Export (0) Print
Expand All

General troubleshooting information

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

General troubleshooting information

Successful troubleshooting depends on your ability to identify the source of the problem. Printing problems occur because of trouble with:

  • The printing device.

  • The connection between the printer and the network.

  • Other printing components in the Windows Server 2003 family products.

  • The network, protocols, and other communication components.

When solving printing problems, a good first step is to identify the process creating the problem. You can often determine this by testing different scenarios. For example, if a network client cannot print to a certain printer and other users can, then you know that the problem is not with the physical printer and its connection to the network.

Troubleshooting printing problems: quick list

A quick way to solve most problems associated with printing is to follow these four steps:

  • Verify the physical printer is operational. If other users can print, it is probably not a problem with the printer, or with the print server.

  • Verify that the printer on the print server is using the correct printer driver. If print clients are using other operating systems, make sure you installed all necessary drivers for the other platforms.

  • Verify the print server is operational, make sure there is enough disk space for spooling, and make sure the print spool service is running.

  • If print clients are using operating systems other than Windows XP , verify the client computer has the correct printer driver.

Troubleshooting physical problems

  • Check the physical printer and make sure it is in the ready state (ready to print). With most printers, you can print a test page from the printer console itself to verify correct operation.

  • Check the cable connecting the printer and make sure it is connected properly. If the printer is connected directly to the network with a network adapter, check the light on the card, which indicates network connectivity.

Troubleshooting communication problems

  • Make sure you can communicate with the printer over the network. As an example, if a printer communicates over the TCP/IP protocol, you can use the ping command to verify connectivity.

  • Verify communication to the print server from other computers.

  • Check that any service required for the printer and the client submitting the print job is working properly. For example, for a Macintosh client, verify that the AppleTalk protocol is working.

  • Make sure the print spool service is running on the print server.

Troubleshooting Windows Server 2003 family printing

The modularity of the printing architecture makes diagnosing problems fairly easy. Windows Server 2003 family printing across a network consists of seven processes that always occur. By testing each process, you can generally identify the problem.

  1. The administrator adds a printer and shares it.

    • Check the property of the logical printer; make sure the driver is correct for that printer.

    • Using the Add Printer Wizard, you can add another logical printer for the same physical printer to quickly identify whether the problem is with the logical printer.

    • If you cannot browse printer connections, or cannot find the printer port, you might have a network problem.

    • Verify you are logged on as administrator, or as a member of the Administrator group.

  2. A network client connects to that share.

    • Check the property of the logical printer on the client computer; make sure the driver is correct for that printer.

    • Using the Add Printer Wizard, you can add another logical printer for the same physical printer to quickly identify whether the problem is with the logical printer.

    • Check the users permissions to print to that printer, and check which Group Policy settings for printers are enabled.

    • If you cannot browse printer connections, you might have a network problem.

  3. The client application creates a print job.

    • Check whether the document the client is trying to print consists of text only or includes graphics. Check the printer driver and the fonts settings.

    • Check whether there is a problem with the separator page selection.

    • Try to reproduce the same print job from another client; if it prints properly, the problem is most likely not caused by this process.

  4. The client system sends the print job to the printer share on the print server.

    • Check the network transport; for example, TCP/IP, NWLink, or AppleTalk.

    • Check other network components that are required to print; for example Print Server for Macintosh or Print Services for Unix.

      Note

Print Server for Macintosh is not available on the 64-bit versions of the Windows operating systems.

  • Make sure the network is working properly for the client. Check the network adapter and intermediate network devices.

  • Make sure the print spool folder on the print server has not run out of disk space.

  • Try to send the print job to the spooler in another way, or from another application.

  1. The print server receives, spools, and--if necessary--alters the print job.

    • Check disk space for spooling.

    • Make sure the problem does not involve an incorrect data type, such as RAW or PScript1.

    • Try to change an EMF print job to RAW to see whether it solves the problem.

  2. The print server sends the print jobs to the printer.

    • Check network transport (such as TCP/IP or NWLink) and other network devices.

    • Check the physical printer connection to the network.

    • Make sure the printer is ready to print.

    • Try to print from other network clients.

  3. The printer interprets the job and produces hardcopy output.

    • Make sure the printer is ready to print.

    • Try to print a test page from the printer console.

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2015 Microsoft