Shared Fax Not Accessible

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Douglas Bingham, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Hoping someone can help here...

    Am setting up a SBS 2003 R2 server with 4 XP Pro SP-2 Client PCs but having
    major problems using the shared MS fax printer on the server. Whenever I try
    to access the fax printer on the client PCs, I initially get a message
    prompting me to install a modem (there are no modems in any of the client
    PCs) and the shared fax printer is shown as inaccessible (the message 'All
    fax printers are inaccessible' appears in the status bar of the Fax

    This problem appears to have arisen after installing Symantec Client
    Security so I suspect it is a firewall issue. However the fax services
    program (C:\Windows\System32\fxsclnt.exe) has been added to the exceptions
    list in the Windows Firewall (which remains enabled by a group policy in
    spite of a request by the Symantec software to 'take over' the firewall
    function on the client PCs) and has also been added to the programs list in
    the Symantec Client Firewall with full access to the internet granted (why a
    fax program needs access to the internet to function correctly anyway is

    The network address has also been added to the permitted zones in the
    Symantec software and there are no other issues with communication between
    the server and clients, so I'm a bit stuck as to what else to try.

    Any advice would be most welcome.

    Douglas Bingham
    Douglas Bingham, Sep 21, 2006
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  2. Douglas:

    I have not used Symantec Client Security in an SBS network, but some of
    my peer-to-peer clients have used it and most of them have had problems
    traceable to its firewall. In addition, it is almost always a bad idea
    to be running two firewalls on a computer, which appears to be the case
    here. They will probably end up interfering with one another.

    So, I would start by disabling one of them. From an SBS supportability
    standpoint, the easiest thing should be to disable the Symantec firewall
    and leave the Windows Firewall to be managed by GPO. But if you prefer
    to keep the Symantec Firewall, you will need to change the relevant SBS
    group policy (Server Management | Advanced Management | Group Policy
    Management | Forest | Domains | <your domain> | Small Business Server
    Windows Firewall) or unlink it from <your domain>. [There is also a
    Small Business Server Internet Connection Firewall policy, but if you
    have not changed the default configuration, it is applied only to
    Windows XP SP1 clients, so it should be ignored for your network.]

    If it helps your decision: The SBS networks that I manage are of similar
    size to yours, all of them use the Windows Firewall on the XP
    workstations, and none of them have every been hacked.

    -- Owen Williams (SBS MVP)
    Owen Williams [SBS MVP], Sep 21, 2006
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  3. It actually turns out that it was not the firewalls that were causing the
    problem - but the Fax service on the server was set to 'Manual' and was not
    running (not sure why as I've already tested sending a fax from the server
    successfully). However when I enabled it and set it to start automatically,
    this seemed to resolve the problem.

    It could possibly be been related to another issue we are having with the
    parallel port driver - have been getting a start up error warning after
    (pre-)installing some printer drivers when we don't actually have a parallel
    port in the server. Hopefully this issue will resolve itself once the
    printers are plugged into the USB ports (or required network ports are

    Thanks anyway for the tips on the firewalls.


    Douglas Bingham, Sep 21, 2006
  4. Douglas:

    Glad you got it working - thanks for posting back.

    You're welcome about the firewall tips - you should follow up on that
    even though it was was not the problem this time. It could well cause
    other problems in the future, and firewall problems can be very
    difficult to diagnose.

    -- Owen Williams (SBS MVP)
    Owen Williams [SBS MVP], Sep 21, 2006
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