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Print server role: Configuring a print server

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Print server role: Configuring a print server

If you plan to use this computer to manage and share printers, configure this computer as a print server.

Note

This document explains how to use the Configure Your Server Wizard to quickly meet the most basic requirements of a print server. When you are done setting up a basic print server, you can complete additional configuration tasks, depending on how you want to use this print server.

This topic covers:

Before you begin

Before you configure your server as a print server, verify whether or not:

  • The operating system is configured correctly. In the Windows Server 2003 family, print services depend on the appropriate configuration of the operating system and its services. If you have a new installation of a Windows Server 2003 operating system, you can use the default service settings. No further action is necessary. If you upgraded to a Windows Server 2003 operating system or you want to confirm that your services are configured correctly for best performance and security, verify your service settings by comparing them to the table in Default settings for services.

  • The computer is joined to an Active Directory domain as a member server. If you want to restrict access to a printer, so that some domain users can print to it and other users cannot, or you want the print server to publish shared printers to Active Directory so that domain users can easily search for those printers, the print server must be joined to a domain. If you do not need to perform either of these tasks, the print server does not need to be joined to a domain.

  • All existing disk volumes use the NTFS file system. FAT32 volumes are less secure. For more information about encrypting data stored on NTFS volumes, including spooled print jobs, see Storing Data Securely.

  • Windows Firewall is enabled. For more information, see Enable Windows Firewall with no exceptions.

  • The Security Configuration Wizard is installed and enabled. For information about the Security Configuration wizard, see Security Configuration Wizard Overview.

The following table lists the information that you need to know before you add a print server role.

 

Before adding a print server role Comments

Determine the operating system version of the clients that will send jobs to this printer.

You must have this information to select the correct client printer drivers for your client and server computers. After you add this role, the print server can automatically distribute these drivers to the clients. Additionally, the set of client operating systems determines which of these drivers you need to install on the server during the print server role installation.

At the printer, print a configuration or test page that includes manufacturer, model, language, and installed options.

You need this information to choose the correct printer driver. The manufacturer and model are usually enough to uniquely identify the printer and its language. However, some printers support multiple languages, and the configuration printout usually lists them. Also, the configuration printout often lists installed options, such as extra memory, paper trays, envelope feeders, and duplex units.

Determine how the print server connects to the printer.

If the printer supports Plug and Play and connects to the print server using infrared technology, a universal serial bus (USB) port, or an IEEE 1394 port, the print server will configure itself automatically. You do not need to follow the remaining steps.

Otherwise, if the printer is connected to the print server with a cable, note which server port is used. For printers, LPT1 is the most commonly used port.

If the printer is located away from the print server and uses its own network adapter to receive print jobs, determine the IP address of the network adapter on the printer.

(Optional) Determine whether you need a new or updated printer driver.

Most printers are supported by drivers on the installation CD for the Windows Server 2003 operating system. To save time, you can often skip this step because the wizard that you will use to configure your print server provides compatibility information. If the wizard does not list a driver for your printer, you can look for an update from the printer manufacturer or Windows Update.

Choose a printer name.

Users running Windows-based client computers choose a printer by using the printer name. The wizard that you will use to configure your print server provides a default name, consisting of the printer manufacturer and model. The printer name is usually less than 31 characters in length.

Choose a share name.

A user can connect to a shared printer by typing this name, or by selecting it from a list of share names. The share name is usually less than 8 characters in length for compatibility with MS-DOS and Windows 3.x clients.

(Optional) Choose a location description and a comment.

These can help identify the location of the printer and provide additional information. For example, the location could be "Second floor, copy room" and the comment could be "Additional toner cartridges are available in the supply room on floor 1."

Configuring your print server

To set up a print server, start the Configure Your Server Wizard by doing either of the following:

  • From Manage Your Server, click Add or remove a role. By default, Manage Your Server starts automatically when you log on. To open Manage Your Server, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Manage Your Server.

  • To open the Configure Your Server Wizard, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Configure Your Server Wizard.

On the Server Role page, click Print server, and then click Next.

This section covers:

Printers and Printer Drivers

On the Printers and Printer Drivers page, do one of the following:

  • If all of the clients on your network run Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows 2000, click Windows 2000 and Windows XP clients only.

  • If any of the clients run Windows XP 64-bit Edition (Itanium), Windows NT 4.0, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, or Windows 95, click All Windows clients.

After you finish, click Next.

Summary of Selections

On the Summary of Selections page, view and confirm the options that you have selected. If you selected Windows 2000 and Windows XP clients only on the previous page, the following appears:

  • Add printers to this server using the Add Printer Wizard.

