Windows 7 laptop connect to remote network experiences hangs when listing iPrint printers

  • 7008411
  • 19-Apr-2011
  • 30-Apr-2012

Environment

Novell iPrint Client for Windows
Bi-Directional Print Drivers
Windows 7
Mobile workstation

Situation

Windows 7 workstations, typically laptops, connected to a network which does not have access to the Print Manager server will experience application hangs and unresponsiveness when listing iPrint printers. 

With most applications, clicking File -> Print will set off the problem.

MS Office 2010 introduces a 'File' tab which shows many options, including open file, open recent file, create a new file, and print.  Whether intending to use the print option or not, the Office application will list the installed printers when clicking the File tab, which likewise triggers the delay/hang problem.

Resolution

The 5.82 iPrint Client for Windows introduces a new TCP timeout feature.  The default timeout value is 9 seconds.  However, the value can be easily changed.

HKLM/SOFTWARE/Novell-iPrint/Settings/TimeoutSeconds

Novell suggests not setting this value below 3.  

After changing the value, restart the workstation or the print spooler for the change to take affect.

Status

Reported to Engineering

Additional Information

When an application invokes the enumerate printer command, the Windows Print Spooler attempts to determine the status of the installed printers.  In the problematic scenario described above, there is no response to the TCP SYN request over port 631 (the IPP port).  The Windows Print Spooler attempts the connection 7 times before giving up.  It is during those 7 attempts that the application is unresponsive.

Workaround 1:
This problem is observed only with bi-directional drivers, such as the HP Universal Print Driver or Xerox Global Driver.  If a discrete driver exists which does not attempt bi-directional communication between the driver and the network printer, upload that driver, associate it to the iPrint printer, and install that iPrint printer.
 
Workaround 2:
Adding a proxy address (valid or not) to the iPrint client will circumvent the persistent IPP connection attempts and thereby workaround the delay/hang.  However, if an invalid proxy setting is used, the iPrint printers will not work when connected to the network which has access to the server hosting the Print Manager.   This workaround would require the end user to remove the proxy setting when connected to the network which hosts the Print Manager.  Therefore, this workaround may not be acceptable.

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