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Network printing problems...

Posted on 2007-12-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-10
I have a small network with 18 computers in a workgroup.
Everyone is set up to print to a Konica Minolta Biz Hub 350 via tcp port.
At different times through out the day, people will not be able to print, getting the message "Document failed to print".
Usually, turning the printer off & back on again will fix things, but this is starting to become a nuciance!
I have replaced the switch (24 port switch, not a hub!), replaced cables, tried changing print  spool settings on the computers.
Konica came out & replaced the print controller board, as well.
I have been trying to sell them on the idea of a server, as they are sharing files all over the place.
I'm assuming that connecting the printer to a server & sharing out that way should help things, as well?
What else can I try?!?!?
Question by:mikey117
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LVL 77

Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 2000 total points
ID: 20428267
One issue that you must be running in to, though I can't see it affecting a TCP/IP printer, is Windows 2000 and Windows XP, only support 10 simultaneous connections. XPhome is limited to 5. Therefore any device that has shares available, such as files and printers, will drop the 11th connection. It is actually possible in some cases for a single user to create more than one connection to the same PC further reducing your limit. However, if printing directly to the TCP/IP port, rather than a share, it should not affect this.
A server will resolve the connection limitation problems, and allow for central printer sharing and management.

Author Comment

ID: 20434087
Currently they are sharing alot of files from computer to computer.
Could it be possible that say computer1 has a timesheet it is sharing across the workgroup.
If more that 5 people try to access it (& print it), would that 6th user not be able to access it, or would one of the 5 currently using it be affected?
I have already planned on putting one of my servers there as a loaner to show that it (hopefully!) will fix their problem.
LVL 77

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 2000 total points
ID: 20434222
The 5 person limit would only come into play if the document were hosted on an XPhome computer. XPpro or 2000 would be 10, but yes the 6th or 11th would be denied access.

You can get very "odd" things happening when you approach these limits.
-It is possible you may only get 7 (of 10) users as in a few situations an individual can create 2 connections.
-You may also get more than 10 users as it is simultaneous connections. A connection by default remains active for 15 minutes. Therefore if a user accesses a share but doesn't edit it in anyway for 15 minutes, another user can connect.
-However, in the above scenario, it's possible that if they haven't touched the document in 15 minutes and then try to edit or print, they may be blocked by the server as someone else has taken their place.

This may not even be your problem but the point is with that many users sharing files and printers in a workgroup, you can get very unpredictable results.

One Microsoft "hack" to help a bit is to shorten the "auto-disconnect" period from 15 minutes to 10 or even 5:

Make sure the users are printing by TCP/IP port directly to the printer and not to the printer shared on another PC. This reduces the number of connections and the printer doesn't care if 500 connections exist.

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