If you selected All Windows clients on the previous page, the following appears:

  • Add printers to this server using the Add Printer Wizard.

  • Add printer drivers to this server using the Add Printer Driver Wizard.

To apply the selections shown on the Summary of Selections page, click Next.

Using the Add Printer Wizard

After you click Next, the Configure Your Server Wizard runs the Add Printer Wizard once for each printer that you want to add. If the wizard finishes and you choose to share at least one printer, your server can be used as a print server. If you cancel the Add Printer Wizard, the Print Spooler service remains installed. If you cancel the Add Printer Wizard and no printers are shared, the server does not add the print server role.

Important

  • If the printer you want to share supports Plug and Play, do not run the Add Printer Wizard. Plug and Play printers complete the configuration steps in the Add Printer Wizard automatically. If the printer you want to share supports Plug and Play, click Cancel.

This section describes the following steps in the Add Printer Wizard:

Local or Network Printer

On the Local or Network Printer page of the Add Printer Wizard, choose one of the following options:

  • To configure this print sever to send print jobs directly to the printer, click Local printer attached to this computer. Typically, print servers send print jobs directly to the printer. A printer with its own network adapter is considered to be a local printer. If you want to send print jobs directly to a printer with its own network adapter, click this option.

  • To configure this print server to forward print jobs to a second print server, click A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer. For example, you can configure a print server at a branch office to forward print jobs to a print server in the main office. You might do this if regulations require you to create printouts of daily transaction logs and store them at the main office. If you want to do this, click this option.

Note

  • The A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer option is included here because this dialog box is used on all computers running a Windows Server 2003 operating system so that users can connect to a network printer. If you need to print from a computer that is not a print server, click A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer.

After you finish, click Next.

After you click Next, one of the following wizard pages appears:

New Printer Detection

If you selected the Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer check box and the wizard is unable to detect any Plug and Play printers, this page appears. Click Next.

To complete the steps on the Select a Printer Port page, see Select a Printer Port.

Select a Printer Port

If you selected Local printer attached to this computer, this page appears.

On the Select a Printer Port page, choose one of the following options:

  • If a cable connects the printer directly to a port on the print server, under Use the following port, click the name of that port. LPT1 is the most commonly used port for this type of printer.

  • If the printer has its own network adapter and you want to send print jobs to the printer through the network, click Create a new port, and then click the type of port that you want to create. If you do not know what type of port to create, Standard TCP/IP Port is recommended.

    If you click Standard TCP/IP Port, and then click Next, the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard starts. In the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard, click Next. On the Add Port page, type the name or IP address of the printer. The IP address is usually listed on the printer configuration page. As you type the name or IP address, the wizard completes the Port Name field for you. Click Next.

    The wizard attempts to connect to the printer. If the wizard is able to connect, the Completing the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard page appears, and you can click Finish. If the wizard is not able to connect, the Additional Port Information Required page appears. If you think that the address or name you entered is not correct, click Back, retype the name or address, and then click Next.

    If you are sure the address or name is correct, select one of the following device types to identify the printer network adapter:

    • Standard is the default. If you click Standard, click the manufacturer and model of network adapter from the Standard list.

    • If the printer network adapter uses nonstandard settings, click Custom and then click Settings. The Configure Standard TCP/IP Port Monitor page appears. Specify the settings that are recommended by the manufacturer of the printer network adapter, and then click OK.

After you finish, click Next.

Specify a Printer

If you selected A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer, this page appears.

On the Specify a Printer page, choose one of the following options to configure your print server to forward print jobs to another print server:

  • If the print server that you want to connect to is available on the network, click Browse for a printer, click Next, and then, under Shared printers, click the server and printer from the list.

  • If the print server that you want to connect to is temporarily unavailable on the network, click Connect to this printer (or to browse for a printer, select this option and click Next), and then, in Name, type the server and printer names.

  • If the print server that you want to connect to belongs to another organization and is available on the Internet, click Connect to a printer on the Internet or on a home or office network.

Important

  • Use the options on this page only if you want your print server to forward print jobs to another print server. If this is not what you want, click Back, click Local printer attached to this computer, click Next, and then follow the steps in Select a Printer Port.

After you finish, click Next.

For this configuration path, you can skip some of the following steps in this document. To continue the instructions for this configuration path, see Completing the Add Printer Wizard.

Install Printer Software

On the Install Printer Software page of the Add Printer Wizard, under Manufacturer, click the printer manufacturer, and then, under Printers, click the printer model.

