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Any problems using server 2008 r2 print management when most of the clients

Posted on 2010-11-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
are windows xp sp3.  I'm creating a new file/print server for a bldg and I want to use server 2008 r2.  I installed the file services and print management roles on this server.  However, my printers for this bldg are currently installed on a windows server 2003 server and the cleints are almost all windows xp sp3 with a few windows 7.  Am I making my life easier or will this cause me problems.  Do you guys recommend this move?  I'm currently deploying my printers using group policy preferences and I would like that to continue.  Will that be a problem or should this pretty much be a smooth transition?
Also, should i use the universal printer drivers for the printers for when we eventually go to windows 7 on all these clients.  I know that's a lot but I always appreciate the input and recommendations of the experts on this site.  Thanks..
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Question by:pendal1
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wantabe2 earned 167 total points
ID: 34088791
personally I'd leave it as is seeing Win 2003 should be supported for many more years. If you plan to proceed i don't see any issues yo'd have using the universal print driver as I do the same with my HP printers using the HP4 driver. On the Win 7 you'll have to do a Windows update to get the HP 4 option.
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by:ShareefHuddle
ShareefHuddle earned 167 total points
ID: 34088896
I agree with wantabe2 except I'm not a huge fan of universal drivers.  Universal drivers are a lot of overhead on print spoolers. I have also ran into some problems with 2008 and HP Laserjet printers.  Sometimes the install will not configure the registry correctly then your client will constantly ask you to reinstall the driver anytime you try to changes settings or properties. Stick with the 2003 server.
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by:tigermatt
tigermatt earned 166 total points
ID: 34089524
There seems to be two schools of thought on this issue. On the main network I manage (2500 users) I'm running a virtualised 2008 R2 print server environment despite ALL our workstations still running XP SP3.

I have to say there have been issues with older printers on the system (6-7 years). However we have now swapped these out with new models as part of the project, which have both 2008 R2 and XP drivers available.

If you do install a 2008 R2 print server do your homework first. Check you can get the drivers for all your printers. I would advise against the universal drivers for the reasons discussed above. You will need to import the 64-bit driver for the server and the appropriate 32/64-bi drivers for your XP and 7 workstations. The names in the drivers will also need to match because this is the mechanism by which Windows can determine which drivers are associated with a particular hardware model.

No matter which OS you use GPP printer deployment will continue as is - this is outside print management and handled by Active Directory and the GPP client side extensions. Share the printer properly on the print server and GPP will work.

Matt
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Author Comment

by:pendal1
ID: 34090032
Hello guys and thanks for the information.  You've definitely given me some valuable recommendations.  Here's some additional info.  This particular bldg is not very large and we're only talking three our four network printers.  And so far the models are an hp laserjet p4015 and an hp laserjet 4250.  I checked the driver situation and for windows 7 I would have to use the universal printer drivers.  That's all that's available for windows 7.  I'm obviousl ok with windows xp.  However, my question now comes with server 2008 r2.  HP has drivers listed for server 2008 x64 but not server 2008 r2.  Will the drivers for server 2008 x64 also work for server 2008 r2.  Just want to make sure.
Additionally, and I'm not saying I am yet, but if I used server 2008 r2, I would have to install the printers using the 2008 driver and then I would have to import the windows 7 and xp drivers.  Do I have that last part correct.  Thanks again guys.  This is a tremendous help.  
It's tough to know whether to try and make a move now to 2008 r2 or wait.  And we seem to have a  two to one vote here :)
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Expert Comment

by:ShareefHuddle
ID: 34090076
Yes that is the correct process. You will probably have to import from the xp machine the xp drivers. Do your homework on installation, my first implementation was a nightmare. I on the other hand was shooting from the hip and regreted it many hours into it.
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Author Comment

by:pendal1
ID: 34098169
I installed an hp laserjet p4015x on the printer server (2008 x64 r2).  I'm going to add drivers (winxp and win 7) hopefully tomorrow and then deploy the printer via group policy preferences and see how it works.  If I don't have any problems, I guess I'll guve it a try.
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Author Closing Comment

by:pendal1
ID: 34160466
Sorry for the delay in closing.  Your input and recommendations are always greatly appreciated.
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