Printers

Quick Tip: Improving Windows XP print spooling performance when using printer pools

Printer pools can slow down Windows XP. Here's a trick you can use to improve print spooling performance when using a printer pool.


As you know, the spool folder is an area on the hard disk that Windows uses to store print jobs as they are being printed. By default, the spool folder is located on the C: drive at C:\Win\System32\Spool\Printers.

Since a print server managing a printer pool will be receiving multiple jobs at the same time, the spool folder can be a hotbed of activity. Not only will the spool folder need a lot of available disk space, but the increased activity will keep the physical hard disk very busy. In fact, it's wise to consider adding a second hard disk to the system you’ll set up to manage the printer pool. Doing so can give your printer pool a big performance boost, and it's a fairly easy task in Windows XP.

To begin, access the drive to which you want to move the spool operation and create a new spool folder. I suggest that you use a short descriptive name, such as PrintSpool.

Now, access the Printer And Faxes window, click File, and select Server Properties. When you see the Print Server Properties dialog box, select the Advanced tab. Then, type the path to the new folder you just created in the Spool Folder text box, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A
You can boost the performance of a printer pool by putting the spool folder on a second, dedicated hard drive.


When you click OK, you’ll see a warning dialog box that informs you that the change will occur immediately and prompts you to confirm the operation. To complete the operation, simply click Yes.

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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