Printer Pooling not Working

Posted on 2004-10-27
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
We have 2 colour printers which are set up for pooling. Problem is that the jobs only come out of one of the printers. If the first printer is busy, it should print from the second one but it dosen't. Instead if just queues it on the first printer and prints it out after the current job is done. Obviously it's a waste of money and hardware to have 1 printer which is never used so I would like to see about getting this resolved. We are using Windows 2000 Server.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
Question by:StickyDragon
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    this should be fairly straightforward...

    How to Create a Printing Pool
    NOTE : This procedure assumes that the printers that you want to pool are installed on the print server and are listed in the Printers folder. To add a new printer, click Add Printer in the Printers folder.
    1. Click Start , point to Settings , and then click Printers .
    2. Right-click a printer that you want to include in the printing pool, and then click Properties .
    3. Click the Ports tab.
    4. Select the Enable printer pooling check box.
    5. In the list of ports, select the check boxes for the ports to which the printers that you want to pool are connected.
    6. Repeat steps 2 through step 5 for each printer that you want to include in the printing pool.
    7. Click OK

    a few other notes...

    Before you set up a printing pool, consider the following items:
    1. Two or more printers are required. Windows 2000 does not limit the number of printers in a pool.
    2. The printers in the pool must be of the same type and use the same printer driver.
    3. Printer ports can be of the same type or mixed (such as parallel, serial, and network).
    4. Add the fastest printer to the pool first so that documents are sent to the fastest printer before they are routed to the slower printers in the pool.
    5.Because users do not know which printer receives and prints their documents, it is a good idea to place all of the pooled printers in the same physical location. If the printers are not in the same physical location, users may not be able to find their printed documents.


    Author Comment

    I have all my settings exactly the same as described above. Both printers are the same model and both are IP printers.

    The printer which never prints DOES work too. If you set up a new local printer on a computer with the IP of the second printer, it comes out fine. It's just the pooling that isn't working.

    Expert Comment

    Try restarting the Printer spooler service on the server
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment


    is it possible that printer 2 has its port setting pointing to printer 1? The name might be different but the ports are important in determining where the print job goes.

    example   printer 1
    port  [x]  IP_192.168.0.100

    then printer 2 has

    port [x]   IP_192.168.0.100

     which is the same and  thus printer 2 would print to port 100 which is printer 1's IP,

    just a logical guess as the printer works otherwise...


    Author Comment

    Both printers have both ports checked off. Is this not how it should be done?

    Printer 1 has

    Printer 2 has

    Both have enable printer pooling enabled and bi-directional support (I have tried the bi-directional off and on and it made no difference)
    LVL 20

    Accepted Solution

    Ok uncheck the extra ports. Disable printer pooling.

    Ok, right click ONE of the printers and go to properties.
    Click the Ports tab. Select the Enable printer pooling check box.
    Now, check off the OTHER printer you want in the pool as well.
    Click ok.

    Now, when you print to the printer you just modified for print pooling, the pooling should work accordingly.

    Author Comment

    Wow, I guess that was it. I thought I needed to enable the pooling on both printers!


    One more question though. Since only 1 printer has pooling enabled...

    User prints to "Printer 1", if it is busy then it will come out of ther the physical printer 2.

    User prints to "Printer 2" (which does not have pooling check off), will the job always come out of the physical printer 2 even if it is in use?

    Author Comment

    On second thought, it isn't working afterall. Jobs are coming out of printer 2 now, but I tried pulling th tray out of printer 2 and instead of the next job coming out of printer 1 it just sat there waiting for the tray to be replaced.

    Author Comment

    Another update...

    It seems that the pooling IS working if I print to printer 1 when the queue is busy, the tray removal dosen't seem to trigger the print queue as being busy for some reason. So I can print to printer 1 and the jobs come from printer 2 when it's busy. If I print to printer 2 (where the pooling is not enabled) it will only come from printer 2. Is there a reason why the pooling cannot be set on both printers so they are both redundant?
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    The idea of printer pooling is to print to one printer and have it roll over to another printer if necessary. I'm not sure I would understand the concept of needing a second printer that points to the very same pool. If one printer goes down, it will still roll only one printer is necessary for the printer pool.

    Author Comment

    Some people have Printer 2 set up as the printer they print to but Printer 1 is the one which is pooled. So if something happened to printer 2 then those people would not be able to print. It's not a big deal since they can just add printer 1 anyways, but I was just curious. Anyways thanks for the help, I'll consider this problem solved.

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