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A Windows 2000 print server can serve clients
running Windows, Dos, Macintosh, Netware and UNIX. When you
use a Windows 2000 server as a print server, it is important
the server has sufficient RAM and hard disk space to process
the print jobs. Windows 2000 Professional supports a maximum
of 10 simultaneous client connections, the amount of clients
served by a Windows 2000 print server is limited only by the
To understand printing the Microsoft way,
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.
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Creating printers is a very straight-forward
task. 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
- 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.
- Remote print devices connected to a remote
Only members of the Administrators group
are allowed to create 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 printer.
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 to add print devices directly
attached to a physical port on the computer is primarily a
70-210 exam topic.
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.
If AppleTalk is installed on the server,
the AppleTalk Printing Devices port can be used to connect
AppleTalk printers to the print server. If you want to serve
printers for Apple Macintosh clients, you need to install
Print Server for Macintosh. Print Server for Macintosh is
installed using Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.
Select Add/Remove Windows Components, Other Network File and
Print Services, and then click Details and select Print Server
After you created one of the ports mentioned
above and provided the required info, the driver will be installed.
You may need to choose the model and insert the Windows 2000
Server product CD-ROM or a driver disk.
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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 or XP will use the server as a print server,
you can install all the appropriate drivers (i.e. Windows
95/98, Windows NT 4, etc.) on the server so 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.
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
By default, administrators on a server,
and print operators and server operators on a domain controller
have Manage Printer permission.
Printing and Windows 2000 ADS
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Shared printers can be published in the Active
Directory Services to allow users to locate them easily by
searching the ADS tree. Printers shared on Windows 2000 servers
are published in Active Directory by default. If you do not
want this, disable the List In The Directory check box on
the Sharing tab of the printer’s Properties. Printers
shared on Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0 need to be published manually.
This can be achieved by creating a new Printer object using
Active Directory User and Computers and providing the name
of the shared printer and its UNC path.
Netware, GSNW + NWLINK
Windows 2000 also provides services to interact
with Netware clients and printers. To allow Netware client
to access printers on a Windows 2000 print server, the NWLINK
protocol and File and Print Services for NetWare must be installed
on the server. If you want to share printers connected to
a NetWare print server on a Windows 2000 print server, for
NetWare as well as Windows clients, you need to install Gateway
Services for NetWare on the Windows 2000 server. You can also
use a regular NetWare client to allow a Windows computer to
connect to a printer on a NetWare server.
Other Printer Properties
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There are too many printer settings and options to describe
in this TechNote, some of them are not covered on any exam
and some are part of the 70-210 Windows 2000 Professional
or 70-270 Windows XP Professional exam. Following are some
of the more common options:
- 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.
- 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
Printing and IIS
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When IIS is installed on the 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.
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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 Server Product Documentation
Printing - Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit Online