Fix: FreeNAS Samba/CIFS not starting after reimported volume – “Service cannot be started”

Had a lot of issues when importing a ZFS  volume after a complete OS reinstall. CIFS wouldn’t start giving an error “Service cannot be started”. This was due to the Smb configuration being stored on the mnt volume and since it doesn’t have permissions, FreeNAS can’t load the smb.conf file nor start the service.


  1. To solve the issue, SSH or use the shell in the web portal of the FreeNAS box
  2. Run a command to list where the samba config is
    zfs list | grep .samba4
  3. The return should be something like
    volumename/.samba4 2.61M 545G 2.61M /mnt/volumename/.samba4
  4. Destroy the config file
    zfs destroy volume1/.samba4
    zfs destroy /volumename/.system/samba4
  5. Remove the samba database
    rm /var/db/samba4
  6. Restart the server and restart the service