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Printers can be administered three ways:

  • Use the Printers folder, which can be accessed on the local machine by Start Printers and Faxes. New printers can be created in this folder using Add Printer, while existing ones can be administered by right-clicking on the printer icon. If you aren't physically located at the print server, don't despair: as long as you are logged on with Administrator credentials (or as a user with Manage Printers permission for the printers on your network), you can manage shared printers on remote print servers located anywhere on your network. First, find the printer using any of the methods outlined under Find a Printer later in this section, and then right-click on its icon to select a task or open its properties sheet.

  • Use a web browser running on any computer. The functionality is more limited than using the Printers folder and uses a web-based interface instead of dialog boxes.

  • Use the command line (very limited administrative capability this way).

While administering printers using the Printers folder is the faster and most familiar method, administration using a web browser has some advantages:

  • Printers can be managed from any computer on the network regardless of which operating system it is running, as long as it is running a web browser.

  • The web pages displayed can be printed out to generate reports that display the status of print devices managed by a given print server or display the contents of a printer queue.

  • The web interface can be customized by creating additional HTML pages to display information such as a floor plan indicating where print devices and print servers are located.

But the disadvantages are:

  • Only a few printer settings are displayed, and none of them can be modified. This will probably be corrected later in a service pack.

  • Like most web interfaces, more mouse work is generally required to accomplish a task than by using the standard Windows dialog boxes and shortcut menus.

To install and configure a printer, you need to be a member of the Administrators group. To administer a printer, you need to have either Manage Printers or Manage Documents permission for that printer, depending on the kind of administration you want to perform.

You can also control printer administration through the use of Group Policies. These policies can be used to do the following:

  • Modify the default behavior of the Add Printer Wizard

  • Prevent new printers from being published by default in Active Directory

  • Disable web-based management of printers and Internet printing

For more information, see Group Policy earlier in this chapter. If you can't perform some administrative task involving printers, there may be a Group Policy defined to prevent you from doing so.

Add a Printer

Start Printers and Faxes Add Printer

This opens the Add Printer Wizard, which can be used to either:

  • Install printer software directly on a print server. Microsoft calls this "installing a printer."

  • Install printer software on a client computer. Microsoft calls this "making a printer connection."

In addition, when installing a printer on a print server, you can choose which of the following to install:

  • A local print device, which is directly attached to the server using a serial, parallel, or USB cable

  • A network interface print device, which is directly connected to a TCP/IP network using a network card installed in the printer

Install a Printer for a Local Print Device

Make sure the print device is attached to the print server and is turned on in case it is Plug and Play. Start the Add Printer Wizard, select "Local printer," then follow the steps that involve selecting a port to which the print device is attached (usually LPT1), selecting the manufacturer and model, specifying the name of the printer, and so on. Make sure you share the printer if you plan to allow client machines to connect to it and print from over the network.

Install a Printer for a Network Interface Print Device

Make sure the print device is connected to the network and is turned on. Start the Add Printer Wizard on the print server and select "Local printer" (clear the Plug and Play checkbox). On the Select the Printer Port page of the wizard, select Create a new port Standard TCP/IP Port. This opens another wizard called Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port. Specify the IP address of the print device (a port name is generated automatically from this information) and the type of network card the print device uses (try Generic if you're not sure). Clicking Finish closes this wizard and returns to the previous one, which you must then complete as in the previous section.

Connect to a Remote Printer

There are lots of ways you can connect a client computer to a shared printer that is managed by a remote print server (i.e., create a network printer on a client computer that lets users submit jobs to the print server). Once you have connected to the printer, you can print to it as if it was physically connected to your client computer. Once your WS2003 Professional client computer connects to the remote print server, it automatically downloads the necessary printer driver files to create the connection.

