Help with Print Server Setup for my network

By greavette ·

This is probably a very noob thing to ask, but my searches through google have not shown me what I need to know...I'm hoping someone here can help me out.

I have a small network of 10 PC's running Windows XP and 1 Windows 2003 server. The Server is used to store a database where a client on each Windows XP PC dumps data into this database.

I have 5 Printers throughout the office. 3 in one office, the other two printers are in separate offices at the back. I would like to have all 5 printers available to any PC on the network. We have 3 external print servers where one of the print servers have 3 ports on it to connect the three printers in one office. So I'll connect the printers to the print servers and connect the printers to our network through switches. I'll assign a static IP to each print server...this I can figure out.

My problem is, how do I configure each printer to be available to any PC on the network? I've heard there is a wizard in Windows 2003 that will help me setup each printer. Do I install each printers driver on Windows 2003 that will allow any XP PC to print, or does each Windows XP PC need to have all 5 printer drivers installed on them to be able to use each printer?

One of my Windows XP PC's is a virtual machine running on the Windows 2003 server...will the setup of printers be the same for this virtual XP image or do I have to have the printer attached to the Windows 2003 PC in order to work?

Am I allowed to add three print servers to my network, or is this not going to work?

Thanks in advance for any help you may give.


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print server

by clarkd038 In reply to Help with Print Server Se ...

Yes, If you install the printer drivers all on one computer. "print server" then you can share the printers through the server.

To share them you just right click on them and go to sharing, and give it a share name.

Then from any other computer go to printers, then add new printer, network attached, attached to computer \\printserver\printername.

I hope this helps you out

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by greavette In reply to print server

Hello and thank you for the quick reply.

I had thought that I only needed to install the drivers for all printers on my Windows 2003 server, but I wasn't sure.

Do you know if the Windows 2003 Server will require any CALS to let each Windows XP Pro PC use the printers? I still don't quite understand Microsoft's CALS requriements and when I need them and when I don't.



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Confirm setup

by greavette In reply to Basic outline


Thanks very much to all for your comments.

Just to confirm the setup.

"Install the printer at the server, as a network printer. The setup will ask for the ip address of the "print server" adapter at the printer, install the driver locally and copy the driver files to a hidden share on the server, \\server\print$. These files are for the workstations to download when the printer is "installed" locally at the workstation."

Installing the printer at the server means installing the printer on the external printer server, not a Windows PC acting as a server. So the print server has a kind of O/S on it that allows the printer to be installed on the print server?

Does the external print server also have enough space for storage so we can save the printer driver files on a hidden share so each workstation (Windows XP pc in my case) can install the printer driver?

So Basically, using an external print server means you don't have to have a Windows (or Linux) PC left on all the time so other PC's can use the printer connected to that 'always on' computer. The external print server, with it's static ip address from outside my DHCP pool, has a sort of O/S on it that allows any workstation PC on the network to know that a printer is available for use once you've installed the necessary print drivers on each workstation PC.



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