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Windows print job spool files characteristics

Posted on 2013-01-03
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Last Modified: 2013-01-15
I'm not Windows trained admin.

When users sent print jobs to a Win 2003/2008 print server, files will appear in
c:\windows\...\spool  (can't recall the exact directory name).

Q1:
I heard that there are 2-3 files for each print job, one of
them with extension .spl.  What are the other one (or two)
other files' extension that are associated with a print job?

Q2:
Are the 2 (or 3?) files associated with each print job being
created at the same time or has the same 'modified time'?
Reason I ask is I need to ask someone to write me a VB script
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Question by:sunhux
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6 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 38740409
Think the print spooler folder is
  C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers

One more question:
In one Win 2003/2008 print server, it could support several
printers.  So does that mean all printers in a Win2003/2008
print server will spool to a common folder (ie the above folder)?
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 38740414
Is it possible to segregate it such that one printer will have
one spool directory?
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

by:
pony10us earned 1920 total points
ID: 38740589
For answer to the last question see:
 
 http://books.google.com/books?id=OYrTBEQn_5kC&pg=PA377&lpg=PA377&dq=separate+print+spool+folder+per+printer+windows&source=bl&ots=mnccW8zeti&sig=VBeu8mcpwFxYzH-pHwQohpMJPKc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xKflUPKVIIr1qQHF8oBo&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=separate%20print%20spool%20folder%20per%20printer%20windows&f=false

For Microsoft's detailed explanation of how the network printing works see:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc783789(v=ws.10).aspx

From:  http://www.undocprint.org/winspool/spool_files

For each print job there are two spool files generated by the Windows NT/2000 spooler. One file with the .SHD extension for job settings, and one with the .SPL extension for the drawing commands.

EMF Microsoft® Enhanced Metafile Format
SPL Microsoft® Windows Spool File Format
SHD Microsoft® Windows Shadow File Format
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 38742844
Q2:
Are the 2 (or 3?) files associated with each print job being
created at the same time or has the same 'modified time'?
0
 
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:pony10us
pony10us earned 1920 total points
ID: 38744147
I have not verified this however my first thought would be that they are created in a specific order. Depending on the size of the print job would determine the difference, if any, in the creation time of each file.  A very small print job would show that all files are created at the same time while a very large file could result in a difference of creation time.

My suggestion would be to monitor the folder while sending a few print jobs of various sizes and see what results you get.

If I get time I will do this with our print server however today I have to go to a remote site to work on an issue and will not have the time.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 38746682
> Q2:
> Are the 2 (or 3?) files associated with each print job being
> created at the same time or has the same 'modified time'?

No hurry, but it's crucial to me that the modified time difference of
 files 123.spl & 123.shd should not differ by more than 10 seconds
 (let's take 2MB as the max file size on a 100Mbps LAN)
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