Windows Server 2003 : Installing and Configuring Printers

10/12/2012 9:07:40 PM
Windows Server 2003 supports powerful, secure, and flexible print services. By using a Windows Server 2003 computer to manage printers attached locally to the computer or attached to the network, such printers can be made available to applications running locally on the Windows Server 2003 computer or to users on any client platform, including previous versions of Windows, as well as Netware, UNIX, or Apple Macintosh clients.

Understanding the Windows Server 2003 Printer Model

Windows Server 2003, and previous versions of Windows, support two types of printers:

  • Locally attached printers Printers that are connected to a physical port on a print server, typically a universal serial bus (USB) or parallel port.

  • Network-attached printers Printers connected to the network instead of a physical port. A network-attached printer is a node on the network; print servers can address the printer using a network protocol such as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).

Each type of printer is represented on the print server as a logical printer. The logical printer defines the characteristics and behavior of the printer. It contains the driver, printer settings, print setting defaults and other properties that control the manner in which a print job is processed and sent to the chosen printer. This virtualization of the printer by a logical printer allows you to exercise extraordinary creativity and flexibility in configuring your print services.


In previous versions of Windows and in earlier versions of documentation, the printer was referred to as the “print device” and the logical printer was referred to as the “printer.”

There are two ways to implement printing to network attached printers. One model is created by installing logical printers on all computers, and connecting those logical printers directly to the network-attached printer. In this model, there is no print server; each computer maintains its own settings, print processor, and queue. When users examine the print queue, they see only the jobs they have sent to the printer. There is no way for users to know what jobs have been sent to the printer by other users. In addition, error messages appear only on the computer that is printing the current job. Finally, all print job processing is performed locally on the user’s computer, rather than being offloaded to a print server.

Because of these significant drawbacks, the most typical configuration of printers in an enterprise is a three-part model consisting of the physical printer itself, a logical printer hosted on a print server, and printer clients connecting to the server’s logical printer. This lesson focuses exclusively on such a structure, although the concepts and skills discussed apply to other printer configurations.

Printing with a print server provides the following advantages:

  • The logical printer on the print server defines the printer settings and manages printer drivers.

  • The logical printer produces a single print queue that appears on all client computers, so users can see where their jobs are in relation to other users’ jobs.

  • Error messages, such as out-of-paper or printer-jam messages, are visible on all clients, so all users can know the state of the printer.

  • Most applications and most print drivers will offload some, or a significant amount, of the print-job processing to the server, which increases the responsiveness of the client computers. In other words, when users click Print, their jobs are sent quickly to the print server and users can resume their work while the print server processes the jobs.

  • Security, auditing, monitoring, and logging functions are centralized.

Installing a Printer on Windows Server 2003

Printers are managed most commonly through the Printers And Faxes folder, which integrates both printer and fax capabilities. The Add Printer Wizard guides you through the printer setup. The most critical choices you must make are the following:

  • Local Or Network Printer This page of the Add Printer Wizard is shown in Figure 1. When you set up a printer on a Windows Server 2003 computer, the terms local printer and network printer have slightly different meanings from what you might expect. A local printer is a logical printer that supports a printer attached directly to the server or a stand-alone, network-attached printer. When you direct the Add Printer Wizard to create a local printer by clicking Local Printer Attached To This Computer, the server can share the printer to other clients on the network. A network printer, on the other hand, is a logical printer that that connects to a printer directly attached to another computer or to a printer managed by another print server. The user interface can be misleading, so remember that, in the common print server implementation, the print server will host local printers (whether the printer hardware is attached to the computer or network-attached), and workstations will create network printers connecting to the server’s shared logical printer.

    Figure 1. The Local Or Network Printer page of the Add Printer Wizard

  • Select A Printer Port When you create a local printer on a print server, the Add Printer Wizard asks you to specify the port to which the printer is attached. If the port already exists, whether a local port such as LPT1 or a network port specified by an IP address, select the port from the Use The Following Port drop-down list. When setting up a logical printer for a network attached printer for which a port has not been created, click Create A New Port, select Standard TCP/IP Port and click Next. The Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard appears. Clicking Next prompts you for the IP address or DNS name of the printer. After the port has been added, you are returned to the Add Printer Wizard.

  • Install Printer Software If Plug and Play does not detect and install the correct printer automatically, you can select your printer from an extensive list that is categorized by manufacturer. If the printer does not appear on the list, you can click Have Disk and install the printer from drivers supplied by the manufacturer.

  • Printer Name and Share Name Although Windows Server 2003 supports long printer names and share names including spaces and special characters, it is best practice to keep names short and simple. The entire qualified name including the server name (for example, \\Server01\PSCRIPT) should be 32 characters or fewer.

The share name and the printer name appear, and are used in different places throughout the Windows user interface. Although the share name is independent of, and can be different from, the printer name, many enterprises unify the printer name and the share name to reduce confusion.

Configuring Printer Properties

After installing the logical printer, you can configure numerous properties by opening the printer’s Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 2. The General tab allows you to configure the printer name, location, and comments, all of which were initially configured based on your responses to prompts in the Add Printer Wizard.

