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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, One inkjet printer breaking stops all from working in Technical; Hello All, We have a Windows Server 2003 print server. It doesn't do anything else, it just acts as a ...
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    dhicks's Avatar
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    One inkjet printer breaking stops all from working

    Hello All,

    We have a Windows Server 2003 print server. It doesn't do anything else, it just acts as a print server, and is a virtual machine with 1GB of RAM and 60GB of disk space. It mostly trundles along just fine.

    We have a bunch of mostly second-hand HP Business Inkjet 1100 printers connected to that print server with the standard HP JetDirect 200m print server that plugs in the slot provided on the printer. We also have a few new networked HP Business Inkjet 1200 machines (bought before I realised the 1100s could be got for way cheaper second hand...).

    The problem would seem to be that when one printer gets itself jammed up, or runs out of paper, and gets a backlog of a few jobs, the whole lot of 1100 / 1200 printers stops printing. Other printers on the server carry on working just fine. It's as if the 1100 / 1200 printers are all using one driver or print queue, so when one breaks they all break. Is this correct? Is this something inherant in how Windows Server 2003 handles print jobs, or is it something to do with how HP have written the driver? Is there some way I can stop this happening, a setting that I can turn on so that each printer has its own seperate whatever-it-is that it needs? I can always assign the server another gigabyte or two of RAM, or a bit more disk space, if that's going to be neccesary.

    --
    David Hicks

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    contink's Avatar
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    Sorry David, can't think of a thing that's definite... Does sound a lot like the print spooler is crashing though and in most cases that's down to the drivers...

    I really wish someone would put HP's driver writing team against a wall and nuke the real tools so the rest get a clue...

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    dhicks (7th December 2009)

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Are they user mode or kernel mode drivers? FYI I believe 2008 R2 has some new protection for the spooler service to stop one print driver killing all the rest

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    dhicks (7th December 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by contink View Post
    Does sound a lot like the print spooler is crashing though and in most cases that's down to the drivers...
    I think the problem is to do with one person's printer getting jammed up and getting a backlog of a few print jobs, this seems to stop all the 1100 / 1200 printers. Un-jamming the printer and clearing the backlog seems to get the printers going again. I can't remember, off hand, exactly what I rebooted, so maybe simply getting a backlog causes the 1100 / 1200 driver to crash. I'll try and nail the problem down a bit more the next time it happens - someone's bound to get a bunged up printer again sooner or later.

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    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    FYI I believe 2008 R2 has some new protection for the spooler service to stop one print driver killing all the rest
    But we had to use Server 2003 as GhostScript wouldn't work on Server 2008.

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    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I can't remember, off hand, exactly what I rebooted, so maybe simply getting a backlog causes the 1100 / 1200 driver to crash. I'll try and nail the problem down a bit more the next time it happens - someone's bound to get a bunged up printer again sooner or later.
    And indeed, the Humanaties room printer just ran out of paper and all the 1100s / 1200s stopped printing. I put more paper in the printer, cleared up the single paused print job, and everything started working again, no rebooting needed, therefore neither the printer driver or print spooler had crashed (unless Windows Server is bright enough these days to restart the print spooler after a crash (but then why would everything stop print in the first place?)). I notice a couple of errors in the print server's event log around the time the printers stopped working:

    The document Microsoft Word - Letters1 owned by bgivon failed to print on printer OfficeInkjetColA4. Data type: NT EMF 1.008. Size of the spool file in bytes: 108840. Number of bytes printed: 0. Total number of pages in the document: 4. Number of pages printed: 0. Client machine: \\ACSTS003. Win32 error code returned by the print processor: 0. The operation completed successfully.

    The bit that gets me is the "operation completed successfully" at the end...

    --
    David Hicks

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    If you have any of the nasty little HP print utilities etc installed, uninstall them and just use the base admin print drivers from HP.

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    dhicks (11th December 2009)

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    AIT
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Hello All,

    We have a Windows Server 2003 print server. It doesn't do anything else, it just acts as a print server, and is a virtual machine with 1GB of RAM and 60GB of disk space. It mostly trundles along just fine.

    We have a bunch of mostly second-hand HP Business Inkjet 1100 printers connected to that print server with the standard HP JetDirect 200m print server that plugs in the slot provided on the printer. We also have a few new networked HP Business Inkjet 1200 machines (bought before I realised the 1100s could be got for way cheaper second hand...).

