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To understand printing in Windows 2000, it
is important to understand the differences and relationship
between a print device and a printer.
- A print device is the physical printer.
This printing device can be connected directly to the print
server using a serial, parallel or IR connection for example.
A print device can also be a network printer with a built-in
or external network interface.
- A printer is the icon in the Printers
folder that represents the software interface between applications
and the physical print device.
Multiple printers can exist for a single
print device. This is typically done to allow different priorities
to be assigned for specific security groups. For example,
in a small company with a Sales and Marketing department,
two printers could be created for one high-capacity network
print device. One printer would be configured with a priority
of 50, and assigned Print permissions for the Sales group.
Another printer would be created and configured with a priority
of 1, and assigned Print permissions for the Marketing group.
This configuration would prevent members from the Sales group
from having to wait on their utmost important reports because
of a large graphical brochure is about to be printed by the
Marketing department. The lowest priority that can be configured
for a printer is 1, the highest is 99.
Additionally, a single printer can point
to multiple print devices, this is called a printer pool.
Printer pooling allows clients to print to a printer that
will forward the print job to an available printer and allows
heavy workload to be spread out over multiple print devices.
The print devices in the printing pool must use the same driver.
An important component of the Windows 2000
printing services is the Spooler. When client send
print job to the print server, the spooler on the server processes
and stores the job until the print device is available. The
location for the print spooler can be changed on the Advanced
tab of the Print Server properties, which can be accessed
through the File menu in the Printers folder. The default
location is %systemroot%\system32\spool\PRINTERS.
Connect to print device
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Windows 2000 provides several ways to connect
to a printer, depending on the client version and software.
The Add Printer wizard allows you to create printers for the
following print devices:
- Local print devices directly attached
to a serial, parallel, USB, FireWire, IR, or SCSI port on
the computer. USB, FireWire and and Infra Red connected
printers can usually be installed using plug & play,
hence without restarting the computer.
- Remote print devices directly connected
to the network. These are equipped with either a built-in
network interface, or attached to an external network adapter.
The most typical examples are printers with a HP JetDirect
card or Intel Netport.
- Remote print devices connected to a remote
print server. These are typically printers shared on a Windows
Only members of the Administrators to install
Local printers. The options provided by the Add Printer wizard
may seem a bit confusing. To create a printer for a remote
network print device, you need to choose the option: Local
printer. Only for print devices that are connected to a remote
print server you must choose the option: Network printer.
This is the option used on clients to connect to a shared
If you choose to create a Local printer the
wizard automatically detects and installs directly attached
plug and play print devices by default. If you want to choose
the manufacturer and printer type, and install drivers manually
clear the Automatically detect my printer check box. Also
Clear the Automatically detect my printer check box if you
want to add a local printer for a remote network print device.
Using the Local printer option, several types
of ports can be created for remote network print devices.
The type of port dictates the protocol that should be used
for communication between the print server and the print device.
Most networks today use TCP/IP as the primary protocol and
virtually all modern network printers support it. Hence, the
most common type of ‘local’ ports is the Standard
To add a Standard TCP/IP port, click the
New Port button (after you selected Local printer and clicked
next). You need to provide a host name or an IP address of
the network printer and a name for the port. The name of the
port defaults to the host name.
If you installed the optional networking component Print Services
for Unix, you can also create an LPR port. An LPR port can
be used to create a printer for a print device connected to
a UNIX print server or a network printer with LPD support.
The line printer daemon (LPD) is the server part, the line
printer remote (LPR) is the client part.
When you add an LPR port, you need to supply the IP address
or host name of the UNIX print server, or the printer itself,
and the name of the print queue on the UNIX server, or the
name of the network printer.
Another port supported by Windows 2000 is
the Hewlett-Packard Network port. This port allows you to
create printers for print devices equipped with ‘older’
Hewlett Packard JetDirect cards. The Hewlett-Packard Network
port is only available if the DLC protocol is installed on
the server and is required only for older JetDirect cards
that do not support TCP/IP. When you add a Hewlett-Packard
Network port, click Next and select the address of the card
from the Card Address list.
After you created a printer for one of the
Local ports mentioned above and provided the required information
the driver will be installed. You may need to choose the model
and insert the Windows 2000 Professional product CD-ROM or
a driver disk.
If you want to create a printer for a remote
network printer shared on a Windows 2000 Server, use the Network
Printer option in the Add Printer Wizard. When you click Next,
you will be presented with the following three options:
- Browse for a printer.
- Connect to a printer by using an UNC path.
For example: \\printserver\printershare
- Connect to a printer by using an URL.
Covered in the following paragraph.
Windows 2000 Professional will automatically
download the drivers from the print server if required.
