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Windows XP SP2 slow printing solution



Hello all,

I spent a couple of days figuring this out, and I found some related
posts without solutions, so I figured I would sent this to the list.

We run a small local network here with a mixed bag of Windows
XP / 2000 / Linux clients. We have been using Samba to allow access
to a set of shared printers using a linux server. We also have a
separate linux server that handles our file serving and WINS name
resolution.

On the printer server, we are running samba 3.0.1, and on the WINS
server we are running an older version, 2.2.5. Unfortunately, due to
legacy applications, library incompatabilities, and heavy load, we do
not at this time desire to upgrade samba on the WINS server. (It
occurs to me that these problems may be fixed by an upgrade of samba
on our WINS server, but what I describe below also works as a
duct-tape solution.)

We're a small group, so I set the "use client driver = yes" to avoid
any possible confusion and to keep things simple.

Recently, some of our computers were upgraded to XP SP2. After the
upgrade, accessing the samba shared printers from the XP machines was
incredibly slow. It would take tens of seconds to even bring up the
printer status window, and printing from acrobat could take several
minutes.

After a great deal of poking around and fiddling, I have discovered
that if the "Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP" option is selected under the
WINS tab of the advanced TCP/IP configuration, then after a reboot,
accessing the samba shared printers was instantaneous, and there was
no noticeable delay in printing from applications such as acrobat.

There is a breif blurb about this setting here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q204279/#kb1

According to this reference, this setting can also be specified over
DHCP. Unfortunately, on our network we use ISC dhcp3 as our DHCP
server, and I could not find any options in the dhcpd.conf file that
references this specefic vendor-specific DHCP extension, so a manual
configuration of each client is needed.

I hope this is of help to anybody with XP SP2 printing problems.

Cheers,
Gary.
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