Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Brief Tangent on Printing

Every so often, there's a weird lil' Windows twitch that I'm called on to support. Here a printer connecting to a Samba print server was taking for-freakin'-ever to spool documents to the remote queue - along the lines of 90 seconds at a time. It wasn't a pause due to an IP resolution or the like... instead Windows was sending massive freakin' amounts of traffic across the line. I'd evesdrop using Ethereal and hear tons of noise... absolute floods of SMB traffic.

I love the Samba listserv posters. I really do. They had traced this back to an issue where Windows XP will open the properties of not just the printer you want to send documents to, but every other printer on the server. Get one bad apple, and you're sent into a backfill of network requests.

Luckily they had found the way to get rid of this brute interrogation by hacking off a few registry keys, which saved the day. But its another minor annoyance that leeched time away until my very being was sucked dry without me noticing.

For those wondering, it was basically just a matter of hacking off the entries in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\DevModePerUser and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\DevModes2.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

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