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How to close connections to XP shared printers

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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Background:
We have a few printers that don't work correctly and aren't supported on Server 2003 (Dymo Label printers). My work around has been to share them on a XP Pro workstation. I have 30 users that need to print to these few printers. Most of them only print maybe once a day.

Problem:
XP is keeping an open connection to workstations that have these shared printers installed, hence I am running in to the 10 user limit that XP pro has. Is there anyway to have XP close these sessions after a print job completes? I rarely have more than one person trying to print to these at the same time.

Right now the first ten computers that connect to this workstation can print and all the other will show the printer as being unavailable.


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Commented:
The easiest way would be to setup a print server for them
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833156025
unless you have enough that you can only setup a few users to each printer

Author

Commented:
Kind of complicated to explain, but because of the Medical software package we use we still have to have it shared. In fact the printer is plugged in to a printer server, setup on the XP workstation and shared from there. All our other printers aren't a big deal because I can share them on our 2003 server, but these printers don't work with 2003.
DonNetwork Administrator
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Commented:

Commented:
Perhaps someone else might chime in with a better solution... but the only way that I can think of would be to setup a batch file connect/disconnect to the printers using the 'net use' command.  
 This may be somewhat inconvenient for the user...but consider the alternatives either the users will continue having the existing problem of not being able connect at all...or you can add more printers and only setup a few users to each.  
 That is of course unless every time you connect a printer, it must be re-added to the Medical Software that you are using.
 So in short
>How to close connections to XP shared printers

net use devicename: /delete

Commented:
I am curious though as to why the Medical software will only accept 'shared printers' rather than networked...Is there possibly a workaround for this?

Commented:
Are you printers on the 2003 server shared via active directory?

Commented:
Ok, this is a bit of work i will admit but i will address your issue. I had the same issue with a printer model once and ended up running across this and it worked for me.

This will require a re-install of the print server or setting up another box specifically for it. You will need your original XP installation disk and you will need to download nlite from http://www.nliteos.com/ . This handy little program is designed for installation automation but one of the really nice features is that it allows you to modify the connection limit to whatever you want in the process. It may be some work but it should solve your issue.

Author

Commented:
Diesel79 - I started working on this option as I have an extra Desktop I can use. The only option I could find that sounds similar to what you are talking about is.

Maximum unfinished simultaneous connections - This is what is known as the SP2 TCP/IP patch. In SP2, Microsoft limited the number of simultaneous incomplete outbound connection attempts to 10, with the intention of slowing down the propagation of worms. While this limit doesn't affect most users, many people report problems with P2P software.
(I found this description here: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Guides/windowscustomization1/13.html)

I have already tried this fix on the current computer and it didn't help.
(I was able to download a tool that changes this setting on an existing computer from here: http://www.lvllord.de/)

I am beginning to think there is no way around this limitation and I am going to have to try and come up with a different solution.
Commented:
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DonNetwork Administrator
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Commented:

Author

Commented:
dstewartjr - I realize the 10 user limit and I am okay with that. In fact I have two Windows 2003 servers, my problem is that the printers aren't supported/don't work with 2003. That is why I was wondering why if there is a shared printer on XP why does a workstation keep an open connect to that printer even if it doesn't use it once during the day. From what I am learning it appears that windows keeps this connection open so that it can keep up on the status of the printer even if it hasn't sent a print job.

Commented:
It does keep the connection open for a default of 15 minutes but you can modify the time setting. See the post in my earlier link .

Commented:
if it is mapped it is connected

Commented:
Yeah, the connection would timeout after 15 minutes (or whatever it is set at) after a PC is shutdown/disconnected)

Commented:
Use the following procedure to overcame the 10 conection limit.
http://www.papercut.com/kb/Main/WindowsXP10ConnectionLimit
This is not a crack.
It is just a configuration Mapping Printer Queues Using LPR/LPD and firewall to overcame the 10 conection limit.

Author

Commented:
jrtec - A goolge search had turned that page up and the reason I didn't go that route is I would loose the ability to deploy/change the printers through AD and login scripts.
DonNetwork Administrator
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Commented:
jrtec,
It also helps to read others posts to avoid reposting already mentioned links
 
https://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_24538252.html?cid=1066#a24759570

Author

Commented:
This Microsoft KB seems to be the answer. I have changed the default AutoDIsconnect time from 15 minutes to 1 minute. With this change a persons connection is dropped 1 minute after they print, therefore freeing up the connection for someone else to use.

Author

Commented:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314882 - This Microsoft KB seems to be the answer. I have changed the default AutoDIsconnect time from 15 minutes to 1 minute. With this change a persons connection is dropped 1 minute after they print, therefore freeing up the connection for someone else to use which is exactly the behavior I was looking for.

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