Windows Print Servers vs. HP JetDirect -- Best Methods? Alternatives?
Posted on 2006-06-15
So far as I am aware, I have only three options for sharing printers in my small office / workgroup. (1) I can make a computer act as a print server (which would then send spooled jobs through the HP JetDirect tcp/ip card in the printer, or (2) I can let everyone print to the printer directly through the HP JetDirect card (3) or I can buy a print server box of some sort. As near as I can tell, the advantage to the first method is that it makes it child's play to install the printer on any workstation (just browse to \\server\printername and, Voila!, the printer is installed). You would have to install the print drivers the old fashioned way on workstations if you use either of the other methods.
I have used the first method for years, but since we bought an HP Laserjet 4200tn lately, it seems like print jobs sit in the spooler for a long time. That is, my workstation will show the job has been printed/sent, but the printer does not even show traffic coming its way. When I look on the print queue on the server, it will say something like "opening," which I guess means that the print server/spooler is waking up or something.
Q. -- Is there a better way to manage my printers than what I am doing?
Q. -- Why would a two page print job from Word take 60-90 seconds to get from my workstation to the server to the printer? What's wrong with this picture?