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How to setup a Windows 2003 print server and transfer from networked printer setup?

Posted on 2007-11-28
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Warning:  I am extremely new to just about every thing and I am sorry for any stupid question.

    I am very new to print servers and am having a hard time understanding how and why to make one.  We currently have all of our printers networked with standard TCP/IP port.  We have 3 servers that our users work on(about 70) and I am suppose to make a print server to improve performance.  I setup the server and I think I was adding printers to it.  I would log onto that server and go into printers and faxes and add printers that way.  However I don't know if the printers I am putting on the print server are actually running the print jobs now.  I still don't understand hardly anything that I am doing, but I am learning.  Can anyone give me some information on how to setup the server and/or some information about what exactly it will do for me.  Very new, my apologies.
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Question by:mckeough
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SteveH_UK earned 125 total points
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1.  A print server lets you control much of the configuration centrally, and so it can simplify management.
2.  A print server causes all print jobs to be queued, and you can control the queue priority.  This helps to ensure that it is fair, and also that the printer is not overloaded.  Some printers have queues themselves, so it is less important
3.  A print server supports auditing.  In some organisations this is important.
4.  A print server can distribute the needed drivers to clients.  For example, Windows 2003 can provide drivers for 2003, XP, 2000, NT4 etc.
5.  A print server allows you to control access, i.e. who can print, who can change settings, who can cancel jobs, or order the queue.

I recommend that you do use a print server, but the no. 1 thing I recommend is that you get a second Active Directory server.  If your AD server dies, you will have a hard time getting things back together.  2 servers is considered the absolute minimum.

Back to printers, having installed the printers on the server, you need to share the printers, much like sharing a file.  Right-click on a printer and choose the option to share it.  Also make sure that your users have permissions to use the printers, but this is the default.

Finally, connect to the printer on the server by name, e.g. \\server1\Printer1.  You can type this in "Start --> Run" and it will automatically install the printer driver and connection on your machine.  Give it a try on a test machine, get the settings right, and then get it on your other client computers :)
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