At the beginning it appeared as a no-solved mystery because in all the many posts I read, there were no effective solutions. On my Ubuntu 10.04 LTS I was no able to use the external hard disk I had connected to the LAN and every time I tried to mount it I only received this message: Unable to mount location – Failed to retrieve share list from server
In few words it was not possible to use the Windows Network and all the people with the same problem (which is specific for the Ubuntu 10.04) suggested to reconfigure Samba but all the configuration and scripts I tried were no effective to let me use the external hard disk.
At the end I found someone who talked about a possible firewall misconfiguration and I tried in many ways to bypass the situation using ufw commands and opening ports and services over the LAN:
$ sudo ufw status
[sudo] password for *****:
To Action From
— —— —-
135,139,445/tcp ALLOW Anywhere (log)
137,138/udp ALLOW Anywhere (log)
Samba ALLOW Anywhere
192.168.0.3 Samba ALLOW 10.0.0.0/8
10.0.0.0/8 ALLOW 192.168.0.3 Samba
Unfortunately, every new permission I granted to Samba on my Firewall was not a real solution but when I tried to stop the Firewall (System –> Administration –> Firewall Configuration) using the default firewall manager, Ubuntu was able to find and work on the external hard disk.
For this reason I made some tests and found this solution:
1 – enter your router settings and find the list of the attached device
2 – find the name and the MAC address of the LAN device you want to connect to your PC
3 – find the menu for the Lan Setup and add an Address Reservation for the above device. Now you are sure that the router will always assign the same address to the device
4 – back to Ubuntu, install and launch Firestarter (for some incomprehensible reasons the default firewall manager is not able to create rules for Samba services and ports)
5 – on Firestarter, go to Preferences —> Policy Editor and click on “Apply policy changes immediately”
6 – try to connect again to Windows Network, obviously (sic) it will not work but then go to Firestarter —> Events and you will notice that the last line is the “missing” external disk which has an “unknown” service
7 – right-click the mouse on this line and “Allow connections from source”. Now the external hard disk is visible from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and it is possible to work on it!
8 – to be sure that your LAN device will be rightly connected to Ubuntu 10.04 every time you boot up it: go to System –> Preferences –> Startup Applications
9 – add a new Firestarter rule typing the following command: sudo firestarter