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Win 98 PCs loging into NT server. Shared printer problems! HELP!

ashka asked
I have a NT 4.0 server and about 50 Windows 98 machines that log into it.  They have static IP addresses and the network is working perfectly.  My problem is with sharing a printer over the network.  In several departments I have just hooked the printer (HP Laser Jet 4) directly up to one of the users and made it into a shared printer.  Then I go to the other users in that department, double click on Network Neighborhood find the user with the printer and then double click on the shared printer icon to install it onto their PC too as the default printer.  This has worked wonderfully for months now, and in most cases still works for us.  But now I have two departments that only the user hooked up directly to the HP can print on it.  Everyone else gets an error that it can?t print to the HP, there is a network error and they need to reboot their computer and try again.  If you click OK it makes the HP in their printers folder go offline and even if you do reboot you cannot get it to print ever.

I have tried deleting the printer on the users PC and reinstalling it as I mentioned above.  I have deleted it off the user directly connected to the printer and reinstalled it and then redid the rest of the connections to it.  Nothing works, I still get this error.  I have not changed anything with the network or with the individual PCs, this just started happening one day.  The departments affected are even on different segments of the network running through different hubs so I don?t know what the problem is.  I still have 6 departments that are working great and I set them up the exact same way.

HELP!!!!  And many thanks, I will owe whoever can fix this BIG time!!!!

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And yes the user that has the printer attached to them is turned on and logged on to the network.  They can print fine, it is just the other useres that cant use it.

If your running an NT domain - it's possible that you have set up that user's workstation to use user-level control instead of shared -level control  (right mouse on Network Neighborhood Properities and go to the last tab  and check the setting.

Alternately - install this shared printer on the Server as a network printer and then share it on the server to other users.
get a jet direct printer box,
put one on each printer,
plug the boxes into the network
reassign printers on workstation

Since it has worked for you before and just one day it doesn't i'd say something in the configuration has changed. It doesn't have to be related to your printers or shares. If you can recall yourself installing any software lately for these particular departments you should start fishing there. It usually don't work to ask the employees if they have installed anything or has clicked around like crazy :-) Do a groundcheck on the machines so you can count that option out.

DTHConsulting's tips sounds good and it sure is worth trying out, but although your setup has worked before so why have to change?

jwc02026's solution is another great option. You'll get greater performance and don't have to depend on weather the sharing computer is turned on or not. I can't tell you if JetDirect is the best option for you though. I have great experiance with Axis Printservers and would be glad to help you out further if you choose to use them. They offer great free software for administration and auditing. One more advantage with Printservers is that the clients can use whatever printer YOU install to them, cross-departments.

Good luck

Jonas Finnhult


I gave up and just did it this way.  There still should be a way to get it to work without it, but who knows.

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