Hello all. I am having a very strange issue with printers and OS X client machines on our network. any help would be greatly appreciated.
Description of environment:
at my org, our network infrastructure consists of a pfSense server serving as our routing software and first layer between modem and network. We have two Windows 2012 servers running as primary and secondary DHCP and DNS servers, and we have an OS X server for random needs and jobs.
Many machines are laptops, and obviously wireless. Most of the desktops are wired. We use two Apple Airports as our WiFi stations, acting in tandem under the same SSID.
Our org contains both Windows and OS X machines. All Windows machines are Windows 7. OS X machines are either 10.6 or 10.9 depending on hardware.
There is a consistent issue with Mac computers in the office being unable to successfully add printers by FQDN. To make this even more frustrating, nearly all aspects of the issue seem completely random. On any given day, a given Mac seems to have issues connecting to at least one of our networked printers by FQDN, and will only work by IP or Bonjour. One of the other Macs will be able to connect just fine to those, but maybe have trouble with another printer, and only work with NETBIOS, but not FQDN. Two of our printers are exactly the same model, and there is no pattern to be seen in that. Some of our Macs are the same model, no pattern there either. No pattern between OS X version.
Once a Mac successfully connects to a printer, all is good. You will be able to use that printer forever. But maybe one day you decide to disconnect the printer and reconnect for some reason, or the OS had to be reinstalled. You might find that the printer you connected to fine a day ago, now can no longer be connected to.
The only pattern I've seen is that IP address and Bonjour always work. Great, but not very user friendly.
I have tried doing ping/nslookup/traceroute diagnostics on all the OS X machines. What I have noticed:
- Ping works as expected: FQDNs which are currently giving issues on the particular computer will not respond to pings. IP always works. Sometimes NETBIOS works but not FQDN, as I mentioned
- nslookup always works. Even for FQDNs which supposedly aren't working. It gets the gateway or DNS server(I forget which it's supposed to be) correctly as well as the correct IP address for the given FQDN. No warnings or errors.
- traceroute is interesting. It does not seem to work internally at all. Running a trace to external sites hangs on the internal section for a bit, then skips ahead to the external hops as normal. Trying to trace an internal address causes it to "* * *" forever. I have tried doing tracert on Windows machines for comparison, and it works perfectly, internally and externally.
If anyone has any insight which helped me solve this, you would become my hero. Thanks in advance!