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Printing to shared printer "Unable to connect. Access Denied"

We are a W2k3 AD environment with XP clients.  Two main GPOs - Public users, Staff users (we are a public library).

On the floor, we have a pc set up where patrons can come in and get on the internet. Printing from this pc (logged in as a public user), to a shared printer on a staff pc at the reference desk, has  been working fine for the past six months until two weeks ago. Then out of the blue, the printer is no longer connecting, it is saying "Unable to connect. Access Denied".  No changes have been done to either the network, user accounts, or the AD.

On one occasion, it reported the spooler was not started.  Checked the staff pc and the spooler was running.

On several occasions, it will work in the morning, but then stop working in the afternoon.  Reboots of the public pc and staff pc have not resolved issue.

Logging on to staff pc, I can use the shared printer fine.  Looking at other mapped network printers some are appearing fine, others are listed as "Unable to connect. Access Denied".

I'm completely out of ideas.

Our building wasn't designed with networking in mind, so there are a couple linksys switches tucked away in between the locations and the routers.

Ideas? Other things to check? Need more info?
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wforgette
Asked:
wforgette
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2 Solutions
 
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
here are a few things to check for

- cabling on the staff pc... look at the connectors... did anything get moved around that my have damaged them
- connect staff pc to another port on the switch
- reinstall the printer driver on the Staff PC, delete the share, and recreate
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johanvz1Commented:
What does your event log say on server side and pc side at time when that error pops up?.
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johanvz1Commented:
Perhaps rejoin pc to domain for network domain trust issue
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prashsaxCommented:
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wforgetteAuthor Commented:
update -

I have tried different ports on the switches now. Problem persists.

When using the mmc to look at the event viewers for the pcs in question - I sometimes am allowed to view them as I should (domain admin account) and at other times I get "Unable to complete operation on Application (or security or system). Access is Denied."

Have not attempted to rejoin pcs to the domain. I can try that in the morning before we open.

The link from prashsax is not quite on, it claims that I should still be able to print - but I am not able to print or even send a test page. I get the access denied message. Also it mentions the event happening after installing third party items - which we have not. I will still check the registry thought to see.

I'm noticing that after poking around, and logged in on the staff pc I can eventually get it recognized... but after logging out, and another staff member logs on that the problem is recreated.
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prashsaxCommented:
so, when you logged on to the system, you were able to print, but when a normal user logged in he again got the same error message.

Have your tried making this normal user local admin on that machine and then try and connect to the printer.
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wforgetteAuthor Commented:
Tried that too...

The normal user is local admin of the pc.
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johanvz1Commented:
On the server login in go the the shared printer on the security ir permission tab of that printer make sure the everyone group is added with printing rights.

Rgds,

Johan
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wforgetteAuthor Commented:
Update on status

Everyone group was present with print rights, management of printer, and management of documents.

Completed removing pcs from domain and rejoining to the domain.  Twenty minutes so far and no problems after doing that. I will observe it through the day to see if the problem develops again.
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wforgetteAuthor Commented:
Printing has stopped again, and looking at the logs, it may be a DNS issue.

At generally the same time the printing stopped, I'm getting events 11163 and 11162.
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prashsaxCommented:
It can be possible that print Spooler service may be stopping on that PC.

Have you tried finding it out from services.

Check these services, if they are running.

Workstation Service
Printer Spooler
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wforgetteAuthor Commented:
Printing seems to be all better now. DNS issues seems to be the culprit.  Somehow, records where not updating properly. So I did several things:

1. allowed for both secure and nonsecure updates of the name records.
2. purged stale entries
3. flushed the cache
4. forced update of secondary dns server.

I will be splitting points, but actually among one person - johanvz1.  While not hitting the nail on the head, he did give the actions (rejoining domain, error logs) that eventually pointed to the issue.

Thanks all for your assistance.

cheers!
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johanvz1Commented:
Hi,

Thanks a mill for all the points Im trying to climb the ranks :-) We both learned something I appreciate it.

Rgds,

Johan
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Box293Commented:
DNS was my issue as well.

I had a XP VM called WS04 and got rid of it in the past. Added a new XP VM called WS04 but when I was connecting to the print server CPSERVER09 I got the "Access denied, unable to connect" message.

I looked in the DNS database and saw an entry for WS04 but with a different IP address. The DNS server was set to only allow secure updates. After deleting the entry, doing an "ipconfig /registerdns" on WS04 and then doing "ipconfig /flushdns" on CPSERVER09 fixed the problem.
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