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Losing Printer Mappings

Have a small client with a network establised across two sites. Running SBS2003. Have just upgraded PC's from Win2K to Win/XP Pro SP2 and now the Server loses mappings to Printers on the "remote" site PC's if they are logged off.

Network set up is as follows:

Main Office uses 192.168.100.nnn as its IP Range with Server being 192.168.100.1

ISP is providing  a tunnel between the two sites.

Remote Office network is 10.0.0.nnn with the local Router IP being 10.0.0.1

Remote PC's use static IP's and have Gateway set to 10.0.0.1 and DNS/WINS set to 192.168.100.1.

When I set up the PC's and shared the printers I was able to go to the server and map to them. When the remote PC is logged off and on again the Shared Mapping status on the Server stays at "OPENING". If I delete the mapping and try to remap the Server tells me the Printer name is invalid. I can't recover from this unless I reboot the Server and the remote PC's and start again.

I have seen Microsoft KB article Q297684 but it did nothing to help.

Max points for this, it is urgent and causing me great pain.

I have put this question in Networks and Small Business Server topics.
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petesims
Asked:
petesims
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1 Solution
 
myfootsmellsCommented:
How is our 10.0.0.0/24 able to talk to your 192.168.0.0/24?  What is performing the routing?  Also, when you're unable to connect to the printer are you able to ping the SBS box?  

Michael
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
The clients ISP is providing the routing via an HDSL Link between the two sites.

The problem is the Server loses its mapping to the printers on the remote PC's not the other way around. The remote PC's run a web-based application which is hosted on the SBS Server and that all run's fine. This all worked when the remote PC's were Win2K. It has only failed since I switched to win/xp Pro SP2 on the PC's.
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
Should also mention that I have upgraded the PC's in the main office from Win2K to Win Xp and the server has no problem mapping and staying mapped to the printers on these PC's.
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myfootsmellsCommented:
Check your firewall settings on the remote computers.  For testing purposes I would just turn it off.  Start > run > firewall.cpl.  And then try.

Michael
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
SBS2003 takes over the XP Firewall using group policy. Evan as a local admin if I open Windows Firewall in the xp Control panel the enable/disable radio buttons are disabled. Anyone able to help?
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Well, first, if you wish to use WINs across subnets, you need a WINs server in each subnet...  Just so you know..

But the first question is "Are the remote computers members of the domain"?  

Have you tried creating a Local TCP Port connection to the printers?  Or are all printers just directly connected to workstations and shared that way?  If so, then I would suggest you get true print sharing devices, like Jetdirects (for HP printers) that allow for TCP/IP connections..  This would also take care of your Firewall issues..  but regarding these, you should be able to use GP to push out Firewall policies to enable File and Printer Sharing for these systems..
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
Remote computers are members of the same domain. This all used to work fine. Only difference is that the remote computers are now win/xp not win2K. There are only 3 PC's and the router at the remote site. I suspected problem may have been win/xp Firewall related but I was able to map the printers when I first joined them to the domain. It is only after the remote PC's are restarted that I lose the mappngs at the SBS Server end. Cannot use "true print sharing devices", the printers are continuous stationary ticket printers that cut each ticket to its unique length as it is printed, they need to be mapped on the Server because the web app running there needs to print directly to them. I have the same set-up for Win/XP PCs on the same subnet as the server and they work fine.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
"I was able to map the printers when I first joined them to the domain. "

How did you join them to the domain?  Because if they are remote, you can't use http://<servername>/connectcomputer unless you use a work-around method.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
I joined the PC's to the domain using the "System Properties" function of Explorer (Change computer name or join to domain). Once I have done that I go to "Printers" on the Server Start menu and then Add Printers then add the printers as network printers eg \\Port1\Single where Port1 is the remote PC and single is the Share name of the Printer on the remote PC. This works beautifully and I can successfully print to the remote printer from my web app on the server. However, at close of business the users at the remote site logoff the PC. Next day the printer mapping no longer functions. If you look in Printers on the server, the remote printer has a status of Opening instead of Ready. If I delete the printer then try and add it again, I get  a Printer name invalid message. The only way I have been able to recover from this is to drop the remote PC from the domain and then re-add it.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
First, it's much better if you use printers which have their own NICs instead of being attached to workstations.  But... at least you should have the mapping done by the login script so that it regenerates itself each day.

