Score:2

Diagnosing samba fileshare issues with TP-Link router

in flag

I have a LAN with a TP-Link router (AXE5400, 3 months old), a Mac Mini (2020, osX Monterey) as file-server, and Windows 11 Laptop and a Macbook Pro laptop (c. 2020/2022). Both the Windows and Macbook Pro laptops are regularly failing to connect to the file-server's network shares. Additionally, my Windows laptop often says that "Network discovery and file sharing are turned off". In both cases, the problem mysteriously rights itself after a few minutes, and then loses connection again a while later.

I can ssh/vnc into the file-server without problems. It's only the samba/cif network sharing that's affected. It doesn't seem to matter whether I'm connected over ethernet or WiFi.

I suspect the TP-Link router, possibly something to do with TCP broadcast signals or whatever similar thing that "network discovery and file sharing" is based on. I had the same problem with a TP-Link Archer C5.

What tools can I use to troubleshoot? Are there any (easy to use, free) network monitoring tools that would help?

Alternatively, does anyone know of this as a known problem with TP-Link routers and ways to work around this?

Toaomalkster avatar
in flag
Update: in the most recent scenario, my Windows laptop said "Network discovery and file sharing are turned off.....Click to change". It then asked if I wanted to allow network discovery and public networks or change the current network to Private to enable discovery. The network share immediately became accessible once I selected Private network. That's odd because it's my existing home network that the laptop already knows is Private. (I was connected to both WiFi and ethernet at the time, so not sure which one it was confused about).
Score:2
jp flag

The most common tool that is used to troubleshoot any network-related issues is Wireshark https://www.wireshark.org/. It is free and pretty easy to use after watching a 1-5 minute related video on YouTube. As for the detailed troubleshooting routine, you may follow the official Microsoft documentation on that matter https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/file-server/troubleshoot/troubleshooting-smb.

Working for an MSP, I have to deal with different kinds of routers, including TP-Link gear. TP-Link routers do not work any differently from other ones in terms of file-sharing protocols support over the network. That is why I think your problem is rather related to endpoint configuration.

Alternatively, you can try switching to NFS instead of SMB. NFS is more native to Linux/UNIX-based systems and may work better in your mixed environment.

Toaomalkster avatar
in flag
Thanks. Will try out over next few days.
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