You can connect to a remote printer in several ways. On the client computer:

Start Printers and Faxes Add Printer Network printer

Then specify the remote printer you want to connect to by either locating it in Active Directory, browsing for it on the network, typing its name, or specifying its URL:

Start Search Other search options Printers, computers, or people Printers on the network enter search criteria Find Now select desired printer right-click Connect

Open the Active Directory Users and Computers console and:

Right-click on a domain Find Find Printers enter search criteria Find Now select desired printer right-click Connect

You can also do:

Start Run http://printservername/printers OK click on Printer link Connect

Start Run http://printservername/printer/printersharename/printer/ Connect

where printservername is the DNS name of the remote print server. This lets you connect to printers over the Internet, provided you have appropriate permissions on that printer and the remote print server is running Internet Information Services (IIS).

You can also find the remote printer in Windows Explorer, right-click on it, and select Connect from the shortcut menu.

Finally, you can find the remote printer in Windows Explorer, and drag its icon into the Printers window.

Configure Clients for Printing

The configuration needed on client computers depends on the operating system installed on them:

WS2003/2000/XP/Me/98/95 clients

No client configuration is necessary. The first time the client computer makes a connection to the shared printer, it automatically downloads the appropriate printer driver (provided you have made this driver available on the print server).

NT/3.x and MS-DOS clients

First, you need to manually install the printer driver on the client computer.

Macintosh clients

Services for Macintosh must be installed and configured.

Unix clients

TCP/IP Printing (LPD) must be installed and configured.

NetWare clients

File and Print Services for NetWare must be installed and configured. (This must be obtained separately.)

Configure Properties for a Printer

Start Printers and Faxes right-click on printer Properties

This opens the printer's properties sheet to allow you to configure various printer settings. The following are the most popular settings configured by administrators.

  • Setting priorities between printers for different groups of users

  • Creating a printer pool to handle increased load

  • Sharing an additional printer to handle increased load

Let's look at some highlights from the various tabs. Note that some printers may have additional device-specific tabs. For example, a color printer will have an additional tab called Color Management. Other tabs may be supplied by the vendor's printer driver.


Printing preferences set on print servers will be default settings for all users. Users can override these settings by opening their own Printers folders, right-clicking on a printer icon, and selecting Printing Preferences. Assigning a location to a printer helps users find it in Active Directory.


See Share a Printer later in this section.


This lets you specify and configure the port to which the print device is attached. To redirect a printer to a different port or device, see Redirect a Printer later in this section. To add a TCP/IP port for a network interface print device, see Add a Printer earlier in this section.

Printer pooling lets you connect one logical printer to multiple physical print devices. Jobs that are sent to the printer are then distributed between the different print devices according to availability. This might be an option if your users make heavy demands on an existing printer and are frequently standing in line to pick up jobs. To make use of printer pooling, you must ensure that all printers in the pool use the same printer driver. (The best is to use identical print devices, but similar devices that use the same driver are acceptable.) To enable printer pooling, check the "Enable printer pooling" checkbox and select the ports to which the print devices are attached.


If several printers send jobs to the same print device, you can control what happens by specifying the printer priority and available print times for each printer. Priorities range from 1 (lowest) to 99 (highest), and jobs from printers with higher priority are printed first. To assign different printer priorities to two different groups of users, you must create a printer for each group, assign a priority to each printer, set permissions so each group can use only one of the printers, and then instruct each group concerning which printer to use.

Spooling documents returns control to the application sooner than printing directly to the printer, but you must ensure you have adequate disk space for the spooling process. Mismatched documents occur, for example, when a letter-size document is being printed to a device whose only tray contains legal-size paper. Keeping printed documents causes them to remain in the queue so they can be resubmitted, but this can use up disk space quickly (if you have this feature enabled, disabling it will purge the print queue). Enabling the advanced printing feature is recommended unless printing problems occur relating to page order, pages per sheet, or other advanced features.

Clicking the New Driver button starts the Add New Printer Driver Wizard, which lets you install new or updated printer drivers for your print device. Note that this is not the same as the Additional Drivers button on the Sharing tab, which lets you install drivers for clients running other versions of Windows. You can also update printer drivers over the Internet by using Windows Update (Start Windows Update). Whatever way you do it, you need to be a member of the Administrators group to update a driver.

A separator page is a file that contains printer commands and is used to switch between different printing modes—for example, from PostScript to PCL—and to separate print jobs with a printed page identifying the document being printed. Table 4-46 lists the different types of separator pages available. Note that some printers can automatically detect which language a print job uses and switch modes accordingly.

