Users Are Unable to Print to Server

This article was previously published under Q186247
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SYMPTOMS
After a while, all Windows NT workstations are no longer able to submitprint jobs to a print server. You may receive the following error message:

The RPC Server is unavailable.

A network trace of the traffic between a client and the print server showsthat the server is returning STATUS_PIPE_NOT_AVAILABLE to the clientwhenever it tries to connect to the spoolss RPC server.

File sharing and other remote administrative tasks against the server arenot affected. Downlevel (non-RPC) clients can still print, and print jobssubmitted from the server itself also print correctly.

This tends to occur more frequently in the early evening as users areleaving work.
CAUSE
Workstations are being powered off without being properly shut down.Specifically, the problem arises if the workstation had one or more printerproperty windows open. The server attempts to perform an RPC printnotification update to the client, but, because the client was turned off,the underlying transport times out the connection request. During thisperiod, the RPC run time is unable to create any named pipe instances fornew incoming print requests.

It usually requires several workstations to be turned off in a short periodof time for these symptoms to appear on the server.
RESOLUTION
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack

STATUS
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 4.
Properties

Article ID: 186247 - Last Review: 10/08/2013 02:51:18 - Revision: 1.3

Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition

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