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Slow print server

I have a computer assigned as print server (only) for an SBS network. When requesting a print job from a workstation it take an unusually long time to get it to print. Can anyone lead me in the right direction?
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hey_bear
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hey_bear
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1 Solution
 
Vegaskid1973Commented:
Have you tried printing something at the print server directly? If it is faster, it would point to a network issue.

How many printers are on the server? Does it affect all of them? Run performance monitor on the server and send a few print jobs to see if something is spiking.

Post the server specs here if this doesnt help.
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dreamyguyCommented:
Does it happen while requesting a job only from a single printer or all the printers?
Does it happen while requesting a job only from a single computer or all the computers?
Does it happen while trying to print locally from the server?
Does it happen no matter what application you're trying to print from?
The issue might be on the server, or with a particular client, or a particular printer, or an application or the network.
It can also be an issue with a third party print processor or print monitor.
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JSoupCommented:
Other then Admin of the network device, user Access Permissions are not Cached. They need to verify each access.  Low end Print servers are slow device even for a one user network.  
You can increases the priority and even the poling but it does not the help dramatically in reduce the time.
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Vegaskid1973Commented:
"Other then Admin of the network device, user Access Permissions are not Cached. They need to verify each access."

Not sure what this means unless you are saying that checking if a print job is allowed will slow down the printing, which is should not at all, particularly in a domain environment, which it probably is as its on SBS.

I know loads of examples of people's desktops running as print servers with no issue whatsoever.
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JSoupCommented:
The processing speed of a desktop is greater than a Network printer server device "ID:20357860Author:Vegaskid1973Date:11.27.2007 at 09:00AM EST" "desktops running as print servers ".
Low end network print server speed http://unixwiz.net/techtips/printserver-performance.html 
Do the search on network printserver

compare low en to high en printserver device.   Note: desktop is not a network printserver >device<
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Vegaskid1973Commented:
Read the original post again :

"I have a computer assigned as print server (only)".

 Its not a network print server device...its a computer configured as a print server. If I install a printer on my XP desktop and share it out, people can connect to that shared printer and print to it. They will get the drivers from my computer and my computer will do the job spooling. My computer acts as a print server.
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JSoupCommented:
good call my failure to read fully.
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
Gentlemen,
The answers to all the questions are below.
1- This situation happens on all my workstations.
2 - The programs calling for the print work don't seem to matter. WordPad even take forever.
3 - It doesn't matter which printer is chosen. I have three attached (Phaser 7750, Phaser 860 and a HP LaserJet 4050)
4 - Print local is the same. It takes a long time to print.
5 - There are no third party print processors.
6 - I'm embarrassed to give the system info for the print server. It’s an old box P3/600 MHz, running Windows 2003. I have another machine (P3/650MHz) with 2K on it and it has the same problem. So now I’m really out of sorts. This last machine was my old print server on my Windows 2k network. So actually the only change made was a domain upgrade to SBS 2003.
As for the Performance monitor, I’m not very versed in that process. I ran it and it does spike when a print job comes in but it’s only momentary. The server just takes a long time to spool the job.
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dreamyguyCommented:
okay well then, since u said that it happens on all ur workstations lets try this.
search the server for *.spl and *.shd files and delete them.
configure ur antivirus to exclude the SPOOL folder. (start-->run-->spool would take u to the spool folder)
make sure that u dont have any VERSION 2 printer drivers.
remove any printer drivers that u dont need.
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dreamyguyCommented:
by the way, the above steps have to be done on the print server.
i'd also like u to export ur print hive (hklm\system\ccs\control\print) compress it and then upload it to www.ee-stuff.com so that i take a look at it and provide further inputs.
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JSoupCommented:
what happen when you print a test page.?
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
The files has been uploaded.

Printing a test page take the same amount of time.

The File search produced 1ea. of the files requested. I was unable to delete them.

How do I tell which drivers to delete?
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JSoupCommented:
Load generic Print driver and print  the words “print test” from  notepad
If the problem follow his driver then it is not the print driver but the spooler links. A Spooler link can be hijack, e.g. send any thing printed to a internet link.  as a posable cause.
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dreamyguyCommented:
Remove the following version 2 driver and replace it with a version 3 driver

KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-2\HP LaserJet 4050 Series PS

Apart from this I did not find any issue in the print hive.
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dreamyguyCommented:
The File search produced 1ea. of the files requested. I was unable to delete them.

How do I tell which drivers to delete?


which file search?
what's 1ea?
stop the print spooler temporarily and then try to delete them
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
Good Afternoon,
I used the windows search. It gave me two files (1 each) of the types that you requested. They are gone now I can't locate them today.
I removed the V2 drivers for the LaserJet 4050.

The porblem is still there. Nothing so far has even made a dent it the speed.
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dreamyguyCommented:
It seems that you only have 3 printers installed on ur print server. It's possible that the drivers could have become corrupt or some settings may've changed. I'd advice u to remove them and reinstall them to see if that fixes the issue.
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
I've done that a few times already. I downloaded all the current drivers and re-installed all the printers. The LaserJet 4050 had the newer set (V3) of drivers installed.
I watched the Performance monitor on the computer for a while and it basically is just sitting there doing absolutely nothing. I would get a spike now and then but it never approached 75% processor time.
I'm going to re-load the OS over the weekend. Maybe there is a glitch in it somewhere that's lurking in the background.
Thanks for all the input - I’ll keep the thread alive until a resolution is found.  
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dreamyguyCommented:
It’s an old box P3/600 MHz, running Windows 2003. I have another machine (P3/650MHz) with 2K on it and it has the same problem. So now I’m really out of sorts.

