Print Spooler Support on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Cluster

This article was previously published under Q228904
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You can use Microsoft Cluster Server to create and host print server function. In Windows 2000 the configuration steps are better than the configuration in Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Enterprise Edition.

Note Not all port monitors are cluster-server capable. Using a non-Microsoft port monitor is not supported by Microsoft, and removal of third-party port monitors may be necessary when you troubleshoot spooler issues on a cluster server.

The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article describes the procedure for correctly setting up a print spooler on a cluster in Enterprise Edition:
197046 How to Set up a Print Spooler on Microsoft Cluster Server
More information

Improvements in Windows 2000 Print Spoolers in a Server Cluster

  • You no longer have to create locally defined printers on each node in the cluster to get the port configuration on each node. The port configuration is now stored in the cluster registry and therefore shared between the cluster nodes. The printer driver files do not share between the nodes because of a restriction on the Server service (there must be unique share names on the computer/server cluster). When you install a printer driver on a cluster virtual server, it connects to the print$ share that is mapped to the WinDir\System32\Spool folder of the resource-owning computer.
  • The Standard TCP/IP Ports option replaces the HP Jet Direct Ports option that uses TCP/IP ports or non-RFC compliant line printer remote (LPR) ports. If you want to connect to these printers from computers running operating systems that require RFC compliance, you can install the LPR port monitor by selecting Print Services for UNIX under Other Network File & Print Services (found in the Add/remove Windows Components option of the Add/Remove Programs tool).

    NOTE: JetDirect is no longer supported by HP. They now use SDI (Simple Device Installation) to install network printers. For more information on this, see:

Installation Procedure

  1. Create and bring online a print spooler resource in Cluster Administrator if one does not already exist.

    NOTE: This requires a dependency on a resource of the storage type class (such as physical disk) and a resource of type network name, which will have a dependency on an IP address resource. Make sure you create and add the print spooler to the group designated to contain the spooler resource. Do not use the default "Cluster Group" for the print spooler.

    For more detailed information about creating a resource and bringing it online, refer to the following online Help topics (click Start, and then click Help):
    Windows Clustering
    Server Clusters
    How to Manage Resources
    How to Create a New Resource and Bring a Resource Online
  2. Browse from one of the nodes or a remote computer that has network and administrative permissions to the cluster (click Start, click Run, and then type \\virtualserver, where virtualserver is the name that is specified in the network name resource).
  3. Double-click Printers.
  4. Double-click Add Printers.
  5. Continue through the wizard and accept the default configurations. When you reach the Select Printer Port dialog box, click Create a new port.

    NOTE: Use the Standard TCP/IP Port option unless the printing clients need RFC-compliant LPR ports. If this is the case, install Print Services for UNIX under Other Network File & Print Services (found in the Add/Remove Windows Components option of the Add/Remove Programs tool). The LPR port is now a selection for the port type.
  6. Type the IP address of the network printer that you want to process the print jobs in this print queue.
  7. Give the printer a unique name on the network.
  8. Select to share the printer.

    NOTE: The installation process copies the printer driver files to the \\virtualserver\print$ share. The printer drivers are copied to the System32\Spool folder of the node in the cluster that owns the network name resource that serves this virtual name.
  9. Test printing to this printer.
  10. Using Cluster Administrator, move the group containing the print spooler resource to the other node. Note that the printer resource is not accessible from the virtual server connection because the printer drivers are not installed on this node.NOTE: If the driver has been previously installed on the second node you do not need to add another driver and the print share failed over and is now online.

  11. Install the printer drivers on the second node. On the toolbar click Start, point to Run, and then type \\Virtual Server Name\Print Share Name.
  12. When Prompted Select Yes to Setup the Printer and Continue.
  13. Install Cluster Administrator Move the Printer resource to Node B and send a Test print job to the printer.
To add additional print drivers for other operating systems or other platforms, see the following online Help topic:
Files & Printers/Printing/How to/Manage and Set Print Servers/Add printer drivers for other clients
You must install printer drivers on each cluster node when that node is the owner of the spooler group, because the printer drivers are copied to the print$ folder. You cannot store them on a shared folder. This is because all printer drivers expect to install to the print$ folder, and you cannot have more than one share on a computer with the same name to balance the print spooler activity among the cluster nodes.

Install printer drivers on each node in the cluster that is a possible owner of the spooler group. The printer driver can be added to each node of the cluster prior to the installation of the printer through the nodes server properties or can be added to each node of the cluster through the add printer wizard on the virtual server. The node uses the driver to print to the print device and clients printing to the printer on the virtual server install print drivers from the print$ folder from the node controlling the spooler resource. The print share name must be a unique share name on the virtual server and on each node in the cluster.

Article ID: 228904 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 00:40:00 - Revision: 5.0

Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server

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