Solutions for Temporary Bypassing of Print Server

Posted on 2006-07-20
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I run several HP 4200 series LaserJet Printers on a Windows AD network.  They are all nework printers with static IPs and use a Windows Server 2003 print server.  Of course if the server goes down, so does all my printing capability.  When the server does go down is there any quick way to configure all the client computers to bypass the print server and just print directly to the printer like you woud in a workgroup situation?  This would be a temporary solution until I could get the server up and running again.
Question by:ckangas7
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 17157821
do they have their own ips internally or is the print server the one that identifies that--

if the printers do have and ip you should be able to plug them directly into the network.

Author Comment

ID: 17158288
The printers all have manually assigned IP addresses that I configured on each printer.  Each printer is connected to the network via a ethernet switch.  The settings for the client computers all point to the IP of the printer but all print requests go through the print server which is what the printers were originally set up on.  So the question is how do I bypass the print server when it goes down?  Or can I?
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 17159741
well, from what you've said you should be able to plug the printers directly into the network (network switch/hub) as a temporary solution--- but the print driver would have to be setup on each computer.

Expert Comment

ID: 17162503
If you happen to have the HP printers which are with the suffix "N" eg:- HP 4200N, then the ideal way is to connect these printers directly on the Switch as suggested by Davis too.

You will have to install printer drivers on all the nodes once and can then directly print to these printers.

You could configure these printers using the HP Jet admin software and if you happen to have static IP's for these printers then you could also have the option of printing onto these printers from anywhere he world(Remote Printing)

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Expert Comment

ID: 17168553
IF you already are using these printers on a workstation the drivers are installed on the workstations.  The easiest, fastest and simplest way to continue to use these if your print server goes down is to configure the  workstations with an additional printer and use IP printing. You can do this ahead of time today or whenever and all you need to do is tell the users to switch to the other printer. You don't say how large your network client base may be and how many phusical locations are involved.

1) For all the printers get the IP address for each

2 ) At each PC or workstation Go Printers and Faxes then  add a printer, Then select local printer ( yes I know it's a networked printer but do it anyway), deselect Automatically detect and install  my plug and play printers, then select next

3) The next screen is Select a Priinter Port, Select Create a New port, click on the pull down and Select Standard TCP/IP Port. Then select Next and then next Again

4) On the next screen in the first Fiedl enter the static IP address of the printer that it currently is assigned, in the second field enter the name of the printer you want. ( This is what the user would select if your server went down) You can name it anything you want such as "Backup printer 1234" whatever.

5) Select Next and the printer will be created as a local printer, when promted as to the Make and Model proceed as you normally would selecting the Manufacturer/ Model and driver.

You should then be able to print directly to the printer, In fact depending on the size of your client base, type and size of printing that is done and the need to securely monitor who or what is being printed you could even switch over to this method of printing permaently and never have to worry about te print server going down  as long as the netowrk itself is up and DHCP server and r switches and routers are up and running.

Any questions let me know

Author Comment

ID: 17169213
Hey hladamjr,

Your soloution sounds right.  I have set up printers like that before.  I guess my only question would be, will I be able to use the same port twice?  If I go to the properties on one of my printers now and look at the port it is using it shows the IP address of the printer, not the print server, but of course any print jobs still que through the printer server.  Can you have two instances of a printer on the same machine using the same ip/port?

To answer some of the other questions posed.  The newtork has about 8 network printers (all connected through the main switch) that see a lot of use.  There are about 40 workstations on the network.  Printing and print permissions do need to be monitored, so using the print server is pretty much a must, when possible.  I just want to have a backup plan so that when the print server does go down, people can still print.  

Accepted Solution

hladamjr earned 250 total points
ID: 17169418
In answer to the question  - I guess my only question would be, will I be able to use the same port twice?

The answer is yes, not a problem at all.   When you add the printer in as a local printer and add the new port in, it is not a second instance of the port on the workstation.

The  reason being is you currently have the printer installed as a network printer, so you are using " queue based printing" . Yes  the printer is set to a articular port but that is on the server so the server knows where to send the job.  Currently when you print from a workstation you are not really printing to the printer itself  you are sending the job to a print queue. The print quese has to have the IP of the printer so it knows where to sed it. When you look at the properties of the existing printer you have set up, yes it shows the IP as the port. If your security  is set correcty on the network a normal user would not be able to change the port as in essence they are tryig to change it on the server. ( Hopefully they do not have that level of permissions)

When you set up the second instance of the printer you are creating a local printer and telling it that printer is on IP port This is a local port and just happens to go to the same IP for printing.

Hope that helps, try it it WILL work. I tried not to go into to much detail so if you eed clarification on something let me know.


Author Comment

ID: 17169656
That makes perfect sense.  I will give it a shot.  Thanks much for the explanation.  I learned something new today : - ).  And to answer your question, no, users only have permission to print and manage their own documents.  Kudos to you all.  Thanks for the help.


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