what's common between the two systems?
did this ever work fine before?
good luck with the rebuild, and thanks for the update!
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
The only real commonality of the two systems is their age. I think they were around before dirt. The P3/650 has a dual processor but the speed of printing is the same with either systems. The print service on W2K was not quick but tolerable. This is painfully slow.... Says a lot for Progress, doesn't it?
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JSoupCommented:
Hey_bear
Will OS are backwards compatible for the Hardware. You must consider the lost of performance when using Current OS with 5 or 6 generation hardware. I bet NT 4 would improve the performance it was 5 or 6 generation hardware.
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dreamyguyCommented:
when the issue occurs, do u notice a cpu spike on the spoolv service? because spooling tasks are cpu intensive and urs is an old machine.
since u said that this issue has always been there, do u have a new machine where u can connect any one of the printers experiencing the issue and install it and check if it works fine.
for all u know, the issue might be due to the outdated hardware u're running.
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dreamyguyCommented:
another note, even client os's run slow on the config u specified whereas ure running a server os.
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
Good Morning Gentlemen,
You have brought out some good points.
This morning I setup a timing test. I took two computers and two printers and installed the drivers locally. The timing was based on click to print and the actual first page coming out.  
The first computer is a Dell 1.8 MHz and the printer is a Phaser 860. The difference in time between the spooler and the direct connect was only 22 seconds. The direct connect being faster
The second computer is a Dell 1.8 MHz also. The printer is a Phaser 7750. The difference in time between the spooler and the direct connect was only 10 seconds. Again, the direct connect is faster but not by much.
Both of these computers print to their respective printers all the time. The amount of time before either started to print was a minute and a half. The quickest was a little over a minute. That seems to be a long time, still. The documents printed were a QB report and an email.
Thanks for all the help and the thought that was put into this.
Paul
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JSoupCommented:
first page timing for Phaser 860 and Phaser 7750 are with spec
First-page-out time of less than 11 seconds and no long warm-up times
http://www.office.xerox.com/latest/775BR-01.PDF
http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums/inkjet/11286
blown heater lamp can increase the warm-up time anywhere from 3 to 12 minutes to warm up.



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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
Both printers were in the ready state. I made sure of that before I did the test.
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
There is really no solution to this question. How do I close iit with that as the answer?
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Vegaskid1973Commented:
There must be some solution, as people all over the world use the same printers as you without the issue occuring.

Did you re-install the OS as you said you were going to?
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
Yes, The OS was re-installed. on the original print server. there was no change. I move the print server function to a fast machine running XP pro. There was no difference in the time it took to print between them. The spooler takes one minute and thirty seconds to send a document to the printer. It doesn't matter whuch of the above systems I use..
 
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Vegaskid1973Commented:
I would suggest that its possibly the printers themselves then as you have said it happens with:

different print servers running differernt OSes
different print drivers
different documents
different applications
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JSoupCommented:
hey_bear,

I have reread the question and review the pertinent facts by hey_bear.
The facts as understood;
1.      Windows small business server 2003 RL2 environment
2.      Workstations as print servers in a small business server environment
3.      reinstalling the workstation OS has not changed the problem symptoms

When a workstation is a print server, the normal environment is usually workgroup AND In this environment authentication is done by the workstation.  
But the environment presented is small business server where authentication of the user to access that printer is likely done by the small business server. I am unsure of whether or not, the small business server's authentication process with the workstation is taken out of the equation.  

Login on the workstation as a local user or administrator; do not use the SBS domain.

Printing a simple notepad message should be quick and easy, almost instantaneous.  If print time does not improve then we are talking about hardware issues not software or configuration.  

Does anyone disagree with this context of isolation and outcome, from testing since the software has already been ruled out?
Jsoup
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Vegaskid1973Commented:
It's a good line of query, as it is a common factor so far. Try a local print, logged on locally and see if its any quicker as suggested.
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
Good Morning to all,
I apologize for taking so long in my response. First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I appreciate all that has transpired thus far, this forum is awesome&
Here is the scenario to date.
I have two computers that are set up as print servers. Ironically both machine timed out exactly the same with the test that was performed this morning. It took one minute and twenty seconds to print a file from notepad on both computers. It doesnt matter if they are locally accessed or on the SBS domain. Let me add that there was no one in the office at the time of the test. The network traffic should have been at a mimimum and the printer (Xerox 7750DN) was warmed up and ready.
Here are the computer specifics:
600mhz P3 with 654m of ram / OS is Win 2k - sp4
2.4mhz P4 with 1024m of ram / OS is Win 2k pro - sp2
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JSoupCommented:
Run self test on the printer
www.office.xerox.com/userdoc/P7750/7750_Web/pdfs/reference_guide_en.pdf 
Reduce the physical test equipment to a  pc and the Xerox 7750DN. Use a crossover cables or a 5 port hub and two cables.
ether network problem or printer heater
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
JSoup,
As you suggested I hooked the printer directly (through a hub) to the faster of the 2 computers above. A test page took 1:25 to print out. A few days ago I printed a document to a rarely used LaserJet 4050. That printer had no delays on the network.
The two color printers have the problem. Therefore having two printers with the same problem, leads me to the drivers for the fault. As to why, i don't know....
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JSoupCommented:
Run self test on the printer. Does it also take 45sec to 2 min to print out? If it does, its the printer heater hardware.  

I did not find Any posted Printer Driver issues on any of the forums for Xerox 7750 and you reloaded and change the printer driver out once before.

In this forum Logical troubleshooting to a device is as deep as it would could go.  a more detail forum is
http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/
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hey_bearAuthor Commented:
The "Self Test Page" prints in > 5 sec. Thanks for all of your help.  I'm sure that I'll be back again with yet another anomaly. I am off to "fix your own printer.com"
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