Figure 2. The General tab of a printer’s Properties dialog box

The Sharing tab shown in Figure 3 allows you to specify whether the logical printer is shared, and is therefore available to other clients on the network, and whether the printer is listed in Active Directory, a default setting, for shared printers, that allows users to easily search for and connect to printers.

Figure 3. The Sharing tab of a printer’s Properties dialog box


You can use the Sharing tab to stop sharing a printer, if you take a printer offline and want to prevent users from accessing the printer.

During printer setup, Windows Server 2003 loads drivers onto the print server that support that printer for clients running Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. Printer drivers are platform-specific. If other platforms will be connecting to the shared logical printer, install the appropriate drivers on the server, so that Windows clients will download the driver automatically when they connect. Otherwise, you will be prompted for the correct drivers on each individual client.

On the Sharing tab of the Properties dialog box, click Additional Drivers to configure the print server to host drivers for computers running versions of Windows prior to Windows 2000. When you select a previous version of Windows, the server will prompt you for the drivers for the appropriate platform and printer. Those drivers will be available from the printer’s manufacturer, or sometimes on the original CD-ROM of the previous version of Windows.

By loading drivers on the server for all client platforms, you can centralize and facilitate driver distribution. Client computers running Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 download the driver when they first connect to the shared printer. They also verify that they have the current printer driver each time they print and, if they do not, they download the updated driver. For these client computers, you need only update printer drivers on the print server. Client computers running Windows 95 or Windows 98 do not check for updated printer drivers, once the driver is initially downloaded and installed. You must manually install updated printer drivers on these clients.


You can access other servers’ printer folders by browsing the network or by choosing the Run command from the Start menu and typing \\server_name. You can drag those servers’ Printer and Faxes folders to your own, giving you easy access to manage remote printers.

Connecting Clients to Printers

Printers that have been set up as logical printers on a print server can be shared to other systems on the network. Those systems will also require logical printers to represent the network printer.

Configuring a print client can be done in several ways, including the Add Printer Wizard, which can be started from the Printers And Faxes folder or from the common Windows Print dialog box in almost all Microsoft applications, including Internet Explorer and Notepad. On the Local or Network Printer page, select A Network Printer Or A Printer Attached To Another Computer. When prompted for the printer name, you can search Active Directory, enter the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) (for example, \\Server\Printersharename) or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to the printer, or browse for the printer using the Browser service.

One of the more efficient ways to set up print clients is to search Active Directory for the printer. In the Specify A Printer page of the Add Printer Wizard, choose Find A Printer In The Directory and click Next. The Find Printers dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 4, and you can enter search criteria including printer name, location, model, and features. Wildcards can be used in many of the criteria. Click Find Now and a result set is displayed. Select the printer and click OK. The Add Printer Wizard then steps you through remaining configuration options.

Figure 4. The Find Printers dialog box


You can save a search by choosing Save Search from the File menu. As an administrator, you can create and save custom searches to users’ desktops, allowing them to easily locate predefined subsets for the printers in your enterprise.

A logical printer includes the drivers, settings, and print queue for the printer on the selected port. When you double-click a printer in the Printers And Faxes folder, a window opens that displays the jobs in the printer’s queue. By right-clicking any job, you can pause, resume, cancel, or restart the job. From the Printer menu, you can also pause or cancel all printing, access the printer properties, or set the printer as default or offline. Your ability to perform each of these actions depends, of course, upon the permissions on the printer’s access control list.

As an alternative to using the Add Printer Wizard, if you are using Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP with the default Start menu, perform the following steps to configure a print client:

Click Start, and then select Search.

In the Search Companion pane, click Other Search Options, then Printers, Computers, Or People, and finally A Printer On The Network.

The Find Printers dialog box will be displayed, allowing you to search for the printer using various criteria.

After entering the desired criteria, click Find Now.

Practice: Installing and Configuring a Printer

In this practice, you will set up a logical printer on a print server and simulate connecting a client to the shared printer. You will then send a print job to the printer.

You do not need to have a print device connected to Server01 or to the network, nor are you required to have a second computer to act as a print client. However, if you have access to these additional components, you are encouraged to implement the exercises using that extra hardware.

Exercise 1: Add a Local Printer and Configure Print Sharing

In this exercise, you use the Add Printer Wizard to add a logical printer to Server01. The printer will connect to a network-attached HP LaserJet 8100 that is connected to the network at IP address You do not need an actual printer to complete this exercise.

Log on to Server01 as Administrator.

Open the Printers And Faxes folder.

Double-click Add Printer. The Add Printer Wizard appears.

Click Next. The Local Or Network Printer page appears.

You are prompted for the location of the printer. Although the printer is attached to the network, the logical printer serving that printer is being added to Server01, so the printer is referred to as a local printer.

Verify that the Local Printer option is selected and that the Automatically Detect And Install My Plug And Play Printer check box is cleared (because you are configuring a printer for a fictional device), and then click Next.

The Select A Printer Port page appears. Click Create A New Port.

Select Standard TCP/IP Port from the Type Of Port drop-down list.