You can add printer mappings to the SBS_LOGIN_SCRIPT.bat file.  You'll find examples of how to do that here:
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windows.server.sbs/browse_thread/thread/3629c5ba7f960ac7/1812f19f4c341334?hl=en

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
I need the mapping on the server not the PC. A login script will not help here. Will it?
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I thought that's what you may have wanted... but it didn't make any sense... which is why I stated that your printer should have it's own NIC.  

In any case... is the printer using a DOT4 port on the workstation?  If so, that could be a problem.  Although this KB article is geared towards remote desktop printer redirects, I think your problem may be similar:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302361

In that case, you would want to manually change the printer to an LPT port as described in the KB article.

You can then also map the printer to an LPT port on the server using the NET USE command.

ie,  net use lpt1: \\Port1\Single /Persistent:yes

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
Printer was using an Epson ESD Port.  Changed to LPT1 but no better. Noticed that on the Server when I delete "Single on Port1" from the list of Printers a few minutes later I see "Single (in Session 1) on Port1" appear. I deleted that and then tried to map the Printer using Net Use, this failed with an error 66 "Invalid Object Type". Have removed the Win/XP PC's and put back the Win2K PC's and all is now working as before. Not a satisfactory solution but at least the client can keep working till I get to the bottom of this. Any further clues?
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
The "Single (in Session 1) on Port1" is because you were using RDP to connect to the server and that printer was still active on the computer you were connecting with.

When you say that you removed the WinXP PC's --- why multiple PCs?  Isn't this printer just connected to ONE PC?

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
There are two PC's with printers attached and they both need to be mapped to the server and they both exhibit the same symptoms.

Pete
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Have you considered installing a print server at this location instead of relying on workstations for this purpose?  For about $50.00 you can put in a Linksys PSUS4 which would probably work much better for you anyhow.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
And if these are HP printers, then go with Jetdirect print servers...  I manage about 50 of these, and they make for easy management..
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
OK. The application is a ticketing system for a ferry/cruise company. The remote location is a small building on the ferry wharf with two ticket windows. Each window is equipped with a PC and a ticket printer (Epson TM88iii). The ticketing application is ASP.NET and is hosted on the SBS Server at the main office (Which also has 4 ticket windows similarly equipped). The ASP.NET application provides the ticket printing functionality. This can only be achieved if the Server can print directly to the printer, therefore each PC's Ticket Printer is shared and the share is mapped on the server. This has functioned well for the past two years with the PC's running Windows 2000 Workstation. My client has now decided to upgrade to new PC's and move to Win/XP Pro SP2. The printer mapping scenario works correctly for the Printers located in the main office. In the remote office when I first installed the Win/XP PC's and joined them to the domain I was able to go to the server and using the Add Printer function of Printers and Faxes map to the printers on the remote PC's. The application could then print to them and I thought, "Wow, that was easy". The next morning the client rang to say they can't print at the remote office. When I looked in Printers and Faxes on the Server the remote printers were showing a status of 'Opening'. I tried deleteing and re-adding them and got an error stating the printer name was invalid or could not be found. I have now re-installed the Windows 2000 Workstation PC's and the printers are working correctly as before.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I really would suspect it has something to do with the Windows XP Firewall... but why waste your time troubleshooting this (unless satisfying your curiosity is worth more to you than resolving the problem).  The fact is that connecting printers to workstations is not an ideal way to configure your network.  The printers AND the workstations will be much more efficient if they are connected to the network separately.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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petesimsAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your perseverence Jeff, have ordered a couple of 2 up Parallel Port print servers as there are two printers on each PC. Enjoy your points!
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