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Using WHS as a print server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Has anyone used Windows Home Server as a print server?  I have 2 multifunction printers (1 laser and 1 inkjet) that I want to attach to my WHS box (both are usb 2.0) and I would like to know if there are any known issues in doing this?  Also can anyone tell me if I will be able to access and use all functions of these multifunction machines from the other computers on my network?

    Monday, September 24, 2007 1:40 AM

Answers

  • Enchanted,

    You may want to search these forums. There have been several posts regarding this topic.

    If I remember correctly, Ken Warren answered a few of this posts.....I think the biggest obstical is making sure that your printer has a driver available that is Windows Server 2003 compliant. 

    Search and I think you'll find the details you need to set your printers up....
    Monday, September 24, 2007 1:47 AM
  • The answer to your question is "it depends." Smile

    You won't be able to share out the functions other than printing from WHS. Your home PCs will have to connect directly/via your home network for that. For printing, you'll have the best experience if you can find a Windows Server 2003 driver for the printer. You may be able to install an XP driver as well. Try to find a "driver only" install, one without the bloatware that printer manufacturers tend to include.

    But really, for a multifunction, if it's network capable to begin with then installing the appropriate drivers on each home PC is your best bet.  You'll have to do that for any use of scanning or faxing functions anyway.
    Monday, September 24, 2007 2:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Please keep in mind, while you can Windows Home Server as a printer server, it can create an unsupported scenario.

     

    Monday, September 24, 2007 8:29 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Enchanted,

    You may want to search these forums. There have been several posts regarding this topic.

    If I remember correctly, Ken Warren answered a few of this posts.....I think the biggest obstical is making sure that your printer has a driver available that is Windows Server 2003 compliant. 

    Search and I think you'll find the details you need to set your printers up....
    Monday, September 24, 2007 1:47 AM
  • Sharing the print function will be no problem if there is a Windows Server 2003 device driver. I am sharing an older HP Laser Jet 5Lfor printing with no problem.

     

    However, sharing the other functions (scanner, faxing) depend on the make and driver capabilities. If the printer was hooked up to one of your PCs running XP or Vista, would the driver software allow it to be used to fax and scan on another computer on your home network? If it won't work in this manner on XP or Vista, then you will not see this functionality in WHS.

     

    Charlie

    Monday, September 24, 2007 2:51 AM
  • The answer to your question is "it depends." Smile

    You won't be able to share out the functions other than printing from WHS. Your home PCs will have to connect directly/via your home network for that. For printing, you'll have the best experience if you can find a Windows Server 2003 driver for the printer. You may be able to install an XP driver as well. Try to find a "driver only" install, one without the bloatware that printer manufacturers tend to include.

    But really, for a multifunction, if it's network capable to begin with then installing the appropriate drivers on each home PC is your best bet.  You'll have to do that for any use of scanning or faxing functions anyway.
    Monday, September 24, 2007 2:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Please keep in mind, while you can Windows Home Server as a printer server, it can create an unsupported scenario.

     

    Monday, September 24, 2007 8:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Can you expound on this some? What types of scenarios would be "unsupported"?

     

    Monday, September 24, 2007 10:33 PM
  • The general "rule of thumb" I've been using with WHS as far as unsupported scenarios is something like this:

    Q. Can you configure this using only the console and/or Plug'n'Play?
    A1. Yes. This is a supported scenario.
    A2. No. This is an unsupported scenario.

    So, examples of supported scenarios would include installing add-ins (though the add-ins themselves will have to be supported by the vendor), connecting drives, changing settings in the add-in, etc. Unsupported scenarios would be the installation of any software directly on the server (such as Readerware and Firefly, two items that I have installed), modifications to the WHS web site, setting up a print server, etc. The one that seems to come up a lot is the inclusion of a RAID array in WHS.

    The big difference to an enthusiast is that Microsoft likely won't support WHS running an unsupported scenario. Microsoft doesn't test for, and has said they aren't interested in bug reports on, unsupported scenarios. So the only support you will receive is in the forums, and from the vendor(s) of the product(s) you're having trouble with. (Assuming the product is described by the vendor as working with WHS, otherwise you don't even have that.)
    Tuesday, September 25, 2007 12:51 AM
    Moderator