Toshiba network connection failure - inexplicable, Active Directory?

Have a client with approx 40 users on SBS2011 network, and we are having issues with a coupe of Toshiba printers getting outside the LAN.  This has shown up with Scan to Email feature, but I am fairly certain the issue is deeper than this.

We have triple-checked the SMTP Client settings on the machines, and used several different outbound mails servers. The mails will intermittently succeed, but mostly not - with "failed to connect to SMTP server". This happens about 70% of the time. The rest go through OK. There does not appear to be any rhyme or reason.

The computers on the network are not having any problems (ever) going to the SMTP server - only the two Toshiba printers (we event brought in a 3rd "test" printer with the same results). The IpV4 TCPIP settings are the same - gateway, dns, etc as the PCs. We have tried both static and DHCP.

While the web administration interface of the printers does not allow for PING or network checks, it is possible to do this via the LCD panel (tedious, as you can imagine). I have seen the printers fail when pinging a ubiquitous external IP like 8.8.8.8, but the PCs never fail. How could this be?  The firewall egress is wide open. It does not block any outbound traffic.

Is the any Active Directory, SBS2011 Domain Controller or Group Policy setting that might intermittently prevent the printers from getting outside the LAN
zicemanAsked:
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
It sounds like it could be a DNS problem.  Are you using the SBS as your DNS Server on the printers?

If so, did you create a new connector in Exchange to allow the printer to scan to email or have you created a dedicated user account for authentication?

An ipconfig of your SBS and the printer IP settings may help.
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
Hi David - how would a DNS problem prevent the printer from pinging and IP address like 8.8.8.8 ? There is no resolution required.
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
You're correct of course. I must have misread and speculated.

Have you installed the latest firmware for the printer?  Have you contacted Toshiba Support?
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
Yes. We have had Toshiba support onsite. They are perplexed as well... blaming the network.  This is why I am grasping for some reason that anything could be to blame for the intermittent outbound connectivity. The SBS2011 server is perhaps my only option?
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
The SBS wouldn't block any outbound traffic.

Have you set static IPs or on lease/reservation?
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
Did not think so, but really grasping at this point....  Just cannot imagine why these two printers are behaving differently than the PCs and servers with the exact same network settings.

Have tried both static IP and DHCP lease.  The results are the same.  

At one other client, I did find a peculiar incompatibility between certain gigabit Intel network cards and Netgear Prosafe gigabit switches. Thinking about running a long cat5 cable down the hall directly to the firewall/router for testing, but not entirely confident it will make a difference.
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
OK. Strung the long cable down the hall, bypassing the network switch and building wiring entirely. Plugged it directly into the back on one of the ports on the back of the firewall. This seemed to work for a little while, but once again - the printers eventually lost their ability to ping public IPs (like 8.8.8.8). Internal IPs where fine.

Could there be some sort of network collisions or other phenomenon to which only these Toshiba printers are sensitive?

Any additional troubleshooting advice would be greatly appreciated. At this point, I am really stumped.
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
What other devices do you have on the network?

When the printers ability to ping externally stops can the devices still ping inside the network?  If so, could it be your firewall blocking for some reason?
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Cris HannaCommented:
Why do the printers need to reach ANYTHING outside the LAN?  I'm confused.  Is the only issue trying to scan to email?
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
The client want's to use the Scan-to-Email feature of the printer.  They know there is a Scan-to-File option for a local network share, but they want the email option as well. Since there is no local mail server, the SMTP client facility needs to be pointed at a hosted mail server (just as is all their PCs and other devices).
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
David - when the printer's ability to ping outside the network stops, there is no change for other devices. PCs can still ping to public IPs without issue. And the printers can still ping other machines inside the LAN just fine.

Yes, I was thinking the firewall could be the culprit, but there is no blocking setup at all for outbound / egress. It is wide open.  Also, this does not explain the intermittent behavior. Why would the firewall block only the printer IPs and only for every other hour or so?
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Cris HannaCommented:
Well this is most likely the confusion...you're running SBS 2011 but no where did you indicate that you are not using Exchange on the SBS 2011, which I have to say strikes me as odd, that you're not using and using third party.  

I suspect the issue is around authentication.   If you were using exchange, you would have to create a special receive connector for the scanner, so perhaps you need to talk to the provider and see if there is something special they need to configure.
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
Chris ~ the outbound mail works about half the time. There is no issue with the mail configuration or authentication. The problem is that the printers completely lose the ability to route outside the LAN to public servers.

The customer has elected to use a hosted mail service for anti spam and av purposes.
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Cris HannaCommented:
Any chance there is a firmware upgrade for the printers
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
we had the Toshiba rep out, and he did perform a firmware upgrade. It's still did not change the behavior.
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
What's the model of the printers? - I'll see if one of our printer guys knows of any issues.
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compdigit44Commented:
Have you tried running a packet trace off hours when a Toshiba printer is trying to scan to email? Have you check the switch log for any errors.

Are you able to import a local host file into the printer as a test?
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
OK. I have FOUND the culprit. While switching out the firewall as part of due diligence, I noticed something very interesting.  For a moment - while accessing the web interface of the new appliance - I was presented with a unfamiliar login screen.

Hmmmm......

I immediately unplugged the new firewall from the network switch, went back to one of the workstations and pinged the firewall IP address. Sure enough, I got a reply.  So, we have a rogue router somewhere that must have been inadvertently plugged in during the site relocation. Obviously it was not in the computer room,  hence I walked through every office, cubicle, break room, etc.  No sign of it.

Basically, I had to dig around through archives to eventually find the right login. Once inside the mysterious unfindable router, I changed the LAN IP to not conflict with the corporate firewall.

I think this could be considered SOLVED, but it is mystifying to me that the IP conflict was neither previously identified, nor it did cause any other network problems (other than the Toshiba printer's outbound SMTP).

Crazy.......
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
Good catch. Strange that it didn't affect any other traffic though. The printers must be sensitive!
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zicemanAuthor Commented:
The only fix
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