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Citrix printing to networked printer is slow

Posted on 2006-11-06
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
We have 15 Citrix servers running Presentation 4.0.  From one of these servers we are experiencing slow printing.  We have a print server that all our printers are setup on and we use the Management console's print management and policies to control user access to those printers.  The users that connect to this server experience significant print delays.  A user connected to a different server but same print policy pointing to the same printer on the network can print with no delays.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Dixie Atkinson
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Question by:ptodd
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by:chrisnewman01
ID: 17882881
On the one slow-printing server, are there any NT4 or non-native print drivers (Start > Settings > Printers and Faxes > File > Print Server Properties > Drivers tab)?  Have you tried a different switch port and/or network cable?  What does the processor utilization look like on that one server?  Which 2000/2003 hotfixes are installed?  Which Citrix patches are installed?  Is the server firmware/drivers up to date?

If all 14 of the other servers are identical, make sure there are no network issues with your physical hardware and/or NIC drivers.

Good luck,
Chris
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by:ptodd
ID: 17884155
Yes, there are some NT4 drivers on the server but not for the printer we have been testing.  Should these be removed anyway?  PSE400W2K3R02.0.1 is installed.  The processor utilization looks a little high right now.  I will test the printing when this is down and see if there is an improvement.  I will let you know there is a couple of things different on this server than the others, we are using local profile vs. roaming and we are using the default load evaluator instead of the advanced.  None of which, I think, would effect the printing but just in case.  I'll test the printing when there are less users connected and see if there is an improvement and let you know.

Thanks!
Dixie
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by:chrisnewman01
ID: 17884385
I've seen PCL6 and NT4 drivers cause processor spikes on Citrix servers.  You may just want to note the ones that are installed, in case there is an absolute need for them in the future.  A lot of times, print drivers can kill the server.  Default load evaluator should be fine, too.  

Here's the policy:
Printing > Client Printers > Auto-creation > Select Enabled, then select "Auto-create all client printers" from the drop-down

Printing > Drivers > Select enabled, then select "Do not automatically install drivers" from the drop-down.

Printing > Drivers > Universal Driver > Select enabled, then select "use universal driver only" from the drop-down.

For that server only, you could also create a Citrix "test" policy (in the CMC) that ONLY uses the UPD 4 driver and doesn't actually map the drivers on the server.  Once you define using ONLY the UPD 4 driver, make sure you right click the policy and "apply this policy to", check "filter by server", then select the server you want to apply this policy to.  This will at least eliminate the print drivers as causing an issue.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:ptodd
ID: 17907596
Ok, I'll try this and let you know how it goes.  

Thanks!
Dixie
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by:ptodd
ID: 17941783
Most of our printers have an internal network card and are setup through a 2003 Print server where all the drivers are loaded in addition to the citrix servers.  We do not have many clients with printer attached directly to there machines, with that said do you think the policy change that you described would be applicable?  

What we have also noticed is that if we print early in the morning before all lot of users get connected it print fine.  We added memory to the server to bring it to 4G, but are still seeing CPU spikes.  We have found that the services.exe process it fairly high and looks like this is the Event log and Plug and Play.  Any ideas on what could be causing this service to run so high and could this be contributing to the printing being slow?
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chrisnewman01 earned 500 total points
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The policy will still work.  In addition to the policy definitions above, you could also set one more option that will help take some load off of the Citrix server:

Printing > Client Printers > Print job routing > Set to enabled and select "Connect directly to network print server if possible"

For the processes running high, you could download and run Microsoft's (used to be Sysinternals) http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/processesandthreads/processmonitor.mspx  Just make sure you turn the scrolling feature on so you can see files or registry keys being accessed, in realtime.  You may also want to run it side-by-side with Task Manager to see what's going on when your CPU is spiking.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:ptodd
ID: 18104018
Editing the print settings to print directly to the printer seemed to fix the problem.

Thanks!
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