The "copy then rename" trick is essentially changing the selinux context.
If you did an 'ls -Z smb' before doing this, you would see that the context was:
When you copied the smb file, you created a new file which got the default contex of:
You then renamed the copy back to smb. You could have accomplished the same thing with the command:
chcon root:object_r:etc_t smb
But, alas, this still didn't solve the problem. Sure I could now start smb manually, but I still get the same "Aborted" error on system startup.
The solution for me was to indeed turn off selinux enforcement for smb.
Since I don't have a GUI installed, I used the command line command:
setsebool -P smbd_disable_trans 1
(I got the command line directions from here