If you want to connect to a shared printer on Windows 2000,
using DOS, Windows 3.x, or from a DOS (16-bit) application
under Windows, you need to map an LPT port to the UNC path
using the NET command. For example: net use Lpt3 \\printserver\printershare
Printing and IIS
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When IIS is installed on the Windows 2000
print server, or PWS on a Windows 2000 Professional print
server, the print server and the connected printers can be
managed from any client using a web browser. The web interface
allows you to perform the same tasks as done with the regular
printer management tools. Additionally, the web interface
can be used to show the list of all printers on a print server
and, if the printer driver supports it, their status. The
URL is http://servername/printers. If you want to
connect to a printer directly, to manage print jobs for example,
use the URL http://servername/sharename,
where sharename is the name of the shared printer.
IIS on Windows 2000 also supports the Internet
Printing Protocol which allows clients to print to an URL
instead of using an UNC path. The URL is http://servername/printers/sharename/.printer.
Clients running Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 and later
with IPP printing support can print to the Internet printers.
All versions of Windows 2000, XP and 2003 have IPP printing
support, and it is available as an add-on for Microsoft Windows
95 and Microsoft Windows 98 clients. Windows 9x-based clients
need an internet printing client from the Windows 2000 Server
When you connect to a Windows 2000 Internet print server using
the "Connect to an Internet Printer" option in the
Add Printer Wizard, the port is automatically installed
as an HTTP printer port. IPP packets are transferred using
Another way to for users to connect to a shared printer is
the Point and Print option. Point and Print allows users to
install a printer by right-clicking the printer in the Printers
folder of a print server in the Network Neighborhood, and
then clicking Connect. The printer will be installed, if necessary
the drivers are downloaded and installed and the printer will
be ready for use.
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If you didn't choose to share the printer
using the Add Printer wizard, you can manually enable and
configure sharing on the Sharing tab of the printer Properties,
by clicking Shared as and entering a name for the shared printer.
As with Shared Folders you can put a $ sign at the end of
the name, hiding it effectively from the browse list in Network
Neighborhood, forcing it to be manually configured by administrators.
When clients running versions other than
Windows 2000 will access the shared printer, you can install
all the appropriate drivers (i.e. Windows 95/98, Windows NT
4, etc.) on your computer so other clients will download the
drivers automatically when they connect to the network printer.
To install drivers for other Windows versions, click the Additional
Drivers button on the Sharing tab. When you install the first
shared printer, the %systemroot%\System32\Spool\Drivers folder
is shared as Print$. Client download the drivers from this
Shared Access Permissions
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The Security tab of the printer's Properties
allows you to control access to printers by allowing/denying
the following permissions:
||Allows users to connect
to the printer, and print and manage their own print jobs.
This is the default permission assigned to the Everyone
||Allows a user to print
and manage their own print job as well as other users'
print jobs. This includes pausing, restarting and removing
print jobs form the print queue.
||Allows a user to configure
and remove the printer, share the printer and set permissions
for the Printer, as well perform all task allowed by Manage
Documents. Administrators and Power Users have Manage
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- On the Advanced tab of the printer 's Properties you can
configure the printer to allow printing only during certain
hours of the day.
- The Device Settings tab of the printer 's Properties typically
allows you to choose the form, i.e. Letter, A4, A5, per
- Printer pooling can be enabled on the Ports tab of the
printer's Properties. When enabled, you can select additional
ports associating multiple print devices with the same printer.
- To redirect all documents to another print
device in case it fails, Pause the printer, and change the
port on the Ports tab to an identical print device.
- Separator pages can be created or a default
for PCL or PostScript can be used, check the system32 folder
for files with the .sep extension.To select a separator
page, click the Separate Page button on the Advanced tab
of the printer 's Properties to browse for a .sep file.
Manage print jobs
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Users with Print permissions are able to
manage their own print jobs, and user with Manage Documents
permissions are able to manage all print jobs. Following are
the common tasks related to print jobs in a queue, and are
available from the Document menu in the printer's queue:
- Pause - This will pause the print job, which will remain
in the queue.
- Resume - This will resume a paused print job.
- Restart - This will restart a print job from the first
page. This is especially useful when mechanical problem
occurred, i.e. the print out got stuck in the print device.
- Cancel - This will cancel a print job and remove it from
the queue. Any data already send to the printer will be
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Troubleshooting printer problems is probably
every system admin's least pleasant task. Following are some
of the most common printer problems and their solution:
- When paper gets stuck in a print device,
Pause the printer, remove and replace the paper
and Restart the job. This will make the job start
from the beginning.
- If the output is garbled the printer
driver is most likely the problem.
- If everything seems to be correctly connected
and configured but print jobs can not be send to a printer/print
device, a common solution is to restart the Spooler service.
- In case of excessive hard disk drive activity,
you may need to add more RAM to process the print jobs.
If the print job is not processed at all, you may need to
change the location of the spooler to a disk with sufficient
free disk space.
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For more information about printing in Windows 2000:
- Windows 2000 Professional Product Documentation
- Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit Online