SUMMARY: QMS printer generating arp requests

From: Cathy Hargrave (
Date: Mon Jul 08 1996 - 16:08:31 CDT

My thanks to those who replied to my question. I apologize
for a belated reply.

The problem:

>We have a QMS 860 laser printer on the network that is
>generating arp requests. The congestion it is creating
>is bringing the network down.

The printer is a network printer with it's own IP address. Our
solution was to isolate the printer and the workstation with the
/etc/printcap definition on a new subnet. No changes were made
to any configuration files other than to change the IP addresses.
When the printer was brought on-line it functioned normally. It
did not generate any arp requests. We have not had any problems
with it since.

The vendor eventually replied that since nothing associated with
their hardware or software would cause the printer to generate arp
requests, the problem must be caused by our network.

This reply did not provide any enlightenment for two reasons. first,
we did not have access to a snifer at the time the problem occurred.
etherfind clearly showed that the printer was generating arp requests.
second, the response was received almost a month after we initially
contacted them.

Since the printer is heavily used, and the associated workstation is a
license server, I have not been able to take the machines down to
investigate any of the suggestions I received. Although I don't have a
definitive solution to offer, the problem may have been caused by a
corrupted arp cache on the network, or a configuration problem as
indicated by Pell below. Two of us examined the printer's configuration
parameters in detail, but as Pell indicates, the menus and documentaion
are confusing. Also, as Murphey's Law would have it, the individual
who has installed and configured all the network printers here was out of
the office for the week.

Thank you again.


Cathy L. Hargrave phone: (214) 466-7599
SGS-Thomson Microelectronics, Inc. fax: (214) 466-7279
1310 Electronics Drive - MS 600 e-mail:
Carrollton, TX 75006

From: Pell Emanuelsson <>
To: Cathy Hargrave <>
Subject: Re: QMS printer generating arp requests
In-Reply-To: <9605221431.AA14377@eccsun.COM>
Message-Id: <>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
Status: RO

Hi Cathy,

We had the exact same problem. You have to go into the printer menus
(e.g. via telnet) and configure a gateway. This will make the printer
happy again and stop those extremely annoying arp requests.
Note that the user interface is extremely bad; you have to confirm your
gateway setting several times, in confusing ways, and only when you can
switch the power and see that the gateway entry is still there, only then
you can be sure you managed to convince it.

Cheers - Pell

Lysator Computer Society   |                  email:
Linkoping University       |    WWW home at:
Sweden                     |             or:

From: (Andrew H. Evans) Message-Id: <> To: Subject: Re: QMS printer generating arp requests Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Md5: Lk4aJISF2EyfevPwgIW44g== Status: RO

My first guess is that it is arp requesting the broadcast address. You'd need a sniffer to identify what address it is requesting. If it is arp-ing for subnet.0 or subnet.255 see if you can switch its broadcast address back.

It could be arp-ing for addresses off the subnet if its subnet-mask is incorrect. It would think hosts that aren't local are, and keep trying to get their hardware address. See if that is modifiable as well as broadcast address - see /etc/bootptab if it is booting from the Sun. Lastly, turning on proxy-arp at the local router might help by having that router resolve arps for all addresses, then at least it would get an answer and shut-up! That would be a last resort of course, and may or may not be a solution.

- Andy

======================================================================== Andrew Evans Computer Science Department Computer Specialist University of New Hampshire Durham, NH 03824 ========================================================================

*************************************************************************** Cathy L. Hargrave phone: (214) 466-7599 SGS-Thomson Microelectronics, Inc. fax: (214) 466-7279 1310 Electronics Drive - MS 600 e-mail: Carrollton, TX 75006 ***************************************************************************

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