Windows 2003 Server

Chapter 8

Implementing and Managing Printers

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At the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Understand Windows Server 2003 printing terms and concepts

  • Install and share printer resources

  • Configure and manage installed printers

  • Publish printers in Active Directory

  • Troubleshoot printer problems

Windows Server 2003 Printing Concepts

When working with printers in Windows Server 2003, Microsoft has a very specific set of terms as outlined below.

  • Print Device - The actual printer.  There are two types.

    • Local printer device - A print device that is attached to a port on the server.

    • Network print device - A print device that is attached to the network.

  • Printer - The object inside Windows that you configure print options on.

  • Print Driver - The software that Windows Server 2003 uses to communicate with the printer.

  • Print Server - The server on the network that provides the print service to the clients.  It contains the Printer and the Print Driver.

  • Print Client - The computer from where a print job originates.

You will want to make sure that your print server is running Windows Server 2003, and that it has enough hard disk space and RAM.  Windows XP can be a print server, but it only allows for 10 connections at once.


Understanding Network Printing

When you send a print job to a network print device both the print client and the print server participate in the following way:

  • When the user hits print in an application a print file is rendered and placed in the clients spooler.

  •  A Remote Procedure Call (RPC) is done from the client to the print server.  Assuming the print server responds properly the print file is sent to the Server service on the print server.

  • The Server service calls the printer server's Router which routes the print file to the Print Provider.

  • The print provider works with the Print Processor to ensure proper formatting.

  • Once complete, the Print Monitor sends the print file from the spooler to the print device.

Installing and Sharing Printer Resources

You will need to learn how to install and share out printers in order for users to use them on your network.


Adding a Printer as a Local Device

Installing a printer in Windows Server 2003 is almost identical to installing a printer in Windows XP.  You start off in the Printer and Faxes control panel.  Double click on Add Printer and follow the steps in the wizard.


LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 306. (10 Minutes)

LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 306. (5 Minutes)


Adding a Printer as a Network Device

When installing a printer as a network device you run through the wizard as if you are installing a local printer.  When it comes time to choose the port you create a new TCP/IP port and use that.


LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 309. (10 Minutes)

Configuring and Managing Printer Resources

Once you have a printer installed and shared you might want to change settings.  You can open the properties of the printer and manage different things such as permissions, and printer features.  If you have a printer that has an extra tray and a duplex unit you can enable those features in the properties page.


Configuring an Existing Printer

When setting up permissions on a printer there are three main permissions you can set.

  • Print - Users who have this permission can print to the printer.

  • Manage Documents - Allows the user to change settings on print jobs, such as pause, delete, or change priority.  The special group Creator Owner has this by default.

  • Manage Printers - Users of this group can change printer settings.

LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 311. (15 Minutes)

LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 313. (15 Minutes)


Printer Pools and Priorities

Print pooling allows you to have two print devices appear to the user as one printer.  This way when the user prints it will come out on a printer that is not in use.  The way it works is if a user prints out a 100 page document it will start printing on one printer.  If another user prints a single page document it will come out on the printer that isn't in use.  One rule with print pooling is to have your printers in the pool near each other.

Another feature available to you is print priorities. With print priorities you have two printers attached to one print device.  One printer will have a higher priority number then the other.  This way when users prints to the printer with the higher priority their work will come out of the print device first.


LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 317. (10 Minutes)


Setting up and Updating Client Computers

When a printer is shared any user with Windows 2000, 2003, or XP can download the print driver from the print server when the printer is installed on the print client.  You can also install additional drivers for earlier versions of Windows.  If you want non-Microsoft based operating systems to print using your print server you will have to install Printer Services for Macintosh or Print Services for Unix.


LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 319. (5 Minutes)


Managing Print Queues

You can manage documents in a print queue by double clicking on a printer in your Printers and Faxes control panel.  In here you will see a list of all documents waiting to go to the printer.  A user will only be able to modify their own document settings unless the have Manage Documents permissions on that printer. In here you will see the status of the printer such as offline, or out of paper.


Internet Printing Protocol

IPP allows you to connect to the print server with a web browser and view the printers.  The address is http://servername/printers.  In order to use this IIS needs to be installed.  IIS is the web server for Windows Server 2003.


Printer Command-Line Utilities

Windows Server 2003 includes a number of VBScripts that allow you to configure printer settings from a command-line.  Below is a list as outlined in the book.

  • Prncnfg.vbs - Configures a printer or displays configuration information for a printer.

  • Prndrvr.vbs - Add, delete, or list printer drivers.

  • Prnjobs.vbs - View existing print jobs, as well as pause, resume, and cancel print jobs in queue.

  • Prnmngr.vbs - Add, delete, or list printers and related connections, as well as set and display the default printer.

  • Prnport.vbs - Create, delete, or list standard TCP/IP printer ports, as well as display or change the configuration of an existing port.

  • Prnqctl.vbs - Pause, or resume a printer, cancel all jobs queued for a particular printer, and print a test page.

Print Spooler

The print spooler is located in your Windows\System32\spool\Printers folder.  While this is fine for small print servers but on a high volume server you will want to move your print spool to another folder.


LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 324. (5 Minutes)

Publishing Printers in Active Directory

Publishing a printer to Active Directory allows the user to locate the printer easily.  If you use the proper location settings during the install of a printer it makes it real easy for a user to locate the printer for the user.  By default any printer installed on a Windows Server 2003 is published to Active Directory.


LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 326. (10 Minutes)

Troubleshooting Printer Problems

Some times printers won't work.  You send a print job to the printer and it hangs in the spool, or it appears to go through but nothing comes out.  Sometime restarting the Print Spooler server will help resolve these problems, and some times you need to power cycle the printer.  Your printer might also need paper, or it might be off line.


LAB ACTIVITY - Do the lab on page 329. (10 Minutes)

More Information


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