The port types that will be available, other than local port, depend on the installed network protocols. In this case, TCP/IP is installed, so this protocol-based port is available.

Click Next. The Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard appears.

Click Next.

Enter the IP Address: and accept the default port name, IP_10.0.0.51.

Click Next.

Because a print device is not actually attached to the network at that address, there will be a delay while the Wizard attempts to locate and identify the printer. You will also be prompted to specify the type of network interface.

Select Hewlett Packard Jet Direct as the device type.

Click Next, and then click Finish. The Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard closes, returning you to the Add Printer Wizard.

The Wizard prompts you for the printer manufacturer and model. You will add an HP LaserJet 8100 Series PCL printer.


The printers list is sorted in alphabetical order. If you cannot find a printer name, make sure that you are looking in the correct location.

From the Manufacturer list, click HP; from the Printers list, scroll down the list, click HP LaserJet 8100 Series PCL; and then click Next.

The Name Your Printer page appears. The default name in the Printer Name field is the printer model, HP LaserJet 8100 Series PCL. The name you enter should conform to naming conventions in your enterprise. For this exercise, enter the name HPLJ8100.

Type HPLJ8100 and Click Next.

The Printer Sharing page appears, prompting you for printer-sharing information. The share name should also reflect naming conventions in your enterprise. As discussed earlier, the printer’s UNC (that is, \\Servername\Printersharename) should not exceed 32 characters.

Verify that the Share Name option is selected.

In the Share Name text box, type HPLJ8100, and then click Next.

The Location And Comment page appears.


The Add Printer Wizard displays the values you enter for the Location and Comment text boxes when a user searches the Active Directory for a printer. Entering this information is optional, but doing so helps users locate the printer.

In the Location text box, type USA/NYC/1802Americas/42/B.

In the Comment text box, type Black and White Output Laser Printer-High Volume.

Click Next.

The Print Test Page screen appears. A test page that prints successfully would confirm that your printer is set up properly.

Choose No (because the printer doesn’t exist) and click Next. The Completing The Add Printer Wizard page appears and summarizes your installation choices.

Confirm the summary of your installation choices, and then click Finish.

An icon for the printer appears in the Printers And Faxes window. Notice that Windows Server 2003 displays an open hand beneath the printer icon. This indicates the printer is shared. Also notice the check mark next to the printer, which indicates the printer is the default printer for the print server.

Keep the Printers And Faxes window open because you will need it to complete the next exercise.

Exercise 2: Connect a Client to a Printer

If you have access to a second computer, you would install on each workstation a printer that connects to the shared printer on Server01. In this practice, you are required to have only one computer (Server01), but you can simulate connecting a printer client to the server’s logical printer.

Open the Printers And Faxes folder.

Start the Add Printer Wizard and click Next.

In the Local Or Network Printer dialog box, select A Network Printer, Or A Printer Attached To Another Computer and click Next.

Confirm that Find A Printer In The Directory is selected and click Next. The Find Printers dialog box appears.

In the Location box, type *NYC* and then click Find Now.

Select the printer HPLJ8100 in the results list and click OK.

On the Add Printer Wizard’s Default Printer page, select Yes and then click Next.

Click Finish.

You will not see a new printer icon in the Printers And Faxes folder because it is not possible to create a printer client to a logical printer on the same computer. If you conduct this exercise on a second computer, you will see the icon for the new printer appear.

Exercise 3: Take a Printer Offline and Print a Test Document

In this exercise, you set the printer you created to offline status. Taking a printer offline causes documents you send to this printer to be held in the print queue while the print device is unavailable. Doing this will prevent error messages about unavailable print devices from occurring in later exercises. Otherwise, Windows Server 2003 will display error messages when it attempts to send documents to the fictional print device that is not actually available to the computer.

In the Printers And Faxes window, right-click the HPLJ8100 icon.

Choose Use Printer Offline. Notice that the icon appears dimmed to reflect that the printer is not available, and the status appears as Offline.

Double-click the HPLJ8100 icon. Notice that the list of documents to be sent to the print device is empty.

Click the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Notepad.

In Notepad, type any sample text that you want.

Arrange Notepad and the HPLJ8100 window so that you can see the contents of each.

From the File menu in Notepad, select Print. The Print dialog box appears, allowing you to select the printer and print options.

The Print dialog box displays the location and comment information you entered when you created the printer, and it shows HPLJ8100 as the default and selected printer, and indicates that the printer is offline.

Click Print. Notepad briefly displays a message stating that the document is printing on your computer. On a fast computer, you might not see this message.

In the HPLJ8100–Use Printer Offline window, you will see the document waiting to be sent to the print device. The document is held in the print queue because you took the printer offline. If the printer were online, the document would be sent to the print device.

Close Notepad, and click No when prompted to save changes to your document.

Select the document in the HPLJ8100 window and, from the Printer menu, select Cancel All Documents. A Printers message box appears, asking if you are sure you want to cancel all documents for HPLJ8100.

Click Yes. The document is removed.

Close the HPLJ8100–Use Printer Offline window.

Close the Printers And Faxes window.
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