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20. Printers




Any NT server or Workstation can be a print server. A printer is the software that sits between the print device and the application. The print device can be local (attached to the server) or act as a network interface print device.

The four levels of printer permissions are detailed below:

  • No Access
  • Print (default)
  • Manage Documents - control job settings, pause, restart and delete documents
  • Full control - all the above plus share printers, change their properties, delete printers and change permissions.

Before setting up the printer you need to install the driver, Add the printer (as administrators) and share the printer.

  • In My Computer, designate the server as a print server the first time you add a printer.
  • Specify which port to use.
  • Install the driver either from the NT CD if the printer is on the Hardware Compatability List, or from the manufacturer.
  • Give the printer a name for those that manage it.
  • Set the default printer so that users do not have to set the printer in every application.
  • Share the printer for those with the right permissions. You do this by selecting the printer in the printers folder, clicking the icon of the printer, click file and then the Sharing tab, clicking Shared to complete the process.
  • Assign a share name to identify the printer to the users.
  • Identify the operating systems being used by those wishing to use the printer and install the drivers for each OS. You do this in the Alternate Drivers box.
  • Print a test page.

To modify the permissions on a printer you click properties and the security tab where the permissions button is. You can add users and groups defining the type of access allowed for each.

For NT and Windows 95 the printer driver is automatically copied to the client computer. This is not the case with other operating systems that have permission to use the network printer. The print server must also have an appropriate service installed on it e.g. Services for Macintosh, File and Print Services for Netware (FPNW) and TCP/IP Line Printer Daemon (LPD) for Unix. The Windows 95 driver, once installed, is not automatically updated when a new driver is installed on the print server, you have to do this manually.

When an NT client connects an updated driver is automatically downloaded. For a client to connect to a network printer they must click on Add Printer in the Printers folder. Click Network Printer Server then Next and then in the printer box type the UNC of the printer or select the UNC from the shared printers box.

For LAN Manager in DOS or OS/2 type net use lptx \\server_name\sharename
For Netware clients type capture queuename
For For Unix clients type lpr -Sserver_name -Psharename filename
For Macintosh clients use Chooser.

You can create a printer pool for identical printers (e.g. 3 printers connected to a printer server on LPT1, LPT2 and LPT3). Select the printer icon and click on properties. Click the Ports tab and click the Enable printer pooling check box. Select the ports to belong to the pool. The printer checks the ports in the order in which they were added so add the quickest print device first.

You can have a number of printers point to the same print device provided that the printers are on the same server and are using the same port (or UNC). A different priority can be set for each printer, the higher the number the higher the priority, the default priority is 1. Scheduling print jobs can be achieved from the Scheduling tab. You can set the priorities (1 to 99) and the time that the document is allowed to actually print. You can also decide whether to spool the print job or print it immediately.

In the Device Settings tab of the printer properties you can set the Form to Tray Assignment. This means that a printer that has a number of different paper trays can be used from within the application being used.

In the General tab a separator page can be configured. You can create your own separator page to identify a document or to switch print modes. Three types of separator page are available:

  • Sysprint.sep - Postscript, prints a page before each document.
  • Pcl.sep - PCL (HP print devices), prints a page before each document.
  • Pscript.sep - Postscript for HP with no page before each document.

The groups Administrators, Printer Operators, Server Operators and Power Users can all add and remove printers, share printers and take ownership of printers. The Full Control print permission is required to administer printers.

There is a print spooler both on the printer server and the NT/95 client. Pausing and resuming the spooler on the NT server can often resolve a stuck document. This is achieved from the Printer menu of the printer. The document is partially processed by the printer driver and then the spooler on the server finishes the processing.

User with the print permission can delete their own documents from the spooler. To delete other user's document you require Full Control or Manage Document permissions. You do this by double-clicking the printer, highlighting the document and selecting Cancel from the Document menu.

You can set Notification, Priority and Printing Time of a document if you select the document and then Properties from the Document menu and finally the General tab.

If users have already sent their print jobs to a specific printer that has broken down, you can redirect the jobs to another printer. To do this follow these steps:

  • For the printer select Properties.
  • Click on the Ports tab.
  • Add a Port.
  • Click Local Port and then click New Port.
  • Enter a port name which could be the UNC for another printer e.g. \\prsrv2\HPlaser2.

This is fine provided that the new printer uses the same driver as the old printer.

Full Control permission is required to take ownership of a printer. By default, the printer owner is the one who installed it. In the properties of a printer you need to select the Security tab, click Ownership and select Take Ownership.

  • Access Denied message means that the user does not have appropriate permissions.
  • A document not printing properly could mean that the wrong driver is installed.
  • If the document does not reach the server then there may not be enough hard disk space for the spooler.
  • If no one can print and documents refuse to leave the spooler then the spooler may need to be stopped and restarted.


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