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Kernel Mode and User Mode Print Drivers

Posted on 2004-03-23
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Hello,

I am in a mixed WINNT/2000 Environment, printing to W2k servers w/ 300 queues - and currently, both kernel and user-mode printer drivers are installed. How can I REMOVE the user-mode drivers to just leave kernel drivers on the server. i.e. How do I remove drivers that are not compatible with WINNT.

I need to be able to leave all print queues UNTOUCHED.
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Question by:smaill
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21 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10657026
Some additional information,

I am doing a print migration to increase the stability of the servers and also rationalise the printer queues. After Migrating the printers it was discovered that W2k handles kernel-mode(winnt drivers) and user-mode(W2k drivers) v. differently. i.e. the kernel-mode drivers will not pass settings to the clients when a user-mode driver is installed, not to mention the stability gains with user-mode drivers. Anyway,  we decided to have 2 servers, 1 x w2k kernel-mode drivers only and 1 x w2k user-mode drivers only. I now have 2 identical servers (using printmig) and now need to seperate out the two types of drivers.

Any information that leads to a solution will get points, I will open another thread with more points if I run out.
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10657308
Comment from chicagoan
Date: 03/23/2004 01:05PM GMT
Comment  


You can install the kernel mode drivers as additional drivers:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/docs/ChoosingDrivers.doc
I'd leave the real mode drivers for your windows 2000 clients, they're less buggy
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10657310
No new information on the link,

I understand your reasoning for the second comment; however, When W2k Drivers and NT are installed on the machine, the Windows NT Clients will not pick up changes in Settings, such as a new Duplex unit.
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10657723
This must be possible to do. come on experts !!!
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:Fatal_Exception
Fatal_Exception earned 50 total points
ID: 10658838
Whoa...  As you know (and paraphrasing Dirty Harry) every tech should understand their limits, and this is beyond me..  I hardly remember what NT looks like, it has been so long since I messed with it..  But I will think on this, and possibly discuss it with some friends, to see if they have a solution..

FE
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10658874
Thanks FE,

I just want to avoid having to delete the whole queue, and then re-installing the appropriate driver.
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10686516
Well, I've searched high and low and come up with nothing, so I am now looking at alternatives.

Can someone tell me if these are true or false with reasoning.

Windows 2000 Server with BOTH winnt (kernel mode) and 2000 (user mode) installed.

WINNT Client prints job to server.

1 - Does the SERVER process this job using the winnt driver, or does it use the 2000 driver?

2 - Does the server just 'Store' the additional drivers, and not actually use them?

    AND

3 - Does the server use the driver that was installed first? I.E. Will it use the Winnt driver if it was installed first, or the 2000 driver.

Thanks very much for any info!
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 10686909
AFAIK, the version 2 (kernel) drivers have to be on the print server for NT clients, and will be used when and only when NT clients print. Windows 2000/XP cllient jobs will be services by the version 3 drivers no matter what the installation order is.
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10687221
Bought time you showed up chicagoan..  was getting ready to send you an email for help...  :)  
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:RDAdams
ID: 10687292
If it is working don't mess with it!  Unless there is a real need to modify your setup don't.  And as suggested by chicagoan both drivers need to be present since you still have winnt clients.
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10687886
Thanks for clarifying the way that the client prints and the drivers they use.

The problem when both NT and 2000 drivers are installed on a 2k server, and a setting is changed on the server, only the 2000 clients are updated with this settings, and the NT Clients need to delete and re-connect to get the new settings.

The only two answers I have for that is to:
1 - Only install kernel mode drivers, however installing kernel mode drivers on about a thousand 2k machines seems less than ideal. Not to mention unstable.

2 - two servers, one dedicated for nt and one for 2000, with appropriate drivers on each.

I will dish points left right and centre if you could help me prevent a complete rebuild !


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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
chicagoan earned 400 total points
ID: 10688070
You're right about the NT clients but I think the answer lies in an unattended update for your NT clients rather than the print servers' configuration.

see RUNDLL32 PRINTUI.DLL,PrintUIEntry /?

http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/zenworks/features/trenches/tr_push_printer_zw.html

Not using Netware? You could probably use one of those Group Policy thingies.

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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:RDAdams
RDAdams earned 50 total points
ID: 10688119
Do you do all manual installs or do you have SMS or similar for updating your workstations?  I would agree with chicagoan if you can avoid the server and work via updates to the systems that are either a batch script or similar so the users are not affected.
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10688361
Chicagoan

No Novell unfortunately,

How would you do it in Group Policy?

Ok, well SMS will be used in the future, but will be rolled out with XP, and this problem redundant. And because of the size of the place (10,000 employees (Although Im only concerned with one section.), no migration happens overnight. (If it happens at all!) So no SMS.

The installations are done by a script that installs the printer using Point and Print. The user keys in the Asset Number of the Printer and the script knows where to go.

The current migration is handled with Printmig from foxware. This is basically a login script that checks exisiting printers and maps them to the new server using point and print.

Would the batch file check every time someone logs in, what kind of overhead is this on the printer servers and network?

Thanks for helping to get this moving!
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:spareticus
ID: 10691851
as i understand your question, you have win2k printers

i didn't see it in any of the posts, so take a look here and see if this is the fix you need
open printers window
go to file >> server properties
drivers tab
each driver is now listed with it's version
you can remove certain drivers from the system without affecting the queues
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 10691947
>Would the batch file check every time someone logs in...
exactly that sort of thing, when a printer changes, the NT machines would run the install script (once) to update their definition
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10692573
spareticus,

I would love that to be the case, but if a printer queue is using a driver, it says that it is in use, and cannot be removed, additionally, when you go to 'additional drivers' on the sharing tab the option is greyed out so it cannot be removed.
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10704234
I finally have given up the fight to split out these drivers and come to the conclusion that as cicagoan said, the answer lies outside the server. So all NT Clients print to a server with only WINNT drivers, and 2000 machines to another server. I am assuming that the NT drivers sitting on the 2000 machine will not be used and lie dormant as no NT clients will print to it.

Chicagoan's answer would appear to fix the problem of settings - hence the accept. But thanks all for assisting on this one!
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10704304
Sorry we could not be of more help..  

FE
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Author Comment

by:smaill
ID: 10704367
No Problem... I think this answer lies back with Microsoft, When a driver is installed it probably embeds itself in the OS, and is probably a one way trip as far as users are concerned. Also, Microsoft are pulling support of NT in the near future, so I guess getting off NT is the best solution.

Cheers for taking the time.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10706513
Yep..  I have not sat at an NT box in what..  3 years..??  Good time to think about moving up..

Have a great week..

FE
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