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Printers mysteriously go offline

By public ·
Hi there folks.

For some weird reason we're having a problem with our printers. When trying to print, randomly (no matter what printer or which user) the printer goes offline on the user's computer. Then you would have to right click the printer and tell it to go back online, and then it prints the print job that was sent with no problem.

Let me give you some back ground on your network and printers. We are a 200 node network running windows 98 (i know i know, were going to 2000 pro soon, cut us some slack) with a large variety of printers. We have networked RICOH, Xerox and HP printers. The printers without network cards in them are connected to the network via INTEL NETPORT connections.

First we thought it was the printer server (which is also our BDC). It was working fine for quite a long time. We would only stop and start the spooler service and that would clear up any hook ups.
That NT 4.0 server ran for like 5 months without a reset.

Then the offline-online problem began. At that time the printer server was acting weird. IEXPLORER.EXE would come back with errors and there would be random freezes. We decided it was time to start anew.

Thats what we did. Took another computer, installed NT 4.0 server, and all the printers EXACLTY like the old server and put that on the network replacing the old print server.

Still no change. We're stumped and its driving us BATTY. We tried using network monitor but that really didnt take us anywhere. Any ideas? What can we use to trouble shoot something like this? We keep banging out head against the wall and we haven't even cracked it yet :)

thanks!
-Ginel Lipan
Jr. Net Admin

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by cavedweller In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

Sometimes unusual activity like this can be caused by mismatched drivers and service packs. You might install the latest drivers on your print server being sure to select win98 sharing so that the win98 drivers are loaded too. Then delete and remap the printers on the workstations. I realize that you have a couple hundred workstations and this is not a trivial task.

Anybody with an easier to implement idea?

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by public In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by deltree In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

I think your problem is an OS that is not designed for and getting confused by the number of printers it must support and the number of printer drivers it must translate. (I'm assuming 20 to 30 printers here.)
I'd bet the problems arise only when the print server is trying to service multiple print jobs at once.
I don't think there is an easy answer or fix to this issue. I am new to the NT world, so there may be one that I am not aware of.

One thing you might try is to use 2 print serversfor load balancing and fault tolerance.
Set up and share out all printers on each server. Then visit each workstation(ugh!).
By department, point half the users to one print server as primary, and half the users to the other print server as primary.
Also, on each workstation, set up two printer objects. One pointing to the primary print server, one pointing to the secondary print server.
This method provides load balancing and fault tolerance to your printing services.
When one server will not print, your users will have an alterative until you can reboot or restart print spooler.

Good Luck.

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by public In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by jwilczyn In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

1.Checked printers? settings as ? paper size, memory, spooling, resizing A4/Letter (when document is created in the letter size and send to printer with only A4 size ? this printer will go offline).
2.Check the Spooler file.
3.Printer drivers ? try to update them or change (I?ve experienced that the PostScript drivers may fix problems ? sometime).
4.WinNT4.0 ? install the latest SP.
5.INTEL NETPORT ? update firmware.

Good luck

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by public In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by Philando In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

You're getting good advice. I like ans#2,3. I have had issues with printers, not like yours, and found that the pcl5e printer drivers resolved alot of problems. Delete the content of c:\winnt\system32\spools\printers on the print server. Stop/restart spooler services. Try to recreate situation that causes the problem to see if this fixed it.
The load balancing idea from answer#2 is a great idea. Thats why I love this site.

Good Luck

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by public In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

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Printers mysteriously go offline

by public In reply to Printers mysteriously go ...

This question was auto closed due to inactivity

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