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Printers show as offline intermittently in Office 2010

Posted on 2014-02-07
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Last Modified: 2014-02-20
We have 15 printers on a server 2008 R2 print server. Users are reporting that intermittently the after clicking file -> print the printer shows as offline. They usually have to close their Office programs all the way out and open them back to get the printer to show as ready to print.

I'm not seeing any errors that stand out on the server or on their PC's. Has anyone experienced this before?

My server and computers are completely patched, I've updated the print drivers on the server and asked that users remove and add the printers back again. I even disabled bi-directional printing as one forum had suggested to no avail.


Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:mansontech
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 39844097
Network printers usually have a polling setting under the advanced printer properties tab which often uses an SNMP ping.  IF you want to presume that the printer is always online disable the SNMP polling on the print server.

Do the workstations print through the windows 2008 server or do they all print directly to the printer?
i.e. are you using GPO/GPP to push the printers to each computer/user or did you install the printer on each computer?

The initial print attempt might have triggered the warm up on the printer such that by the time the system rebooted, the printer was ready to work.
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Author Comment

by:mansontech
ID: 39850040
I'll take a look at that setting today and see if that helps.

Also, The print server is using Windows 2008 R2 and we don't use a GPO to install the printers. We use the Internet Printing role service feature so that the users can go to the site and add for themselves the printers they would like to use.

Quote[The initial print attempt might have triggered the warm up on the printer such that by the time the system rebooted, the printer was ready to work.]

I was thinking something like that, but a couple of the printers are large shared printers that are in use for some while others have to reboot. Also, it is pretty random, might work in the morning no problem, and later on that day you have to reboot to get the printer to connect. Some days work just fine, others; not so much.
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Accepted Solution

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arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 39850534
The other setting deals with whether the print server polls the printer for status.
printer properties, Ports tab, find the checked port for this printer and select configure port.

It is likely set to use SNMP to poll the printer.  While the printer is printing, it might not respond to the SNMP poll.  The server will interpret the non-response as the printer being offline.  This will delay the print until the next polling event from the server to which it gets a response and sees the printer online.

uncheck the option on the poll and see if that changes this behavior for this printer.

This might also happen because the printer's built-in print server is disabled.
i.e.

printer IP

windows server as a print server

Every other system

With the print server disabled on the printer, the windows server deals with job scheduling.

If the printer has a built-in print server and it is enabled, the windows print server will deliver the jobs to the printer's built-in print server that will handle/manage the printing of those jobs.

With these settings, it is unlikely that the printer will "stop responding to the snmp polling" while printing a job.
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Author Comment

by:mansontech
ID: 39851263
I've unchecked SNMP on two of our printers and I'll let some people know to inform me if/when they have the issue again so we can see if this helps.

I'll update tomorrow if I get some results. Thanks
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Author Comment

by:mansontech
ID: 39873431
It looks like that took care of it, thank you for your help.
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