After you install Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), you may experience the following issue when you print to a shared printer on your network:
- Print status notification messages do not appear.
- The printer icon does not appear on the Windows taskbar.
This issue occurs even though print notification messages are not turned off in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties
dialog box. For information about how to know if print notification messages are turned off, see the More Information section.
This issue may occur when you configure an open port in the Windows Firewall on your network connection, and you configure the scope of the exception to use the My network (subnet) only setting or the Custom list setting in the Change Scope dialog box.
To view the Hide Inactive Icons
setting for the notification area to see if the printer icon is set to Always hide
, follow these steps:
- Right-click the Windows taskbar, and then click Properties.
- Click the Taskbar tab.
- Under Notification area, if the Hide inactive icons check box is selected, click Customize.
- Under Current items, make sure the Printer icon is not set to Always hide. If it is, change the setting to Hide when inactive or to Always show, and then click OK two times.
For remote notifications, the print spooler requires an RPC channel from the server to the client. This channel cannot be created if the client does not have file and print sharing ports open because Windows Firewall treats the notification as unsolicited network traffic. In this case, when Windows Firewall blocks the network traffic from the server (print spooler) to the client, a 20-second delay on the client can result because the server uses polling notifications instead.
To improve performance and avoid polling notifications, Windows XP SP2 first checks the Windows Firewall port settings. If they are open, or if the value cannot be determined, the server opens a communication channel with the client. If they are closed or if they are open with restricted scope, we fall to polling notifications. Doing this has limitations. Specifically, balloon notifications do not work.
It was decided that in most client/server cases the client and server would not be on the same subnet, and because it is more difficult to figure out every time whether a computer was on your subnet or not, the "open restricted" case was considered the same as closed. Therefore, polling occurs.