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Large printer spool size under Windows 2000 Server

Currently we have a mix of printers (HP, Xerox, Kyocera etc.) shared from NT4 and Windows 2000 servers.

We have noticed that when printing documents attached to Windows 2000 servers, the job spool size can increase up to 800% more than its NT4 counterpart for the same doucment. As an example, 1.25MB for a test page! As you can imagine printing even a 5 page document over the WAN now is a nightmare.

All printers in the company are mapped using standard file and print sharing (\\servername\printershare). Irregardless of which flavour of server these are hosted on. Workstations are NT4/XP.

All printers are setup on the servers using a mixture of Standard TCP/IP Printing and LPR under Windows 2000 and LPR under NT4.

I found that if I installed Print services for Unix on my XP machine, and added a printer locally as an LPR port, referencing it using <servername>:<queuename> my spool size reduced dramatically.

I find it surprising that mapping a printer using \\<servername>\<sharename> causes such an issue, and I am sure there is an explaination for it.

Short of creating login scripts specifcally to map users printers as local LPR ports I would like to find a solution that ties in the with the current way we work.

I have looked around technet - but to no avail. I am not a printer expert, so I may just be looking for the wrong thing.

Anyone else come across this problem?


Evan Taylor.
1 Solution
If you are printing more than 1 copy of a document, make sure "collate" is not ticked. When ticked the PC will send each page separately. When un-ticked, each page is sent once, and the printer makes the copies (uncollated, unless the printer is capable of collating)
I should read more carefully. Just realised you said 1.25MB for a test page - in other words, collation is not involved.

If the user prints to a local file, is that file just as big, or is something on the server ballooning it?
You could try installing print services for unix on the server, which installs a "true" LPR port.
Simply moving from standard TCP/IP to LPR may be enough, but maybe not.

Also, check the spooler settings.

If the spool settings are set to print directly, that can cause issues, as the server has to receive,spool,queue and transmit simultaneously.
This can cause timeouts and resent packets.
Try setting it to "start printing after the first page is spooled" or even "start printing after the last page is spooled"
Alos disable bidirectional support.

Also, I have found issues with spooling in windows 2000 workstation, that seem to be cured in XP, the same Postscript driver installed in the same way  on 4 workstations printed a (very) large file in 6 minutes directly to a Fiery RIP, and on the 2000 boxes it took 30 minutes, whereas downloading the PDF directly to the RIP from 2000 took 6 minutes also!
The postscript setup was significantly changed in 2000 from NT.

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Ev-Author Commented:
Had tried all of above suggested earlier.

Have found the solution after some more playing around.

By default under Windows 2000 for either LPR or Standard TCP/IP printer setups, there is an option "Enable advanced printing features" checked. Once I disabled this option, spool size returned to normal. Approximately 25kb for a test page, depending on the printer.

Now if only I can find a regedit to prevent that option from being turned on by default!
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.


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