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Workstations and their computers and their printers

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Last Modified: 2017-04-23
I'm working in an office where some of the workstations suddenly can't print.
I learned recently that this office is using a Windows 2003 Server as a print server.
There's not a domain so I don't know for sure how much control the server has over the workstations.

Anyway, I'm wondering this:
If a workstation is set up for printing, can it use the print server OR go direct to a printer - either one?
To me it seems a simple matter of how the workstation addresses the printer capability; i.e. the Port.
Is it anything more than that?
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ZombieAutopsy81IT Manager/Network Administrator
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Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
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Fred MarshallPrincipal
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Thanks folks!!

Adam Brown:  The downside you describe is exactly what I'm used to doing.  Knowing the static IP addresses is easy and the users generally don't know how to properly install printers anyway.  My bias in this direction is because I work in a lot of *small* companies.  I understand in a big glass house how this would be the opposite view.  

These are generally networked printers.
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I would not go and change the connections on the workstations because there is a problem printing via the server. That's just sweeping the problem under the carpet.

What you could do is to set up just one of the problem workstations with a direct connection. If the problem then goes away, you know you need to fix things on the server connection. For a direct connection, just go to Printer Properties > Ports and create a new Standard TCP/IP port with the IP address of the printer.
Fred MarshallPrincipal
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Well, I'm not a Server expert and I wouldn't even know where to start IF there were a problem.
I did manual installs on all the printers (it turned out there were only 2 printers and maybe a dozen computers)  and bypassed the server.  What I found was a mixed bag in terms of how they were set up.  One printer was already not set up to use the print server.  The other one was almost 100% on the server.  So now there's consistency and an approach that I know, understand and trust.
So, rather than sweeping anything under the rug, I believe I've avoided a quagmire.  And, yes I understand that's a different perspective.  I don't see what difference print serving issues can make if they aren't being used.  But I realize that could be shortsighted.
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Fred MarshallPrincipal
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Thaks all!
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