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some users unable to print to shared printer

Posted on 2007-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I am working in a windows 2003 domain. I have a windows xp box that searves as a print server for 5 printers. All of them network are printers with built in network cards. All the printers are sared and have pretty high traffic. My problem is that poeple are often not able to print to these printers or add them to their computer, and if you browse the domain you cannot even see the printers as being attached to the computer. At the same time other users have no problems. The printers are attached and functioning fine. Also, the users don't experiance the problem all the time. Only at random times. Here are some things I have found:
-The print spool service on both the client and print server seems to be running fine.
-When logging directly to the print server there is no problems.
-I have found no log messages related to this problem.
-Connectivity between the two computers seems fine.
-The error given is that the printer is not connected.
Where should I start?
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Question by:icsbudapest
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8 Comments
 
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:KCTS
KCTS earned 100 total points
ID: 18769833
On the Print Server, go to Printers and Faxes and Right click on one of the affected printers. Select Sharing and click on the Security Tab. Make sure that the groups of users who you want to be able to use the printer are listed and that they have the Print Permission.

If you want anyone to be able to use the Printer, Add the EVERYONE group - if its not there already and assign it the PRINT permission
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18769853
can be due to faulty cables, or print server too.
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Author Comment

by:icsbudapest
ID: 18769949
Everyone has access, but I am still having problems. I think cables are not a problem since other users have no problem.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:rodelz
ID: 18783579
Sometimes I have to run XP's network setup wizard to make the network connections work right.  Not sure why though but it has fixed a few weird problems for me.  
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18784644
>>  I think cables are not a problem since other users have no problem.   <<  other users have different cables, and access ports.
 
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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:wyliecoyoteuk
wyliecoyoteuk earned 100 total points
ID: 18795879
Could be due to printer pruning:

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Managing-Printers-Group-Policy-Part1.html

Or it could be due to the limit of 10 simultaneous incoming connections in XP.
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Accepted Solution

by:
DL24u earned 300 total points
ID: 18813345
Are the PC's updated from the server or they update themselves?  Do the users have admin rights locally allowing them to change printer settings or anything with the PC?  Do you use a network diagnostic program for detecting collisions?  Are you running a group policy or profiles from active directory per user?  Do they have one printer set as default while trying to print to another printer?  

Here's a better idea:

How about rethinking your setup.  Do this one night after all the users leave and remote into their PC's (make sure your get their PC's network name) and do a full remodeling. Since these are network printers, assign them static IP addresses in the printers network settings (subnet mask, gateway and hostname) do not share them on the network rather add a TCP/IP port to the users printers folder in the PC printer settings referencing their individual IP addresses per printer.   So for example the Lexmark printer is assigned 10.124.43.26, if then some users aren't able to print to them, the printer is pinging and you have checked the network cable for connectivity... then the problem is with the users PC's and not the printers.  In addition you free up that workstation and can place the printers folder on the main server.  Also, this configuration will also allow you to remote into the printer itself through IE/firefox/opera/netscape and monitor any users who keep having chronic problems.
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