Table 4-46. Separator pages




Switch an HP print device to PCL mode. A page is printed before each document


Switch an HP print device to PostScript mode. A page is not printed before each document


Used with PostScript print devices to print a page before each document


Same as Sysprint.sep but uses Japanese characters

In order to use the Printing Defaults button to set default choices for page orientation, default printer tray, number of copies, and other settings, you must have Manage Printers permission. However, users who have Print permission can override these default settings and configure their own personal printing settings by:

Start Printers and Faxes right-click on printer Printing Preferences


See Assign Printer Permissions later in this section.

Device Settings

A form is a paper size such as letter, legal, A4, envelope#10, and so on. If your printer has multiple trays, you can assign a form to a particular tray or let WS2003 automatically detect the paper tray for each form.

Find a Printer

To administer a printer, you first need to find it. Information about shared printers is stored in Active Directory and can be found by opening the Active Directory Users and Computers console, right-clicking on the OU or domain in which the printer is located (if known), and then:

Find Find Printers specify search criteria Find Now

You can also find a printer simply by browsing My Network Places until you locate the remote print server managing the desired printer. Once you have found the appropriate server, double-click on its icon to see the shared printers on the server. Don't stop here, however, as opening the properties sheet for one of these shared-printer icons gives only minimal information. Instead, you need to double-click on the Printers folder that is displayed for the remote print server you are viewing, and then right-click on a printer icon to administer it or open its properties sheet.

Once you've found the Printers folder on a remote print server in My Network Places, simply drag this folder into your own local Printers folder to provide a quick way of finding and administering remote printers on your network.

Pause a Printer

Start Settings Printers right-click on printer Pause Printing

Pause a printer if there is a problem with the device, such as a paper jam. Pausing a printer doesn't delete jobs pending in the queue. To resume or restart printing after you have fixed the problem, repeat the steps listed earlier.

Taking a printer offline also pauses printing. See Use a Printer Offline later in this section.

Redirect a Printer

If a print device fails, you can redirect the pending jobs to a different print device as long as the new printer uses the same printer driver as the current one. You can even redirect jobs to a print device managed by a different print server than the one you normally use. To do this, open the properties sheet for the printer and:

Ports tab Add Port Local Port New Port \\printservername\printsharename

If the new print device is managed by the same print server as the current one, redirecting jobs is easier: just change the port selected to the port used by the new printer.

Share a Printer

WS2003 shares printers by default when you create them (XP Professional doesn't), but if you decided not to share the printer when you created it, you can share it later:

Start Printers and Faxes Printers right-click on printer Sharing Shared As specify share name

If your shared printer will be used not just by XP Professional client machines but also by client machines running legacy versions of Microsoft Windows (NT 3.1/3.51/4.0 or Windows 95/98), you will need to install additional drivers for these legacy operating systems on your shared printer. To do this, use the Additional Drivers button on the Sharing tab. The WS2003 CD includes printer drivers for WS2003, W2K, NT 4.0, XP, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

Select the List in the Directory checkbox if you want to publish the printer in Active Directory (which is what you probably want to do). This makes it easier for users to find specific printers on the network. You can't publish a printer unless it has been shared first.

If you are running a mixed-mode network with some computers running legacy versions of Microsoft Windows, you can publish information about non-WS2003 shared printers in Active Directory so that clients can search for them. To do this, open the Active Directory Users and Computers console, right-click the OU or other container in which you want to publish the printer, and proceed as follows:

New Printer enter UNC path to printer

There is also a sample script, \Winnt\System32\pubprn.vbs, which shows how to use the Windows Scripting Host to publish non-WS2003 printers from the command line.

You can also stop sharing a printer. Be sure to notify users, however, so that their jobs aren't lost.

How printer drivers are updated on the client depends on the particular Windows client operating system being used:

  • Every time an XP Professional or NT 4.0 Workstation client connects to the WS2003 print server to print a document, it checks to make sure that it has the latest version of the driver. If the server has a newer driver, the client automatically downloads and installs it.

