Configure printer pooling to simplify printer management in Windows 2000

Using printer pooling offers several advantages that can help simplify printer administration. In this Windows 2000 Server tip, learn about the benefits of printer pooling, and see how to configure a printer pool on your system.

Printer pooling enables Windows 2000 Server to manage multiple printers with a single print driver instance. This feature allows network administrators to configure and manage several printers as one, a process that can simplify printer administration.

In addition, printer pooling provides some load-balancing. That's because Windows 2000 Server directs print jobs to the connected printers based on jobs pending at each printer.

A printer pool contains multiple printers, all configured as a single printer instance. All printers in a printer pool must be the same type of printer and use the same printer driver.

The printer pool can include network printers as well as local printers. You can use a workstation to handle print server tasks, rather than the server, while still maintaining the pool on that server for administrative purposes.

Configuring a printer pool is a relatively easy process. Follow these steps:

  1. Set up the printers, and connect them to their respective ports. (In the case of network printers, connect them to their host computers.)
  2. On the computer that will house the printer pool, open the Printers folder, and install the driver for the printer.
  3. Right-click the printer, and select Properties.
  4. On the Ports tab, select the Enable Printer Pooling check box.
  5. In the Ports list, select each port you want to use to connect a printer for the pool. (If you need to add one or more network ports for shared printers across the network, click Add Port.)
  6. When you've finished setting the options, click OK.

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