Monday 3 December 2007

SBS - Adding a network printer & the Add Printer Wizard

There are a couple of steps that need to happen in order for a networked printer to keep working after the printer technician who installed a new printer has left.

If one does not follow these steps, one is sure to receive a support phone call the moment the printer's DHCP lease expires and users can no longer print.

Since some printers are quite portable, we tend to assign a DHCP reservation versus setting a static IP in the printer's control panel or the built-in Web interface if it has one.

This saves one from a support call if someone decides to grab that printer and haul it down to a remote office operating across a VPN and thus on a different IP range altogether. This way we can remote into the system and reconfigure the Remote Office server's DHCP reservations, get the user to power cycle the printer, log off and on again, and they would be printing.

On the newer printers, one can set everything up, plug it into the network, pickup an IP address via DHCP, and configure the Device Name to help with printer identification and location.

Set the Printer's "Device Name" (if possible):

Once we have the IP address, we connect to the printer via a Web browser and we immediately set the "Device Name" to something like: HPLJ4345MFP-Bullpen.

Power cycle the printer, and that host name will show up in the DHCP manager as:

HP LaserJet 4345MFP After Device Name Change

Make sure to download the newest drivers for the printer, extract them to a network share, and head to the next step.

Create the DHCP Reservation:

On the SBS box, we head down to the Advanced Management section:
  1. Computer Management (local)
  2. Services and Applications
  3. DHCP
  4. Scope (192.168.x.x) SBS Scope
  5. Address Leases
  6. Expand the "Unique ID" column to see the entire MAC address
  7. Click on Reservations
  8. Click back on Address Leases (to see the MAC address)
  9. Right click on "Reservations" and click on "New Reservation"
  10. Name it: HPLJ4345MFP-BullPen
  11. Set an IP to it that rests in an Exclusion Range (We usually exclude 192.168.x.1-20 for printers, NAS, and other network peripherals): (for this example)
  12. Give it a description
  13. Power cycle the printer
  14. Hit refresh in the DHCP management console a couple times after the printer has finished power cycling to see the Lease Expiration go from: Reservation (inactive) to Reservation (active).
Once we see that the printer has picked up the new address, connect to the printer via a Web browser to confirm.

There are other methods to the above one as far as setting the reservation, such as picking up the MAC address from the printer's Web interface, or printing it out before hand via a Configuration Page.

Add the Printer to SBS via the Add Printer Wizard:

Why use the SBS wizard as opposed to getting everything setup via the Printers and Faxes task manager? Because, using the wizard means that everyone who logs into their systems in the morning or after lunch will have the printer installed by default. This saves the extra step of having to install the printer manually.

Of course, if users require the printer right away, one would connect them up immediately as the log on/off process may not work immediately.

If one uses the Printer and Faxes method, the now setup printer may not show up in the SBS Printers Management console and the printer will not be installed on workstations by default.

So, in the SBS Management Console:
  1. Standard Management
  2. Printers
  3. Add a Printer (link)
  4. Welcome to the Add Printer Wizard (Next)
  5. Local Printer attached to this computer (uncheck "Automatically detect and install ..."
  6. Create a new port: Standard TCP/IP Port (Next)
  7. Welcome to the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard (Next)
  8. At Printer Name or IP Address: (Next)
    • Port Name shows: IP_192.168.99.10
  9. Finish for the Standard TCP/IP Port
  10. Install the Printer Software using the newly downloaded and extracted drivers
    • Possible Option: Use Existing Driver? 1: Keep existing or 2: Replace existing. If having any print related issues with same driver based printers ... replace. Otherwise "Keep".
  11. Name the printer and select whether it is to be the default printer for the SBS box: HP LJ4345MFP-BullPen.
  12. Share Name will pickup some of the above name. Change it accordingly: HPLJ4345MFP-BullPen.
    • Possible Option: Share may not be accessible from MS-DOS workstations ... are you sure? Um, Yes! ;)
  13. Give a brief Location description.
  14. Add any applicable comments for users such as permissions levels and the like. (Next)
  15. Print a test page if necessary. (Next)
  16. Finish
The SBS box will install the necessary drivers, share the printer, announce it in Active Directory, and setup the SBS Logon Wizard to install the printer when users next logon to their workstations.

Note that Windows Vista workstations and newer printers may require users to manually install drivers in order to use the printer during logon.

Now would be the time to set any special user or print management permissions on the share.

Install the Printer on the Workstations:

The quick method is to GPUpdate /force on the SBS box and have the users log off and on again to pickup the new printer.

Otherwise, they will either need to pickup the printer via the share on the SBS box, or in some cases, create the TCP/IP port on their workstations and connect directly to the printer.

We have seen some situations where there were struggles with connecting a workstation to a printer via the SBS share and some applications ability to use that shared printer to print with. Thus the need to connect to the printer directly. So, that is something to keep an eye on for the myriad of client infrastructure environments we work with.

UPDATE: Hit post just a little too quickly! ;)

When the share is picked up via the SBS share on Windows Vista Enterprise x64:

Connect to Printer
The server for the "HP LaserJet 4100 Series PCL' does not have the correct printer driver installed ...
When we go to the share to install the driver the Vista refused to install using the HP Universal PCL6 or PCL5 print drivers.

We needed to create a Standard TCP/IP port to the printer's IP address on the local workstation and allow Windows Vista to use the built-in HP drivers to install a PCL5 driver to get things working.

So, in the case of older printers, we may run into a bit of a conflict between the printer being detected via the SBS share and the Windows Vista built-in drivers for that printer.

Keep that in mind for situations where there are a lot of users needing the printer or where there are a number of users logging into the same machine. Each user profile may need the printer driver setup individually.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Unknown said...

very useful thanks. do you takes Qs??

I have SBS running. I have installed a printer. I have 3 clients.

When I installed the printer the test page printed successfully.

Now I cannot print from either the server itself or any of the clients. The print jobs are going to the print queue but not being sent to the printer.

I can ping the printer by ip address or by name.

What's up??

Michael said...

I have a big problem with HP LJ 4100N on a SBS2008.
When i install this printer via TCP/IP Port, SBS2008 installs the build-in drivers, but when i will print a testpage or a document then appears in the printerspooler an "ERROR".
I installed the print as Administrator and i also tested different drivers from HP (all 64-Bit), but no other result.
Do you have any other tipps or an solutions for the problem.
Installing the printer an a Vista or Server 2008 Standard (32-Bit), the printer wprks fine. The problem is only on the SBS2008 (64-Bit)


Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


Make sure the printer driver is up to date. Use a browser to navigate to the printer's IP address to verify its status from the network.


Remove the driver and clean up the Spool directory of any remnants. Make sure to add the printer by right clicking and Run As Administrator --> Add Printer and connect directly to the printer's IP address.

We have had our share of printer related issues on SBS 08 and x86 clients. :)


Anonymous said...

I'm new to server management. I don't see the "add printer" link in the SBS 2008 console. I see "list a printer" but not "add printer".

What am I missing?

eiger3970 said...

I've followed the walkthrough, however after Computer Management, Services and Applications, I can't find the next step DHCP?

I'm surprised how SBS 2008 doesn't just allow the printer I've plugged into the SBS 2008 USB port and downloaded the driver for: to have the Windows SBS Console, Network, Devices, List a shared printer in this console to work?

I'm getting stuck again in the background configuration (probably messing everything up).

p.s. The printer is recognised locally on SBS 2008.