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Print Spooler resource type

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Print Spooler resource type

You use the Print Spooler resource to cluster your print services. You can only cluster a printer that is connected to your servers by way of a network. If the printer is connected by way of a local port, such as LPT1, there is no way to fail over control of that printer in the case of failure of the server to which it is connected.

You cluster print services using the Print Spooler resource. Multiple Print Spooler resources can exist in a cluster, but there can be no more than one Print Spooler resource per group. Clients access clustered printers in exactly the same way they access nonclustered printers. Clients can use either the network name or Internet protocol (IP) address as the server name.

When a group containing a Print Spooler resource fails over to another node, the document that is currently being spooled to the printer is restarted from one of the other nodes after failover. When you move a Print Spooler resource or take it offline, the Cluster service waits until all jobs that are spooling to the printers are finished (or until the configured wait time has elapsed). Documents that are spooling from an application to a Print Spooler resource are discarded and must be respooled (or reprinted) to the Print Spooler resource if the group containing the Print Spooler resource fails over before the application has finished spooling.

In addition to creating a Print Spooler resource, you must properly configure your printer ports and printer drivers to function on a cluster. To properly set up a printer on a cluster, you must install printer drivers and a printer port on the same virtual server as the Print Spooler resource. The Cluster service will replicate the printer drivers from the virtual server to all cluster nodes the first time the Print Spooler resource fails over to another node.

For more information on the entire printing process in Windows Server 2003 family operating systems, see Understanding Printing. For detailed instructions on how to configure a printer to operate in a cluster, see Create a cluster-managed printer.

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