  • NT 3.51 Workstation clients check for new drivers on the server only when the local spooler service on the client is restarted (typically when the machine is rebooted).

  • Windows 95 and Windows 98 clients can't automatically download new drivers from the server; you must install these drivers manually on the clients.

Take Ownership of a Printer

Start Printers and Faxes right-click on a printer Properties Security Advanced Owner choose a new owner

The only users listed on the Owner tab are the currently logged-on user and the Administrators group. You must have Manage Printers permission on a printer to be able to take ownership of it. This permission is granted by default to Administrators, Print Operators, Server Operators, and Power Users.

Use a Printer Offline

Start Printers and Faxes right-click on printer Use Printer Offline

This is similar to pausing a printer except that pending jobs remain in the print queue even if you shut down and restart the print server.

Assign Printer Permissions

Printer permissions are a means for controlling the level of access to shared printers on a WS2003 network. Printers must be shared on the network for printer permissions to be assigned to them. To assign printer permissions, you must first be able to access the icon of the shared printer. You can do this using Windows Explorer, My Network Places, or from the Search Results of the Search Assistant accessed through Start Search For Printers. The following procedures assume you have already located the icon for the shared printer whose permissions you want to assign or modify.

Assign Standard Printer Permissions

Right-click on shared printer Properties Security Add select domain select user or group Add allow or deny printer permissions

Unless you allow or deny different permissions, when you assign printer permissions to a user or group, the default permission assigned is Allow Print.

When you try to allow or deny different combinations of printer permissions, you will discover that not all combinations are allowed. For example, if you try to allow Manage Printers, the Print checkbox under Allow also automatically becomes checked. Table 4-47 shows the permissible combinations of printer permissions that can be assigned using the Security tab. These combinations work only if you are allowing permissions; if you both allow and deny permissions, other combinations are possible.

Table 4-47. Allowable combinations of printer permissions


Automatically selects



Manage Printers?

Manage Documents?



Manage Printers



Manage Documents


Assign Special Print Permissions

Right-click on shared printer Properties Security Advanced Add select domain select user or group allow or deny special permissions

Like assigning standard print permissions, assigning a special printer permission by selecting one checkbox may cause others to magically become selected or deselected as well (i.e., not all combinations of special print permissions are possible). Furthermore, you can't allow and deny a permission at the same time.

You also have the option of applying your special permissions to:

  • This printer and documents (the default)

  • This printer only

  • Documents only

Modify Standard Printer Permissions

Right-click on shared printer Properties Security select name allow or deny printer permissions

For more information, see the previous section.

Modify Special Printer Permissions

Right-click on shared printer Properties Security Advanced select name View/Edit

For more information, see the earlier Assign Special Print Permissions.

Manage a Print Queue

To open a print queue for a given printer, do the following:

Start Printers and Faxes double-click on the printer icon

Once the print queue window is open, you can manage documents pending for that printer. Select a document in the queue, then use the Documents menu to pause, resume, cancel, or restart a job. You might pause a document if there is a problem printing it (e.g., margins too small), while you pause the printer itself if a problem such as a paper jam occurs. Resuming a paused document starts printing it from where it left off, while restarting a paused document prints the entire document again from the beginning. You can also drag jobs to change their print order, depending on your permissions and whose jobs are in the queue.

Documents Properties lets you specify a print priority and printing schedule for the selected job. This overrides the settings on the Advanced tab of the printer's properties sheet, which specifies the default priority and schedule for all jobs printed using that printer. You can also specify a logon name to indicate which user will be notified when the job is done (the logon name of the user who submitted the job is entered by default). Also, make sure that notifications are enabled on the print server.

Configure a Print Server

Start Printers and Faxes File Server Properties

This opens the Printer Server Properties box. Here are some highlights of the various tabs.


In addition to displaying available forms for the device, you can create new ones by specifying the paper size. Be sure to save your form definition if you want to use it again.