    The problem would seem to be that when one printer gets itself jammed up, or runs out of paper, and gets a backlog of a few jobs, the whole lot of 1100 / 1200 printers stops printing. Other printers on the server carry on working just fine. It's as if the 1100 / 1200 printers are all using one driver or print queue, so when one breaks they all break. Is this correct? Is this something inherant in how Windows Server 2003 handles print jobs, or is it something to do with how HP have written the driver? Is there some way I can stop this happening, a setting that I can turn on so that each printer has its own seperate whatever-it-is that it needs? I can always assign the server another gigabyte or two of RAM, or a bit more disk space, if that's going to be neccesary.

    --
    David Hicks
    i dont know if 2003 supports this but in 2008 r2 you can isolate printer drivers. how about a script that restarts the print spooler every say 15 minuits?

    but this does sound like a print driver issue. i would aslo (on the properties of the printer ports tab) un check "enable bidirectional support"
    will stop the printer talking back to the server.

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    dhicks (11th December 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    If you have any of the nasty little HP print utilities etc installed
    Dear me, no chance - this school is stricly an HP utility-free zone!

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    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by AIT View Post
    i dont know if 2003 supports this but in 2008 r2 you can isolate printer drivers.
    So each printer is assigned its own set of resources, sort of thing? I suppose we could see about setting up a 2008 VM to act as a second print server, but that's going to cost money...

    how about a script that restarts the print spooler every say 15 minuits?
    But rebooting the server doesn't seem to make any difference - the printers were out for a week while I swore, muttered and rebooted the server, all to no avail. It doesn't seem to be a the-spooler-is-crashing sort of problem.

    i would aslo (on the properties of the printer ports tab) un check "enable bidirectional support"
    will stop the printer talking back to the server.
    Good point, I'll try that. It does seem to be kind of breaking a feature, though - does SNMP keep running on the JetDirect server if I turn off bidirectional support on the print server?

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    David Hicks
    Last edited by dhicks; 11th December 2009 at 05:09 PM.

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    AIT
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    So each printer is assigned its own set of resources, sort of thing? I suppose we could see about setting up a 2008 VM to act as a second print server, but that's going to cost money...



    But rebooting the server doesn't seem to make any difference - the printers were out for a week while I swore, muttered and rebooted the server, all to no avail. It doesn't seem to be a the-spooler-is-crashing sort of problem.



    Goopd point, I'll try that. It does seem to be kind of breaking a feature, though - does SNMP keep running on the JetDirect server if I turn off bidirectional support on the print server?

    --
    David Hicks
    does the spooler crash??

    in 2008 r2 you can isoloate drivers so yes each one runs seperatly having said that if you have lots of xp machines you coudl face more problems than its worth. p.s. we run 2003 and 2008 to keep backwards compatible drivers.

    i would definitly try the bidirectional support one as it solved a very similar problem for us with hp printers.

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    dhicks (11th December 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AIT View Post
    does the spooler crash??
    Just now, the printer in the Humanaties classroom running out of paper stopped all the other 1200 / 1100 printers working. I went and put more paper in the printer, cleared the single print job from its queue, and all the printers started working again, no server reboot needed. Therefore, I don't think the print spooler crashed.

    in 2008 r2 you can isoloate drivers so yes each one runs seperatly
    Would you know if each printer gets its own, separate, walled-off version of the driver, running in its own dedicated bit of memory - like a virtualisation system for printer drivers, kind of thing?

    [quote]having said that if you have lots of xp machines you coudl face more problems than its worth.[/QUOTE

    All our Windows workstations run Windows XP, what problems are we likely to come accross?

    we run 2003 and 2008 to keep backwards compatible drivers.
    Oh, I'd keep the Server 2003 print server, we need it to run GhostScript.

    i would definitly try the bidirectional support one as it solved a very similar problem for us with hp printers.
    Okay, I'll give that a try, thanks.

    --
    David Hicks

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    AIT
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    In Windows Server 2008 R2, you can select levels of isolation for print drivers. The print drivers can continue running in the same process as the spooler (no isolation, None); have several drivers running in a separate driver process (Shared); or have each driver running in its own process (Isolated). By default, print drivers are placed in a shared print process separate from the spooler.


    So the only conclusion i can come to is the printer is talking back to the server. Or even if you switched one off all of them should stop printing??

    How did the bi directional support go??

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    dhicks (14th December 2009)

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    all printers use the same print driver. This means one stops they all stop.

    What we did is installed them with the HP universal print driver and this solved the problem.

    nick

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    dhicks (16th December 2009)



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