on the server,
using either their login name or homes as the service name. (Note:
The workgroup that Samba should appear in must also be set. The
default workgroup name is WORKGROUP.)

Now, on your Windows 7 machine, you have the option of making a HOMEGROUP,
which would work amongst a set of Windows 7 machines say. If you had a
mixture of different (older) windows machines, then you use WORKGROUP
(the traditional old way) for networking. Since SAMBA also seems to
use workgroup=WORKGROUP by default, that is something you could try
on your Windows box.

In the following, your machine might already be set up this way, but
you can verify it, using the pictures in the article.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/51711-workgroup-name-view-change.html

That's about the only thing that comes to mind. I don't know if
there is a way to tune "netbios" or not.

There are a couple ways to interpret your results:

1) One protocol was used, and failed entirely. A fallback protocol
was used later, and it discovered the disk on the Home Hub (after
a long wait).

2) One protocol was used, and it worked. But the polling frequency was
set very low. (An example of this, is the voting that goes on for
domain servers, where elections might be held every ten or fifteen
minutes). If this was the case, occasionally it might be detected
faster than normal (asynchronism).

I'm hoping the problem is somehow related to HOMEGROUP, but even
that would need support (somehow) for legacy networking. So maybe
that isn't entirely an explanation. And setting workgroup=WORKGROUP
is just a guess, if the Home Hub smb.conf file doesn't exist. I
use WORKGROUP as my default for all the computers here (even if
not setting up file sharing, I still do it). There isn't much chance
of all the computers here running an OS version, where HOMEGROUP
makes sense.

While I was using my search engine, I could find a significant amount
of underground work being done, to hack the Home Hub family. And this
is what happens, when a company provides a half-ass product with
no documentation. It provides an incentive for the hacker community,
to do better. (Just like providing DD-WRT as a replacement code
for routers.) Imagine getting a firmware update sent down by BT, and
it causes Ubuntu computers to freeze. And then customers waiting for
the support staff to figure it out. This is what happens with "amateur
night at the Bijou" firmware development, done in some BT lab. No
matter who develops the firmware, it still needs to be tested before
being deployed.

*******

This is another research area - SSDP/uPNP

http://windows.microsoft.com/is-IS/windows7/What-is-network-discovery

"Network discovery requires that the DNS Client, Function Discovery
Resource Publication, SSDP Discovery, and UPnP Device Host services
are started, that network discovery is allowed to communicate through
Windows Firewall, and that other firewalls are not interfering with
network discovery. If some but not all of these are true, the network
discovery state will be shown as Custom."

Your problem probably isn't firewall, because if it was, you'd never
get to see it.

AFAIK, SSDP can cause devices to show up in an Explorer window.
It probably won't help (in that if SAMBA only does Netbios, that
still might have to make the connection using Netbios). Still, in
my ignorance, I have to mention it as a possible direction.
So Netbios and SSDP, are two examples of protocols. There
might be another one I don't remember, that could be part
of the mess.

*******

If I could find example threads of people connecting disks to the
Home Hub 3 and having to wait a long time, I wouldn't have to use
protocol analysis. But I could not manage to find examples
of people suffering with the same symptoms. (I'm sure they're out
there, but the search terms I used did not find them.)

Paul
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

OMG. Answer (of sorts, it's BT after all) here.

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/32374/c/346

"Connect your USB drive to the USB in the back of the Hub 3. If
you've got a Windows PC, there may be a delay time of up to
*15* minutes for your computer to detect the drive in the
Network folder. So don't worry if you don't see it immediately."

Um, yeah. Don't worry, be happy. This is why we buy high tech devices
with GHz processing speeds, so we'll have to wait up to *15* minutes!
I'd say that "OMG" is an understatement of a high order.

That's incredible...

But everything is OK if you just always boot the computer 15 minutes
ago, so it's ready now (I once thought of being a Science Fiction
writer).
 
J

jbm

On 10/06/2013 20:12, Gene E. Bloch wrote:


Thanks for both of your replies. I'm getting senile in my dotage,
together with a severe case of memory breakdown. The cure was very, very
simple, but had completely slipped my mind.

1. Wait for the drive to be detected.

2. Map the Network Drive.

So, so simple. Now that drive is permanently and immediately visible in
the same group as the other drives.

<Crawls back under rock and resumes deep sleep>

jim
 
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Gene E. Bloch

On 10/06/2013 20:12, Gene E. Bloch wrote:

Thanks for both of your replies. I'm getting senile in my dotage,
together with a severe case of memory breakdown. The cure was very, very
simple, but had completely slipped my mind.

1. Wait for the drive to be detected.

2. Map the Network Drive.

So, so simple. Now that drive is permanently and immediately visible in
the same group as the other drives.

<Crawls back under rock and resumes deep sleep>

jim
OTOH, that's new information for at least one reader :)

Now all I need to do is remember that info if I ever need it.

And thanks for telling us.
 

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