[Samba] Windows XP Printing Woes..and a partial solution

Jim Durham jim.durham at nepinc.com
Fri Feb 13 20:52:43 GMT 2004

In the last two weeks or so, after years of no problems with Samba printing 
from Windows machines in our office, we suddenly started having problems with 
very slow printing. So far, I have resolved this to two different situations.

In Windows XP, if you would give the netbios name of the server and printer, 
as \\SERVERNAME\printername  to connect to a network printer on Samba, it 
would hang for minutes before it would sometimes connect and sometimes not. I 
thought there might be a problem with name resolution, so I bypassed that by 
asking for a connection to \\\printername, where is 
the LAN side address of  the server machine and lets say is the 
Internet interface address of that same server. I found that XP was somehow  
trying to connect to when I had specifically asked for !! 
It would pop up a windows saying that it was trying to connect to ! I 
can't imagine where it is getting that address from, unless it is somehow 
doing a reverse lookup on FQDN for the server. ??

In our case, the machine with Samba is not the machine that is the gateway for 
the WIndows boxes, so the request would go out the gateway and back in the 
*outside* interface on the Samba machine, which is firewalled against access 
to M$ printing services from the outside world.  It looks like it would 
eventually figure it out and go to the inside interface after a minute or 

This is making Samba really look bad, but I think it's some sort of side 
effect of one of the XP hotfixes in the last week or so.

My partial solution was to put a route in the gateway machine saying that was reachable via the interface on the Samba box.

However, I'm still having problems with some Windows machines just hanging 
when you open the "Printers/Faxes" window if you have any Samba printers 
loaded on the machine. Using System Restore to roll back the XP boxes to 
somewehre in January and then trying again to print will yield a very slow 
print job the first time, then, it starts working properly again from then 

Anyone else having this wierdness? Is this a side effect of a Microsoft patch?



More information about the samba mailing list