Similar to the Ports tab on the properties sheet for a printer, but this lets you only create and configure ports, not assign them to a specific printer. The information shown in the three columns of the listbox here are:


The name of the available port


The port monitor associated with the port


The printers that use the port

The types of ports you can add are as follows:

Local port

Typically used to add a new local port when you want to redirect the jobs pending in the printer's queue to another print device. See Redirect a Printer earlier in this chapter for more information. We describe the types of local ports you can create later in this section.

Standard TCP/IP port

Used for network interface print devices that have their own built-in Ethernet card.

LPR port

Used for printers managed by Unix print servers. You must first install Print Services for Unix on the WS2003 computer before you can create an LPR port, and you must know the full DNS name or IP address of the network interface print device or the Unix server running LPD to which it is connected. See the sidebar Print Services for Unix for more information.

Hewlett-Packard network port

Used for older HP network interface print devices with JetDirect cards that use DLC instead of TCP/IP. You must install the DLC protocol on the WS2003 computer before you can create a Hewlett-Packard network port.

AppleTalk printing device port

Used for printing from Macintosh clients. You must install the AppleTalk protocol on the WS2003 computer before you can create an AppleTalk printing device port.

You can also add new ports when running the Add Printer Wizard.

You can create three kinds of local ports on a WS2003 print server as discussed in the following list.

A filename

(e.g., C:\path\filename). Any job sent to this port is written to the specified file, overwriting previous ones (this is essentially printing to a file).

A shared printer

(e.g., \\printserver\printer). Any job sent to this port is handled by the specified remote printer (this is essentially redirecting a printer).


This sends jobs to never-never land. It's used mainly for testing purposes.

Parallel and serial ports are also local ports, but WS2003 generally detects this hardware automatically.

Print Services for Unix

This WS2003 component provides line printer remote (LPR) and line printer daemon (LPD) services to allow cross-platform printing between Unix and WS2003. LPR is the client-side Unix printing utility that enables a user to send a job to a Unix print server running LPD. In WS2003, the two new services provided by Print Services for Unix are:


Enables WS2003 print servers to send print jobs to Unix print servers running LPD. In other words, LPRMON enables Windows clients to print to Unix printers via the WS2003 print server running LPRMON.


Emulates LPD on WS2003 print servers. In other words, LPDSVC enables Unix clients to send print jobs to the WS2003 print server running LPDSVC.

Note that once you install these services, you must change the startup configuration of LPDSVC from Manual to Automatic. Use Services in the Computer Management console to do this.

Note also that not all Unix systems use the same LPR specification, so establishing printing interoperability between WS2003 and Unix platforms can sometimes be problematic.


This lists the various printer drivers installed on the server. If a printer driver somehow becomes corrupt, you can update (reinstall) it here by clicking Add to start the Add New Printer Driver Wizard. You can also use this wizard to add (install) drivers for legacy Windows clients such as NT, 98, or 95.

Select an installed driver and click Properties to list the various files that make up the printer driver and see where they are stored on the server.

You can also install printer drivers from the Sharing tab of each printer's properties sheet. The main advantage of doing this here on the Drivers tab of Server Properties is that if your print server is used to manage multiple print devices of the same type, you can update drivers for these in one step.


This lets you specify the location where jobs will be spooled. This is useful if your current drive is filling up and you want to move the spool folder to a different drive. Make sure you stop the spooler service prior to moving the spool folder, and restart the spooler service or reboot the server afterward. Use the Services node in Computer Management to stop and start the spooler service.

Don't locate the spool folder on the %SystemRoot% volume—that is, the volume where the \Windows folder is located (typically the C: drive). If users print lots of long jobs, it could fill up all available space on the drive and cause the system to hang.

By default, spooler events are logged to the System log in Event Viewer. You may want to turn off information events to reduce the amount of noise in the log. If you make changes to these settings, you must stop and restart the spooler service.

You can specify that notifications be sent when printing jobs are finished. These notifications can be sent to either the users or the computers submitting the jobs. If notifications are sent to computers and the user who submitted the job has logged off her client machine, the next user who logs on to the machine will receive the notification. So you should generally specify that users instead of computers be notified if roaming user profiles are configured on the network. Again, be sure to stop and restart the spooler service after changing this setting.

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