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Techsupportwhiz
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Best practices for print servers?

Wondering what the experts say are best practices for setting up a network printer

small network - sometimes a workgroup with a machine dedicated as a central 'server' but may just be an XP pro box - but tucked away in the corner, always on, etc... or maybe an SBS or win server 2K3 domain...

You have a / some network printers.  what is the best way to set them up?  Have each PC print to that IP address?  Or would you set up the printer on the server and then share it to everyone?  All the desktops are XP pro.

and dealing with the print server's IP - would you let it be a DHCP address?  Or hard code it? What happens when a PC is set up to access the printer at the dhcp address, and for some reason the printer IP changes?  It shouldn't - it keeps renewing and the DHCP server keeps OKing the renewal... but if you change the pool, etc?  Just hard code the printer?  what's the down side of that?

thank you!

NetworkingDHCPTCP/IP

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Techsupportwhiz

8/22/2022 - Mon
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inbarasan

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xrok

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Techsupportwhiz

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am I hering ou right - you both are taking opposite sides!  Let's agree to disagree

xroK - we have the print server, so that's not a problem.  being a server, it's up all the time, so that down side you mention is a moot point.

inbarasan - I forgot to mention - security is a non-issue.  in workgroup, the login passwords are cached - it goes right to the desktop on bootup. the only drivers we need are xp.  in a mixed environment, yeah, having the server hold drivers for all OS is nice, but not an issue here.

good point, but not applicable / non issue here about the accounting software, but a good point going forward...

so for simplicity, would you say share the printer form the server or print to that IP from each PC.  Yeah, Ip to that printer, you need the drivers for each install on each PC.  that's a downside.  but print right to the printer - less load on the server PC and 1 less step / less things to break to generate an 'i can't print' phone call?!
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inbarasan

Good one ECNSSMT. I agree that we need to have good printer convention. Normally we do it like this.

STA = City/Province - 3 identifying characters
Building Name = Three letter Identifier
FN = Floor Number like 00, 01, 02.. Where 00 is for Ground Floor
PU = Purpose of the printer. PB for Public and PV for Private
xx = Printer Enumerator, beginning with 01




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JamesTX10

will the first printer in the list be the default printer?
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rwheeler23
NetAdmin2436

Yes. Particularily this is the line to edit if need be...
wshNet.SetDefaultPrinter arPrt(0)

Change arPrt(0) to arPrt(1) if you want the second printer in the list. Change arPrt(0) to arPrt(2) if you want the third printer, ect, ect... This sounds kinda goofy since the first number starts at 0 and not 1, but that's how the script works.  
Techsupportwhiz

ASKER
hey! this is MY question! : )

when  I hear vb scripts, I think warnings / leave it up to users to say yes . no to run it? Not the case for this?  This the share you mentio -that's not in the logon scripts folder, right?  we already have a logoin batch.  do you chain that to run this vbs? is there a way to build this into the logon batch?
NetAdmin2436

We are all here to learn :)

Since it's called from the login script, users should NOT recieve a yes/no dialog box. Think of this .VBS script as being IN the loging script.

<<This the share you mentio -that's not in the logon scripts folder, right?
It can be, and in fact i'd just save the script in the logon script folder. Just make sure you call the right location in your login script. This is the line to add to your login script.

start \\Server\Share\PrinterScript.vbs


Make sense?
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Techsupportwhiz

ASKER
makes loads of $ense... easier for me to admin a network / argument for a domain?  Can you use this in a workgroup?

ANd in either domain or workgroup, what would this script do related to machines that are sharing their local printers on a networked machine?  in other words, I understand PC A's printer A will stay on PC a.  but if they share it and pc b has a shortcut to printer a... will this script trash that?  

back to the original concept I guess - the printer should be shared on pc a, but then the server shares their instance of it and everyone connects to printer a through the server and then can be added via the script?

how do you suppress all the 'auto printer's that get created on the typical network?
NetAdmin2436

<< Can you use this in a workgroup?
Hmm....Well, I suppose it IS possible..... if you create the script and put in in the startup folder for everyone's computer (???), or let everyone know where the script is saved on the network (they would have to answer yes/no). I can't really think of a good clean way to do this on a workgroup. I'm not a fan of workgroups, but that's for another discussion. This however would really defeat the original purpose of having central management, so i wouldn't even bother with scripts on a workgroup.

<<ANd in either domain or workgroup, what would this script do related to machines that are sharing their local printers on a networked machine?  in other words, I understand PC A's printer A will stay on PC a.  but if they share it and pc b has a shortcut to printer a... will this script trash that?  
Yes and no. If you add that printer on computer a to the script, then it will just add the printer back.

<<back to the original concept I guess - the printer should be shared on pc a, but then the server shares their instance of it and everyone connects to printer a through the server and then can be added via the script?
Yep, that should work as well if you don't have true network printers (ie, printer with a NIC and static IP address).
Techsupportwhiz

ASKER
Thanks guys!  

I'll end this one with one more question - if you go with it as shared from the server.... what's to keep people that know a little from hooking onto the ip of the printer directly and bypassing steve / dragon's point 2D

Now for more questions:

https://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Printers/Q_21994140.html
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.
fblack61