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Server 2003 and NT Workstations - Printing

By ipconfig ·
We're having some issues with printing from NT workstations to shared
printers on a Windows Server 2003 which we've just installed.

All workstations are NT and they have an LPT1 HP4000 PCL6 driver installed
locally. Their logon script then maps the LPT1 port to the network printer.
Printing via this method is fine.

If they want to choose a different printer they use the Add Printer Wizard
and connect to the shared printers that way. The 2003 server has the
appropriate PCL6 NT drivers installed.

Problem 1 - More and more clients are reporting that when the try to print
to the network printer their jobs are formatted incorrectly - off centre etc.
When they check the properties of the printer it brings up A6 or something
else obscure as the paper size. Sometimes the driver reports the printer as
an HP2100 instead of an HP4000. When I check the printer details on the
server it all looks fine. Later on it works ok. The problem is intermitent.

Problem 2 - when a user checks the printers folder there are no printers
shown. They get various errors relating to the RPC server being unavailable.
They try again and the printers appear. Sometimes they will try to check
the printer properties - again they occasionally get RPC errors. Check again
and they are fine. Sometimes they can't add a printer because the RPC server
is unavailable or too busy to answer.

I'm stumped.

Thanks for reading and for any help/suggestions offered.

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why LPT1???

by s_hunnicutt In reply to Server 2003 and NT Works ...

1. If you are using the network to print, why not map the local workstations to the printers by using the ip address of the printers, if they have IP addresses. if not can you add the printer through the network?

2. RPC error maybe cause of the printer being busy printing and unable to reply.

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known issue? I knew of it!

by mykO In reply to why LPT1???

I encountered similer difficulties installing M$S2k3 into a predominantly NT network recently, although my connections used TCP\IP. At my wits end I came accross an acticle that spoke of the symptoms as "a known issue" & suggested to use the drivers native to the printers when setting up the printers for sharing on the network & not those native to M$S2k3. I installed them all from scatch & after weeks of baffling inconsistant time consuming printing headaches this solution provided an effective answer *& some peace*.

FYI: I had inherited this same network using scripts that called the 'con2prt' cmd. V.quaint but v.stable before the upgrade.

syntax: http://www.ss64.com/nt/con2prt.html

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LPT1

by ipconfig In reply to why LPT1???

Thought I'd best take the time to reply even though it's been a while. Sorry about that.

In our NT workstation/Server 2003 environment we've found the only reliable way to deal with the printers is to install a local NT driver on LPT1 and add the "net use lpt1: \\server\printer" line to the logon scripts.

This means we are bypassing the need for the 2003 server to provide the client with the kernel 2 NT drivers. All the server is doing is passing the print to the print queue.

If we continued to ask the users to setup their own printer through the Printers folder and Add Network printer, we were experiencing lots of problems with formatting etc.

It's all in place now and works fine. For us it was the easiest solution than continuing to bang our heads off the wall and deal with user complaints.

The clients will al be upgraded to XP at the end of the year anyway when all printing issues will magically disappear.......

Cheers.

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