Too many connections

Posted on 2003-03-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
My server is running Windows NT 4 SP6.  Network printers are on JetDirect boxes.  Clients are starting to get "Too many connections" message when trying to print.  When this happens, the printer gets set to "use printer offline".  Other clients are still able to print.  Sometimes just deselecting the "use printer offline" allows printing again.

What is happening?
What determines the number of connections?
What is considered a connection?

Please help.  The problem is starting to get worse every day.
Question by:BruceAhlemeyer
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Expert Comment

ID: 8070254

I'm not sure about this but did you install Windows NT Server to have a certain number of user licensings.

Or did you choose per seat.
If you didn't choose per seat you might have set the number licenses too low.

/Hans - Erik Skyttberg
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 8088234
Yup, Hans, sounds like you`re right.

I assume all of the printers are installed on the server and shared to the users from there.

Possible ways around it:
If your server is running NT Server, buy more licenses and increase the user license count on the server. (You may not be able to obtain NT licences anymore, I`m not sure).
(If you are running NT workstation on the server, the maximum connection count is 10).

Use a spare Windows 98 or ME computer as a printserver- no connection limit. (Not recommended, for various reasons including security,stability,etc., but could offer a short term fix)

Install a Linux box as a printserver- no licences, no connection limits, secure and stable(and cheap).

Best option: if you do not have too many users, install the jetdirect software on the clients, and print direct to the printers, instead of via the server.(will also speed up printing,and take some load off your server).
If your clients are using NT,2000,or XP, you can set up LPR or standard TCP/IP ports for direct printing to the HP Jetdirects, or if they are using 95,98,orME, download a copy of ACITS LPR.

Author Comment

ID: 8089127
I think that you guys have hit on the problem.  I checked the licenseing and it is set for Per Server with 10 connections.  It is running NT Server and most clients are Win98.

You have listed a couple of solutions that show promise.  I will check on obtaining more licenses and the Linux box sounds interesting.  I don't think that installing on each client is a good idea because there are about 50 clients and 11 printers (I realize now that I don't even have a connection for each printer). Not all clients need all printers but it would be difficult to figure out what to install where.

When is a connection considered disconnected?  When the file has finished uploading to the print spooler?  When the job is finished printing?  Is there a way to monitor/log the connections that the server thinks it has?

Bruce Ahlemeyer  


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LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 8093409
Any user connected to a printer or a mapped drive counts as a connection, but I think that printers only "register" the connection the first time the user prints to them. Look in server manager, will tell you the live connections.

Accepted Solution

heskyttberg earned 200 total points
ID: 8093616

If you want to monitor over a week or so use perfmon.

/Hans - Erik Skyttberg
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 10589150
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
    I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

    accepted answer heskyttberg

    Please leave any comments here within the next four days.


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