printers are not auto created in ica sessions

presentation server 4, almost 25 applications and 30 different printer drivers installed. Users very frequently complain that printers are not auto created for them. i restart the spooler service and they can print maximum for 10 minutes abd again the spooler service has to be restarted. had no other option but to schedule the restart of the print server service every 10 minutes to tide over this problem. i need to solve this issue for good. i am also havin driver replication issues.  cant use the universal driver as users need to print on printed forms and universl drivers do not align docs correctly. how do i solve this issue
mgmohiuddinAsked:
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Craig RoberdsConnect With a Mentor MISCommented:
The other commenters have given good advice.  Chances are you have one or two bad print drivers causing all of your headache.  Best bet if they can't  pay for a 3rd party solution is to go through each printer and do a google search with that printer and citrix, and see what you find.

HP has a guide for printers they have tested (although this is by no means foolproof, it will at least let you eliminate bad printers): http://www.sessioncomputing.com/pdf/HP_Supported_Printers_Jul2006.pdf


Many printers can work in citrix but I personally have had the most luck with HP laserjets (deskjets can be fine but you have to test them and limit users to 1-2 choices), and after you get your users conditioned most will call or email you before they buy a printer and cause you all kinds of problems.  Lexmark and Epson have always given me fits and I simply do not allow them to be added.  I have also had good luck with most copier companies basic print drivers like Canon, Xerox, and Ricoh, as long as you just use the drivers and not some of the extra network devices they sometimes provide.

It's a hassle when you inherit a bad environment, I know from experience as I am sure the other experts that posted to you do as well.  

By the way, users printers will not be created for them unless the drivers are installed on the citrix server.  This is a good thing, as probably what caused the issue you are having now is someone installed a driver not compatible with citrix on the server and it is killing your spooler.  If it's a school environment users should be sent a compatibility list of printers they can use and if they don't get the right printers it is their issue.  Some printers are not going to work, plain and simple.

Lastly preprinted forms in citrix is not probably going to be perfect.  Best bet for those is see if you are on a LAN install the printers with an IP address if possible with the native drivers (after researching said printer to make sure it is compatible), and then have the users select that printer manually from the citrix session so they can use the fonts and alignments or overlays as needed.  If you have a lot of printers that do this it may not be feasible but it was how I worked around an Oki printer that I could never get the alignments set up correctly, or it wouldn't remember the alignments after each session.

Good luck as it sounds like you had a big mess thrown at you.  Respond and I and others can help more but printer issues are one of the hardest things to troubleshoot in citrix, IMO.
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ckimball99Commented:
Unfortunately, printing in Citrix has always been something of a pain.  I recommend using Tricerat Screwdrivers, a third party add-on.  A 30 day free trial is available at http://www.tricerat.com/screwdrivers.php

I know it isn't a great solution, since you have to pay for something extra that should have been included in the original product but it has been worth it for us, because we don't have to spend all our time trying to troubleshoot Citrix Printing Issues.
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mgmohiuddinAuthor Commented:
this is not an option i have. thans for your comments anyway. will wait for some more suggestions
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dpaoleschiCommented:
Flaky print drivers are the most typical cause of spooler issues. Try and make sure you are using certified drivers if possible, don't user kernel mode drivers, they can/will blue screen your servers. My best practice is to find the most generic driver(HP Laserjet 4) and try to map as many printers to that driver without losing double sided printing, envelopes, alignment, etc... Unfortuantly it is a real pain to manage manually. Most of my consulating regarding printers is to limit the # of different printers, only offically support a handful of network printers and then fall back on the UPD drivers for any "strange" printers people are trying to autocreate from home.
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mgmohiuddinAuthor Commented:
yeah, you are right but i already have some 30 printer drivers already installed. too many users and applications. its a site where a minute of downtime is not tolerated. i am tired of restarting the spooler. still looking for a solution.
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dpaoleschiCommented:
Other than third party printer management tools, there are no solutions. Thinprint, tricerat, etc...

Also, if you have old printers/print drivers they are most likely causing the spooler crashes. More the good of the everyone using Citrix you should remove those printers/print drivers. Stability and uptime for everyone should override any one person's need for a flaky printer to be installed and bring everyone's productive down.
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dpaoleschiCommented:
One other thing you can do, run you printer drivers through the Citrix Printer Stress Utility and see what the results are.  Also check HKLM|System|Current Control Set|Control|Print|Environments|Windows NT x86|Drivers and make sure you only have version 3 drivers, version 2 drivers and notorious for spooler crashes.

I would also check where the spooler folder is on the server and make sure you have sufficent drives space; some PDF files can get huge when printed.

You can change the location of the spooler folder. Open up Printers and Faxes > File > Server Properties > Advanced Tab and type in the new location and OK out. A reboot is probably required
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mgmohiuddinAuthor Commented:
so many printers , drivers, users and applications. how can i start eliminating drivers. the environment is so big that its difficult to identify who is using which printer. its a university campus and this implementation is not done by me. i have taken over and this printing issue is now on my head. where do i start
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dpaoleschiCommented:
I would check out the HKLM|System|Current Control Set|Control|Print|Environments|Windows NT x86|Drivers key and see what is installed, what version each driver is, etc...

I agree, printing in multiuser environments is a huge headache, esp. when you inherit someone's else's implementation.

The Citrix Stress Utility is a free download from Citrix and should be able to help identify those drivers that are problem children. I was use that information to "prove" that certain printers/drivers need to be replaces/eliminated from your citrix environment for the good of everyone.
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mgmohiuddinAuthor Commented:
does this utility help you in identifying faulty drivers. i guess stress utility is like cstk where you simulate load on serves using scripts and then use the results for capacity planning. how can citrix stress be used to identfy faulty drivers. and secondly how do you map generic drivers with other priinter drivers. like if i have a hp 5 printer and since i already have a hp4 driver i want to use the hp4 driver for hp5 printer. thnx for your prompt reply. i really appreciate
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ckimball99Commented:
I know you stated that the third party app was not an option, but I believe you should examine why that it is not an option and see if there is a way to make it an option.

I believe you will spend more time troubleshooting these issues than you need to, and the cost will start to be more for your labor than for the third party solution.
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dpaoleschiCommented:
In the Citrix CMC you have the option to map printers to a specific print driver, that way, for example andy HP laserjet that is autocreated will use the HP LJ 4 driver. The Citirx Printer Stress Test will stress each printer driver and attempt to make the driver crash, giving you a pretty good idea of which drivers are ill written.
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