The drives, a pair of Seagate 400GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drives, were connected to my Fast Ethernet network by a Linksys NSLU2, aka Slug, network storage link. All my other systems, which include XP Pro, MEPIS 6.01, Fedora 6, OpenSUSE 10.2 and SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10, had no trouble at all accessing these drives, so what was the problem?
After staring for much too long at network traffic logs, it suddenly hit me: Ive seen a variation of this problem years ago.
Vista defaults to using the NTLMv2 authentication. NTLMv2 is a 128-bit encrypted authentication protocol that has been around for over a decade. It was first introduced back in NT4 SP4.
Back in those days of stone axes and bear skins, Id run into trouble with Windows 95 clients being unable to connect with "secured" NT4 SP4 servers. I fixed it then by setting the servers back to using NTLM.
Today, my problem was that by default Vista only used NTLMv2, and not NTLM or LM authentication. My NAS setup, like many NAS appliances, relies on a firmware-based Linux and Samba for its CIFS (Common Internet File System) file server.