Printers go offline and wont come back

Posted on 2011-04-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
This one is weird.

I have a terminal server with 6 network printers installed.

They are installed as local printers using a standard tcp/ip port.
They are each on different subnets because they are at different locations.

These printers will on occasion offline and not come back.

It seems to happen if there is a disruption in the network preventing connectivity from the printer to the server. Even though the network connectivity is restored teh printer remains offline.

Here is the strange part. I can ping any device on that subnet besides the printer from this terminal server. When I try to connect to that printer from any other computer or server the printer works fine. So this is only affecting the connection from the terminal server to the remote printer.

This will also only affect one printer on the TS. So while one does not work the other 5 will work fine.

The only way I was able to resolve the issue was to reboot the terminal server. Once I rebooted all printers were re connected and worked fine.

This is a production server so I can't reboot it at will.

Any ideas on how I can resolve this without having to reboot the server.

I have tried to restart the print spooler service, but I don't think the problem is there, since I cannot ping the printer from command prompt it appears to be an ip related issue.
Question by:rfranta
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    What Server software is the TS running on 2k3 or 2k8, R2 etc...?

    Try clearing the DNS cache and / or restarting the DNS server.

    The DNS cache is easiest via a command prompt typing: "ipconfig /flushdns".
    The DNS server restart is usually not necessary, but could help especially if it is running on the same system as the TS.

    Author Comment

    Thanks DK

    I am wondering what effect restarting the DNS server would have on my network. This TS is not a DNS server. Since I can't ping the IP address I would not expect it to be DNS related.

    Your thoughts?

    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    The different subnets, are they via routers or vlan?

    I have a similar issue where a systems loses connection to part of the network connected via a bridge.  The only way I can fix the problem is to disable the network connection and re-enable it - a very difficult fix for a TS unless at the console.  The only difference is that this will not be fixed after a reboot... .

    What OS are the TS and the DNS servers?

    Normally restarting the DNS will not have an effect on the network when server based - depending on your server and any abnormal settings.  The only issue I foresee would be if an end user is in the process of either rebooting or ipconfig /renew when the DNS is restarted; they would not get an ip.  Simplest fix: tell them to reboot.

    Author Comment

    The subnets are via routers. DNS is a windows 2003 server and TS is a windows 2008 server.

    Now magically the connection was reestablished and the printer is working. LOL I gues just wait a few hours and it will fix it self.

    Author Comment

    Thanks DK I will award you the points
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Thank you!

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