Note

  • Write down the manufacturer and model that you select, because you will need this information later if you use the Add Printer Driver wizard to install printer drivers for other Windows-based clients.

If the manufacturer or model is not listed, try each of the steps outlined in the following table, in sequence, to install the correct printer software.

 

Step Comments

Check the configuration printout to confirm the exact spelling of the name of your printer manufacturer and model.

The Manufacturer and Printers lists show the official product names, which might be different from the names that you normally use.

Click Have Disk, locate the driver files, and then click OK.

If you have printer driver files stored somewhere else, follow these steps. For example, the printer manufacturer might include a CD-ROM containing driver files in the packaging of the printer.

Click Windows Update.

If you want to look for new or updated drivers that are available from Microsoft as part of Windows Update, click this option. When you click Windows Update, the Manufacturer and Printers lists change to show only the drivers that are available from Windows Update. If the printer is not listed, return to the original list by clicking Back, and then clicking Next.

Select the manufacturer and model of a compatible printer, and then click Next.

To determine which printers are compatible, consult the user guide for your printer. Also, some manufacturers list compatibility information on their Web sites.

After you finish, click Next.

Use Existing Driver

If you add an additional printer that is the same manufacturer and model as one previously installed, the Use Existing Driver page appears. Decide whether to keep the same driver or replace it with a new one. If you select Replace existing driver, the wizard reinstalls the driver files.

After you finish, click Next.

Name Your Printer

On the Name Your Printer page of the Add Printer Wizard, the default name is the manufacturer and model of the printer. You can change this name so that the printer is easier to use and administer. When using applications, users often select a printer from a list that displays the names of the available printers. To help users decide which printer to select, the application might also list the location or a comment.

Under Do you want to use this printer as the default printer?, click Yes or No. Your response applies only when you print from an application that is running on this print server. Your response does not set this printer as the one that clients use by default.

After you finish, click Next.

Printer Sharing

Important

  • You must share at least one printer for this server to act as a print server.

On the Printer Sharing page of the Add Printer Wizard, Share name is selected by default so that the printer is shared. The default share name is the first 8 letters of the printer manufacturer and model, without spaces. You can change this name so that the printer is easier to use and administer.

For compatibility with clients that run MS-DOS or earlier versions of Windows, type a share name that follows these rules:

  • The share name contains only letters, digits, and the period (.).

  • The share name contains no more than eight letters and digits, and, optionally, followed by a period, which is followed by no more than 3 letters and digits.

After you finish, click Next.

Location and Comment

On the Location and Comment page of the Add Printer Wizard, in Location, type a description of the print server location, and then, in Comment, type a comment. This step is optional, but recommended because this information makes it easier to use and administer your print server. Many applications display the comment or the location when the user prints a document, so that the user can choose the most appropriate printer.

After you finish, click Next.

Print Test Page

On the Print Test Page page of the Add Printer Wizard, choose whether to print a test page to confirm that the printer is ready to use.

Note

  • The test page does not print immediately when you click Next. Instead, it prints when you finish the wizard.

After you finish, click Next.

Completing the Add Printer Wizard

On the Completing the Add Printer Wizard page, the Restart the wizard to add another printer check box is selected by default. If you leave it selected and click Finish, the wizard restarts to add another printer. If you have finished adding all of the printers that you want to share on this server, clear this check box, and then click Finish.

When you click Finish, the wizard installs the printer driver files. Then, if you chose to print a test page, the wizard attempts to print that page. If the printer does not receive the test page, you might have selected an incorrect port. However, if the printer receives the test page and prints it incorrectly, you might have selected an incompatible manufacturer and model.

When you started the Configure Your Server Wizard to configure this server as a print server, you selected one of the following options on the Printers and Printer Drivers page:

  • Windows 2000 and Windows XP clients only

  • All Windows clients

If you selected All Windows clients, the Add Printer Driver Wizard starts after you click Finish in the Add Printer Wizard. You can use the Add Printer Driver Wizard to install client printer drivers onto the print server, which can then automatically distribute them to clients.

Note

  • The Add Printer Driver Wizard does not communicate with the Add Printer Wizard. Therefore, the Add Printer Driver Wizard does not automatically run once for each printer that you add, and it does not automatically install drivers for the same manufacturer and model of printer. Instead, you must decide how many times to run the Add Printer Driver Wizard, and each time it runs you must decide which manufacturer and model of drivers to install.

