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70-215 Windows 2000 TechNote: Printing
- Overview
- Creating Printers
- Sharing Printers
- Shared Access Permissions
- Printing and Windows 2000 ADS
- Other Printer Properties
- Printing and IIS
- Troubleshooting


Overview    Back to top

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 hardware.

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.

Creating Printers     Back to top

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 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.
  • Remote print devices connected to a remote print server.

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 TCP/IP port.

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 for Macintosh.

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.

Sharing Printers     Back to top

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     Back to top

The Security tab of the printer's Properties allows you to control access to printers by allowing/denying the following permissions:

Print Allows users to connect to the printer, and print and manage their own print jobs. This is the default permission assigned to the Everyone group.
Manage Documents 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.
Manage Printers 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.

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     Back to top

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    Back to top

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 tray.

Printing and IIS    Back to top

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.

    Back to top

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.

    Back to top

For more information about printing in Windows 2000:

- Printing - Windows 2000 Server Product Documentation
- Network Printing - Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit Online

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Current related skills being measured for the 70-215 exam:

Installing, Configuring, and Troubleshooting Access to Resources
- Monitor, configure, troubleshoot, and control access to printers.

Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows 2000 Network Connections
- Install, configure, and troubleshoot shared access.

Click here for the complete list of Skills Being Measured.

Discuss this TechNote here Author: Johan Hiemstra


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