How to make mount_smbfs timeout faster?

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http://serverfault.com – I'm mounting several drives in a script. Each one is sometimes unavailable, because the PC it's on is turned off, for instance. However, mount_smbfs takes a long time to fail (around 75 seconds), even with the "-o soft" option. Is there a way to speed this up? Thinking about it, I guess a workaround would be to first ping the machine, and only attempt the mount if that succeeds. Is there an even better way? (HowTos)