Using the Add Printer Driver Wizard

If you selected All Windows clients on the Printers and Printer Drivers page of the Configure Your Server Wizard, the Add Printer Driver Wizard starts after the Add Printer Wizard. If you cancel the Add Printer Driver Wizard, the Print Spooler service remains installed, and any printers you have added remain, but the additional client driver files are not installed on the server, and therefore the server cannot distribute those drivers to clients.

This section describes the following steps in the Add Printer Driver Wizard:

Printer Driver Selection

On the Printer Driver Selection page of the Add Printer Driver Wizard, select the manufacturer and model of a printer that is shared on this print server, and then click Next.

Important

  • The Add Printer Driver Wizard does not automatically select a manufacturer and model for a printer that you have already added. Instead, it selects the first manufacturer in the list, and the name of the first printer model (in alphabetical order) made by that manufacturer. If possible, select the manufacturer and model of a printer that you have added. If you select a different manufacturer or model, the wizard installs drivers that might not work correctly with your printer.

Processor and Operating System Selection

On the Processor and Operating System Selection page of the Add Printer Driver Wizard, select the client operating systems and processors.

Drivers for your server operating system are installed automatically when you add a printer. As a result, one of the following is selected automatically and you cannot remove it: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 for x86–based processors, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 for Itanium–based processors, or Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 for x64-based processors.

After you finish, click Next.

Completing the Add Printer Driver Wizard

On the Completing the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, the Restart the wizard to add another printer driver check box is selected by default. If you leave it selected and click Finish, the wizard restarts to add another printer driver. If you have finished adding all of the printer drivers for all of the printers that you want to share on this server, clear this check box, and then click Finish.

Completing the Configure Your Server Wizard

After you complete the Add Printer Wizard and, if necessary, the Add Printer Driver Wizard, the Configure Your Server Wizard displays the This Server is Now a Print Server page. To review all of the changes made to your server by the Configure Your Server Wizard or to ensure that a new role was installed successfully, click Configure Your Server log. The Configure Your Server Wizard log is located at systemroot\Debug\Configure Your Server.log. To close the Configure Your Server Wizard, click Finish.

Before you start to use your print server, we recommend the following steps:

Removing the print server role

If you need to reconfigure your server for a different role, you can remove existing server roles. If you remove the print server role, each client that sent print jobs only to this print server will be unable to print until you reconfigure the client to send print jobs to a different server. Also, each printer managed only by this print server will be unable to receive print jobs until you reconfigure another print server to send print jobs to that printer.

To remove the print server role, restart the Configure Your Server Wizard by doing either of the following:

  • From Manage Your Server, click Add or remove a role. By default, Manage Your Server starts automatically when you log on. To open Manage Your Server, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Manage Your Server.

  • To open the Configure Your Server Wizard, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Configure Your Server Wizard.

On the Server Role page, click Print server, and then click Next. On the Role Removal Confirmation page, review the items listed under Summary, select the Remove the print server role check box, and then click Next. On the Print Server Role Removed page, click Finish.

Next steps: Completing additional tasks

After you complete the Configure Your Server Wizard, the server is ready for use as a print server. By following the steps in this document, you have:

  • Added one or more printers.

  • Shared printers so that clients can send print jobs to the printers.

  • If necessary, added client print drivers.

You can use the Add Printer Wizard and Add Printer Driver Wizard to add more printers and client printer drivers. These wizards are available through Manage Your Server.

The following table lists some of the additional tasks that you can perform on your print server.

 

Task Purpose of task Reference

Set the configuration to match installed options.

To provide user access to installed printer options, such as an envelope feeder or extra memory, that are available on some printers. If your printer provides additional features, you must update the configuration so that users can use these features.

Set installable options for a printer

Set printing defaults.

To set the default configuration for clients when they connect to the printer. For example, you can set the default layout or paper source.

Set printing defaults

Assign printer permissions.

To change the permissions that users have for a printer.

Set or remove permissions for a printer

Choose a separator page.

To define a page that appears at the beginning of each printout.

Choose a separator page

Configure network clients to use the printer.

To configure clients to connect to the printers that are shared on this print server.

Connect clients to a printer

Set advanced printer tasks.

To manage your print server more efficiently and effectively. For example, to schedule alternate printing times, to enable printer location tracking, or to set different priority for different groups.

Use Advanced Options

Publish a printer in Active Directory.

To help domain users find printers shared by this print server quickly. For this task, the print server must be a member server.

Publish a printer in Active Directory

Configure ports to allow remote administration.

To manage the print server from other computers on the network.

Windows Firewall Settings

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