Network printers becoming unavailable off and on

In the last week I have 2 servers, both Windows 2003, fully patched, that serve, among other things, as print servers in their location. The problem is that certain users in those locations loose their connection to the network printers. At their XP desktop (fully patched) the printes will work part of the day, then show 'Opening' for a few minutes then 'Unavailable'. This happens to all their mapped printers but not any local printer. When I connect to the server the printers show they are available and I do test pages from the server without any problem. Then, for no appearant reason all the network printers become available at the desktop again. I can find no errors in Event log for the server or a the desktops that seem relevant to the issue. Any ideas?
LarryDAHAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
hdhondtConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It sounds like a general networking, rather than a printer problem. On re-reading your question, it looks as if you are printing via a server, so my comments about ping and lpr are not really relevant.

Just what the problem is remains to be seen.
0
 
rudackCommented:
Restart the Spooler:

open a command prompt:

net stop spooler
sc config spooler depend= RPCSS
net start spooler
exit

Also if you are using DHCP ensure you have the printers addresses restricted in your scope.
0
 
LarryDAHAuthor Commented:
At he moment the servers are both printing fine so I cannot test the command, but all the printers have static IP addresses outside the scope for DHCP at those locations.
0
[Webinar] Improve your customer journey

A positive customer journey is important in attracting and retaining business. To improve this experience, you can use Google Maps APIs to increase checkout conversions, boost user engagement, and optimize order fulfillment. Learn how in this webinar presented by Dito.

 
hdhondtCommented:
Can those users still ping the printers when they are unavailable? If they can, see if you can lpr a job to them, using the command

LPR -S ip_address_of_printer -P raw file_name

The -P and -S must be caps.

If the printers can't be pinged or lpr'd you may want to check the settings on the router(s). They can be set to disable certain ports at preset times. The ports you need are 515, 9100, 161 and 162
0
 
LarryDAHAuthor Commented:
I was out of town for a week. Next time they go offlne I can try that but I did find that the users security access actually seems to be the issue. I could log in as her on another PC and the printers were accessible from that PC no problem. Then I noticed that she started having popups dialogs when she tried to access network resources or sometimes from Exchange when she tried to send or receive email. So now I am leaning towards some kind of security problem with her account where AD does not trust her. For some reason access to the printers is first to go. I do not want to delete her account, and I have done gpupdate /force but that is more for the GPO than the user account. How can I be sure or enforce that her account is valid and uptodate?
0
 
LarryDAHAuthor Commented:
We fixed the error by deleting the users profile and recreating it. For some reason AD was having a security issue with the user and would disable printer access occassionally. I awarded the points to hdhondt since he did point out that it sounded like a network issue.
0
 
LarryDAHAuthor Commented:
Solution was not totally accurate but did us looking at things other than the printer.
0
 
hdhondtCommented:
Thanks, LarryDAH - you could have claimed the points for yourself.
0
All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.