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Epson Printer Sharing

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

I have an Epson Stylus Pro 4880 that I tried to share off a print server running Windows Server 2008.  The printer appeared to install on the server, but none of my workstations can connect to it through the printer share.  Workstations are running Windows 7.

I contacted Epson and they told me that printer sharing is not supported because they do not offer a printer driver for Windows Server 2008 or 2003.  They do not have any plans to make a driver available either.  Does anyone know if this could be accurate?  Would a printer manufacturer really not support printer sharing or is there a way to share it that the tech support does not know about?  I am able to locally install the printer on the workstations, but that is not an ideal situation in a business environment.
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Question by:craigbtg
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Expert Comment

by:coolbloke1324
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Can you print correctly from the server? Does a test page print ok?

When you try to connect to the printer from the workstations, can you see the printer in the list on the server shares? What happens when you double-click the printer from a workstation on the server shares list?

You say that the workstations cannot connect... is there an error message?
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Author Comment

by:craigbtg
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Yes, a test page prints fine from the server.  Yes, the printer shows on the list of server shares.

When double-clicking (or right-clicking and hitting Connect, or going though an add printer wizard) the same error message shows up.  It is titled "Add Printer" and says "Connect to Printer, Windows cannot connect to the printer, Operation failed with error 0x0000007e".  When I go to the server properties of the workstation and go to the Drivers tab the printer driver has not been installed.
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Expert Comment

by:yelbaglf
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Are you trying to use terminal services, or anything of the like?  Or are you strictly just setting up a print server?  Does the printer print directly from the server?

The bad news is that you will need a 2008 compatible driver installed on the server.  If running 32-bit, then a 2008 32-bit compatible driver, and 64-bit if it's 2008 64-bit.  Then you'll need to install the additional drivers on the server for your clients to use, when connecting to the printer, which would be the Win 7 32-bit driver. (if they are 32-bit clients)  I would also recommend installing it with a TCP/IP port.

Another idea would be to set up a Win 7 print server for this printer, if purchasing a compatible printer is not an option.  How many users need access, and what types of applications will they be printing from?
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Expert Comment

by:coolbloke1324
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Can you install the printer driver on a workstation and then try to connect to the printer via network? Usually when a printer is installed on a server, each client will download a copy of the drivers from the server when connecting, however if the drivers are not compatible for some reason then the workstation connect will fail.

Installing the printer driver on a workstation first and then trying to add it as a network printer may solve the problem.
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Author Comment

by:craigbtg
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Thanks for the suggestions.  No terminal services in use, just trying to connect through the print server.  I have loaded the Windows 7 printer driver on the print server (both x86 and x64).  Epson does not have a 2008 driver.  It is using a TCP/IP port.

coolbloke - I tried installing the driver locally first, but the same error showed up when trying to connect through the share on the server.  I was able to successfully add a local port that goes through the share (i.e., port name \\server\sharename).  Again, this is not ideal given the extra hassle of installing the driver locally and creating a local port.  Any other thoughts or does it actually look like Epson does not support printer sharing (it is what they told me, I just have a hard time believing it!).
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Expert Comment

by:coolbloke1324
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Indeed, that is a bit rubbish isn't it! If anything this will most definitely put me off buying an Epson!

Do you know what IP the printer is on? When you're setting up a new printer you can specify an IP to connect to. I know you still have to install the drivers on each workstation but at least you'd be able to use the printer IP directly rather than going through the server share.
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Expert Comment

by:yelbaglf
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It is a host-based printer, and host-based printers are not designed for print servers in general.  Furthermore, it appears that most of Epson's printer line consists of host-based printers, geared towards a home PC or workstation PC and NOT print servers and sharing.
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Accepted Solution

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craigbtg earned 0 total points
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Turns out there is a group policy setting that allows the printer sharing!  

In the local group policy the following needs to be set to Disabled:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Printers\Point and Print Restrictions
User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Printers\Point and Print Restrictions

Not sure why it is only required for the Epson (I have many other printers from HP, Canon, Oce, Xerox) and Epson is the only one that requires this.  Also not sure why the folks at Epson could not have told me this.  I'm with you coolbloke, makes me off buying another Epson as well.  Thanks for your help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:craigbtg
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This solution seems to be working without any problems.
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