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Server 2008 R2 Printing causing hanging problems

Posted on 2014-07-29
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
We have a Server 2008 R2 domain controller that has the Print Management role installed.  Just recently it has started to cause problems:

Several times now I have arrived 8am to find all 12 shared printers are offline and I cannot access any MMC, either directly via start menu or via console and adding snap in - they all just hang indefinitely.  Any changes in Active Directory on other servers then take an age to propagate to this DC, as do mailbox permissions set on the Exchange server.  Windows Explorer would hang intermittently on DC, though network access to shares was still fine.  The only way to clear this is to reboot the DC.

We switched all printers over to another server, rebooted the DC and the server ran OK for 2 weeks.  Switched people back to printing via this DC and problem had recurred within 1-2 days - this happened twice.  Printing is now through another server and the DC has been OK with no hanging MMC/explorer for 2 weeks plus, though this is not ideal.

On top of this, even when the server appears to be working OK, printers are working and I can open ADUC/explorer etc, I cannot open the Print Management console directly via Start menu - error message is:
"MMC Cannot open the file c:\windows\system32\printmanagement.msc
"This may be because the file does not exist, is not an MMC console or was created by a later version of MMC"

The file is still there, and all of the permissions are consistent with another server that works perfectly.  Print Management loads without problems via MMC.  Nothing logged in eventviewer.

Can anyone help?  At the moment the temporary print server is playing havoc with duplexing from Windows 7 PCs, otherwise I would be tempted to just make the printer switch permanent!
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Question by:fourthgen
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tolinrome earned 250 total points
ID: 40226602
Strange one. Youre better off leaving the print services on the other server, why bring them back? Seems that something within the printer services is causing the freezeup, drivers? Any changes to the server recently? Try uninstalling (not disabling) the antivirus and see if that works.
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by:fourthgen
ID: 40227180
Thank for the reply - have just double checked: printer drivers listed are as they were approx. a year ago (none older than 2012).  At some point I will get around to deleting/purging all printers and drivers and starting from scratch, adding one at a time to troubleshoot, but would still like to get to the bottom of the .msc problem.

Have performed restore to virtual machine to play around with and already uninstalled McAfee AV, Acronis backup and Sage ACT software.  No luck so far and not much left to remove!

Am a bit concerned that it's symptomatic of a larger problem - I have seen mention of .NET being involved on another forum but the link wasn't explained and problem remained  unresolved.

The temporary server is an old 2003 box which seems to struggle with x64 drivers for Windows 7 PCs - we have lots of printer macros, especially for duplexing to different trays, which just ignore duplex command completely.  I've added printers direct by IP address to get around this, but the printer setup is turning into a bit of a mess as more an more quick fixes are applied.
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by:Niabingi
Niabingi earned 250 total points
ID: 40228292
I agree with tolinrome, keep the printers off the the DC, setup a new print server 2008 R2, it will handle the 32 abd 64  bit drivers a lot better.
as for the Print Management console run it from you workstation not from the server.
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Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 40308374
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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Author Comment

by:fourthgen
ID: 40319135
Apologies to all, I have been away for a while and did not intend to abandon the question.  I am now pushing for replacing the temporary server and have allocated a PC for admin rather than logging on directly to DCs etc - thanks for the advice on this as DC is now stable for longer periods.
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