Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fixing errors printing to a shared Windows printer from Mac OS X

I needed to get some Mac users setup to print to a special printer with software running on a Windows computer. I ran into some problems at first, then narrowed that down to the Windows share name having an underscore. Turns out that's not the only place you can't use special characters. I continued to get an error NT_STATUS_LOGON_FAILURE, and couldn't figure out why. The domain account's username and password was stored in the keychain, and the samba settings appeared to be correct. That's when I turned to Google and found Apple's KB HT2398. It turns out that you can't have any special characters in the shared printer's name, the username, the password, or the name of the computer sharing the printer. Sure enough I had special characters in the password, so as soon as I changed it the printer started working again.

One other useful thing I learned while trying to solve this problem was that there is a web-interface for printer management in OS X. You can get to it by going to http://localhost:631. This is the CUPS (common Unix printing system) admin interface, and can be found on Linux machines as well. One thing that is really useful in that interface is that you can see how the printer is mapped with Samba. You may find it helpful for diagnostics if you're troubleshooting a shared printer being used on a Mac

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