Moving printers from Domain Controller over to a new member server

Posted on 2006-05-11
Last Modified: 2008-01-09

I am looking to ease the burden on our main domain controller. I have had numerous issues with the domain controller spooler crashing and printing has become a nightmare and the phone never stops ringing with disgruntled users unable to print to network printers.
I have built another server which I plan to join as a member server and I would like to move all the printers over to this.
Just trying to get my head around the process.

I felt that I would need to run the 80/20 rule and build the member server with DHCP roles, so that it could map an IP address to printer and create a local port mapping to that printer. The domain controller at the moment has all the reservations setup so I presume I will have to exclude a chunk of the scope and reverse the process on the member server with the allocation range being the present printer IP address range.

Is this the right path? Is there any advantage in building the server as a member server as opposed to a DC?
Question by:SeventhZen
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    If you have at least 2 DCs there is no need for a third one, except when you have a large number of users/computers.
    Just make sure that some of the FSMO roles are distributed between the 2 DCs and that i.e. GC is on both DCs.

    If you like you can spilt the DHCP.

    Here is the bad message: The spooler on your new print server will probably fail as often as on your DC.

    Crashes of the print spooler are often generated by bad print drivers/print monitors. Will the new server be Windows 2003? It hase some improvements regarding printing stability.
    In general try to avoid printer drivers for the cheap consumer ink-jet printers, they are very often very bad. They were designed for running on a worksation and never on the server.
    Try installing the plain driver wherever possible via the Add printer dialog. No "toolboxes" or something similiar. Sometimes the manufacturer offers plain drivers for download on the web site.
    Anyway download the latest drivers for your printers.
    If a printer uses a special print monitor try going to a plain Standard TCP/IP one. You sometime loose some status info, but its more stable.
    And last but not least: try to move one printer type after the other. You may have a chance to catch the one that causes the crashes.

    Hope it helps,


    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Hi Michael,

    Sure enough I have two DC's and I have split the FSMO roles amoungst them with both being global catalogues.

    Yep, the new server will be 2003. I never knew about the ink jet versions of printers being less friendly when installed on a server, I just assumed that any printer with either built in NIC or on the LAN via a print server was a good candidate, cheers for that, that is a useful piece of information for my toolbox.

    I think I have identified the problem ones which are mid range inkjets. To be fair I never had a problem until I had to install these onto the server to be made available via network. It wasn't my choice, but due to politics my views are spoken but never heard.

    So I am right to think that I need to build DHCP into the member server role, otherwise how can it successfully map an IP port?
    LVL 28

    Accepted Solution

    No, there is no need to split the DHCP. You can leave the DHCP completely on your DC as well. It will issue the IP addresses and you can create the port on your print server, this is completely independent. Only "disadvantage": 2 different machines to configure, 1 for the reservations, 1 for the IP printer port and printer.
    If you allow DHCP to dynamically update DNS you can even use names (print server name) instead of IP addresses.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    I see, so that mapping is controlled by the DHCP as an IP reservation but I just need to install the printers onto my new member server (called Printer) using the orginal IP port numbers and that then means that Printer will use it's own spooler to handle the job requests. I can live with the dual configuration as I don't have that many to install.

    Cheers for all the help Michael.

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