Thursday, June 11, 2009

Resolving Printer Issues in Windows XP

Resolving Printer Issues

A MCDST needs to know how to install, manage, troubleshoot, and audit printers.

  • Printers are software that includes the drivers.
  • Print Devices are the hardware, the physical equipment.
  • Print Job is the data stream that goes through the computer to the print device.
  • Printer Driver is the actual software that allows the print device to communicate with the operating system.
  • Print Spooler is where the print job goes when it is waiting for the print device. This is the physical location where the job is held before it is printed out.
  • Print Queue is a logical list of all of the jobs that are waiting to be printed.
1.1 Installing Printers


This brings up Add a Printer Wizard.

Select the option that describes the printer you want to use:

  • Local printer attached to this computer
  • A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer

Click Next

Click Next (one more time to browse for the printers). The dialog box pops up and finds the Microsoft Windows Network, where we can browse to find the printer.

If you were to install a Local printer (the other option not highlighted, above), another box would pop up after you select that option.

  • Local printer attached to this computer

    √ Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer (check this if you already have the print device installed.)

    Click Next.

    Select a Printer Port.

    It defaults to a LPT1 printer port. You also have the option of printing to a COM serial port, or to a file. You could also create a new port, a local port or a TCP/IP port (a port that prints to a particular IP address over the internet).

    Click next.

    Install Printer Software. XP has a cache of printers so we can choose the printer we want. For our example, we are going to use

    AGFA-ACCuSet v52.3.

    Click Next.

    Name Your Printer. For our example, we will call it Printer1.

    Click Next.

    Printer Sharing

  • Do not share this printer
  • Share name:

    Click Next.

    Location and Comment

    • Location: (the Network Administrators can set up the location so that the users can find printers)
    • Comment:

    Print a Test Page

    Do you want to print a test page?

    • Yes (Recommended if you have the print device connected)
    • No (In this case we will choose no since we do not have our print device hooked up)
    Click Next.

    A dialog box opens up that tell you it is 'Completing the Add Printer Wizard'.

    Name: Printer1

    Share name: Printer1

    Model: AGFA-AccuSet v52.3

    Default: Yes

    Test page: No



    Click Finish. The system loads the drivers and creates Printer1.

1.2 Updating & Troubleshooting Printers

Right click the Printer/Properties and make changes you need to make.

Most print devices allow you to print a test page at the device. If you are able to print a test page from the device, then you know the print device is operational.

If you are able to print a test page from the print device, but you cannot print from the application, then you know the problem is the application.

1.3 Printer Permissions

  • Print – You can print and delete your own documents from the queue
  • Manage documents – Manage the print device itself, i.e., pause and stop the queue
  • Manage printers – Manage the software settings
Right click Printer1/click Properties/click Security (allows you to see what users and groups are allowed to use the printer). This will allow you to troubleshoot why a user might be having problems with the printer. The problem could be related to their permissions with the printer.

Group of user names:
Creator Owner
Power Users
Add Remove
Permissions for Administrators Allow Deny
Manage Printers √
Manage Documents √
Special Permissions √
Administrators have the above permissions. Everyone has the Print permissions. Power Users have the same as Manage permissions for printers.

For an example, if we 'Add' an Executives Group to the Permissions, we can click Add (above) and type in the Executives Group. However, the Executives already had permissions to print to this printer because they are a member of the Everyone Group. So, if we want only the Administrators, Power Users, and the Executives to have permissions to print to this printer, we click on the Everyone Group (above) and click Remove to remove 'Everyone' from the permissions for this printer. So now, the Administrators, Creator Owner, Executives, and the Power Users are the only ones who have any 'permissions' at all for this printer.

1.4 Redirecting Print Jobs

Suppose the user prints and job and the printer is unavailable. You might want to redirect the print job to go to another print device so that it gets printed. For this example, we will use Printer1.

Right click Printer1/click Properties/click Ports/click Add Port/click New Port/Type in the printer server name and the share name where you want to redirect the print job


Click OK.

All of the jobs will now be redirected to the new print device.

1.5 Resetting the Printer Spooler

If you are having a problem with the print spooler, it probably just needs to be reset. However, it could be that it is running out of space.

First, we need to determine where the print spooler is.

The print spooler is for all of the printers, so you need to right click in an open area in Printers and Faxes/click Print Server Properites/Advanced.

Spool folder: C:\WINNT\System32\spool\PRINTERS (this is were we can make adjustments to where the print spooler is, if needed)

Log spooler error events

Log spooler warning events

Log spooler information events

Beep on error of remote documents

Show informational notifications for local printers

Show informational notifications for network printers

To reset the print spooler, go to My Computer/right click and choose Manage/go to Services and Applications/click on Services/scroll down to Print Spooler.

Right click Print Spooler and you can Stop and Restart the Print Spooler. Most of the time resetting the print spooler will clear your problem with the print spooler.

1.6 Auditing Printers

In this example, we will refer to Printer1 as the printer name.

Right click Printer1/Properties/Security/Advanced/Auditing

We can add the users or groups that we want to audit for this printer.

If we add Executives, the dialog box will ask us what we want to audit:

Name: Executives

Apply onto: This printer and documents

Access: Successful Failed

Print √

Manage Printers √

Manage Documents

Read Permissions √

Change Permissions √

Take Ownership √

Let's pretend we want to audit the executives ability to print, so we need to check out and make sure that no one is changing our security in the manage printers permission.

Click OK.

To view the results of printer audits, click Start/Run.

Type: eventvwr.msc

Press enter.

You can also get there by going to Administrative Tools.

The event viewer has three logs by default.

  • Application
  • Security
  • System
Click on System

Click on View

Click Filter

We are going to Filter by an Event source. Select Print. Click Ok.

Now, click on Security

Click on View

Click Filter

For the Event source, select Security. For category, select Object Access because we want to know if we are having a problem accessing objects. We notice there are a lot of events that show success. Since we don't need to look at the events that are a success, we go back and click on View/Filter. Then, we uncheck Successful Audits and click OK. Afterwards, you will only see the Failure Audits.

1 comment:

  1. tina thorsen was so wonderful about fixing all my computer problems and was so sweet about handling all of my high tech problems. i highly recommend her for ANY COMPUTER PROBLEMS!


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