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Printers on 2003 (64bit) WAN

Posted on 2006-11-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
We have just replaced 2 x win2000 servers connected via 128kb leased line with 2 x Win2003 (64bit) servers.
We have printers defined from server to server
eg

Server A, 192.168.1.150

Local Printers A1 & A2
Network Printers B1 & B2 (On server B)

Server B 192.168.2.150

Local Printers B1 & B2
Network Printers A1 & A2 (On server A)


A user on server A is using Terminal services to access server B and the software requires to send a print job to a printer on his own server A. This worked perfectly on the windows 2000 setup. What we are finding now is that when the terminal services session is opened initially everthing works perfectly but when left idle for a few minutes (even 1-2 minutes) we get error messages in our software re error accessing printers. If we open the printers folder on server B the printers A1 & A2 have "opening" beside them reather than ready. If we log off and back on again the printing will work again for a short time.

The user is despathing orders in a busy warehouse enviroment so this is very urgent
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Question by:wsmyth
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Expert Comment

by:nitsud01
ID: 18047054
Setting up TS printing can most definitely be a pain in the butt....

I've found that usually problems such as yours are related to the print driver in use more than anything else (especially when using TS on x64).

My suggestions:

Remove any drivers from the print server that you aren't currently using....

What make/model printers are you using? Try and switch to a WHQL driver if possible... If WHQL driver is not available, make sure that you have the x64 version from the manufacturer of your printer.

You may want to eliminate the other server from the equation as well, as it may be a problem with the downlevel printing from server to server. To bypass the remote server's spooler, you can try printing straight through the firewall to the printer itself. I assume you have at least one firewall between the servers, I know you said you currently are using a leased line... To accomplish this, set up a new network printer on one of the servers pointing to the external ip address of the other remote server (i.e. create a new generic tcp/ip port for the external ip of the remote server) You'll also need to set up a forwarded port (9100) in the remote firewall that points to the new network printer's internal ip.... Test print a job and ensure that it went through successfully.... See if the problem still exists....

Hope that helps!
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Author Comment

by:wsmyth
ID: 18049208
A few things to try! I will get on them in the morning
The printers I am using are OKI 521's that are currently using an Epxon FX100 driver as the accounting software only requires text printing.

Server A has an internet connection but server B does not. The firewall is located between server A and the internet rather than between the servers.
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nitsud01 earned 2000 total points
ID: 18049329
Is there a reason you're using the Epson driver on the OkiData printer? Did the Oki driver not work?

I'd definitely try using the closest matched WHQL driver included with 2003 for your printers while troubleshooting. Sometimes the manufacturer included driver works find with TS.... sometimes they don't.... I've found using the WHQL driver instead of the manufacturer provided one to solve many problems with printing in TS.

As far as direct printing goes, if you don't have a firewall between the systems, that's even easier. There are no port forwarding steps and you don't have to worry about the security risk of opening port 9100 externally. So, if my driver suggestion doesn't work, then you can try printing directly to the printer's port 9100 by creating a new printer pointed at that port/IP, like I specified above, minus the port forwarding (no firewall)....

If none of that works, and you feel like throwing money at the problem, you can try checking out a 3rd party app like ThinPrint (http://www.thinprint.com/).... That might help too...

:)
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Author Comment

by:wsmyth
ID: 18102994
Due to the fax that the accounting software only has basic printing requirement I have always set the dot matrix printers to the lowest common emulation ie Epson FX100 and this has always worked well. It transpires that the fault (?) lies in running the accounting software on a 64 bit machine. We tried using VNC to remotely access the server and got exactly the same message as in TS.

Your information has however been put to good use. Previously we would have only defined a printer on a server and shared it out to all other servers/users.
eg Server A 192.168.1.2 printer 1 shared as P1 on 192.168.1.100
    Server B 192.168.2.2 pointing to \\A\p1

We have now set up
Server A 192.168.1.2 printer 1 shared as p1 on 192.168.1.100 server A local workstations use P1 on \\A\P1
Server B 192.168.2.2 printer 1 shared as p1 on 192.168.1.100 server B local workstations use P1 on \\B\P1

Not sure if this is the best way but overall printing performance has been greatly increased

Thanks for your help.
I will not award the points (but their yours of course!) just yet in case you have any comment on this setup?????
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