Printer Offiline

We have a server running 2008 R2, and we are using it as our primary print server for our organization of ~350 computers.  All of these computers are Windows 7 x64.

The issue that we are having is that a few of our users are intermittently having all of their printers go 'offline'.  There are about 15 random computers with this issue.  When each computer is checked we either flush the DNS or restart the Print Spooler to resolve the issue.  The thing is, if we do nothing, the printers will come back on their own.

We have ran every update on the Server as well as the local machines, removed/added smtp to the printer drivers, checked DNS, and re installed the printers in question.  The issue is still happening.  I have been reading and looking for an answer, but I have been coming up short.  I'm running out of ideas at this point.  The thing is that everyone else in the organization has no issue printing to other printers that are on the same server, which leads me to believe that it is either a printer or PC issue.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
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jfdprattAsked:
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Have you disabled the default Power Save Setting which is enabled on the NIC?

Start> {type} NCPA.CPL {press enter}> Right-click your Local Area Network connection and choose Properties> Click on Configure (for the LAN Card)> Select the Power Management Tab and untick everything. Click OK as many times as is appropriate and monitor.

Alan
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Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
How are the printers getting their IP Addresses? DHCP or Static?
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Greg HillSoftware Developer, Architect, ConsultantCommented:
There are multiple ways to configure the individual computers to connect to the printer/server and many different protocols that can be used. Without knowing the method being used to connect the client machines to the printer it is very difficult to troubleshoot the problem. Can you post the method you are using to configure the printers on the client workstations? For example, you can create a TCP or proprietary port pointing to the printer or the server, or you can simply add the shared printer from the server. Some configurations are much more prone to network latency/failures. It could be that the machines that are becoming disconnected are on a branch of the network that is experiencing problems, but without knowing the specifics of your configuration, it is impossible to diagnose.
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jfdprattAuthor Commented:
alanhardisty: We have not disabled the power settings on these adapters.  I know Windows 7 turns these on by default.  I will go make that change now on a few and see if it makes a difference.

trgrassijr55: All of the printers are addressed with a Static address.

FreshBaked: When the printer is added to the server, we add it as a local printer on a Standard TCP/IP Port, then shared.  Then when it is added to the local machine it is just added via UNC.  \\Servername and right click> connect to add the printer. . .
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
We have had nothing but problems with the setting being on by default on all manner of computers.  It has to be the most ridiculous setting set by default I have come across.

Alan
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jfdprattAuthor Commented:
Yes.  I agree with the default network setting.  We made this change on a few of our computers that were having issues with a client server application, but I have forgot about it until you brought it again.  I'm going to wait a day or two and see if the users have any more complaints.  Going to check into GPO and see about turning that option off on everything.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Good plan - shame it is necessary!

Hopefully it will be that simple.  If not - I'll trawl my brain for other ideas.

Alan
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jfdprattAuthor Commented:
So far things have worked well for the test user that we disabled the network power save setting.  I am going to give it a few more days to make sure that it is a valid resolution.

In the meantime I have been looking for a way to disable this in GPO and have found nothing but registry changes.  I will continue to look, and will update this question later if we find that this is a valid fix.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Good news - hope it stays that way.

Not sure there will be a GPO tweak as it isn't a Windows setting - it is a hardware setting and NIC's will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

I'll see if I can find anything.

Alan
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jfdprattAuthor Commented:
We have disable the power setting for the NIC and we haven't had any problems since.  We were not able to find a way to do this in GPO, but we did find a script that we added to our login script that made the registry change for us to disable this on our domain.  Once they logged in the script would run.  It would then be disabled next time they logged in and the registry change took place.  Thanks for the advice.
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