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WHS 2011 print server? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I read in the specifications/FAQ from Microsoft that WHS 2011 is not designed out of the box to support print sharing. Instead Microsoft suggests buying a new network-attached printer. Well, that costs money, if I had the money I might spring for it. But I don't. WHS 2011 is only $50 and I have some existing hardware. I am confident I could set up a print share on all flavors of the full Server editions. Just not sure WHS 2011 strips this functionality out.

    I found this thread from 2009: Unfortunately I don't know if it refers to WHS 1.0 or the 2.0 (2011) version. (Can WHS be used as a print server?  http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whshardware/thread/a3e29e37-250f-45e3-81fb-017641e2c936/)

    Thanks in advance.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011 9:44 PM

Answers

  • The reasoning behind advising the purchase of a network attached printer, versus using your server as a print server, is that consumer printers generally offer less than stellar performance and stability in this environment. You can try it, and possibly you'll have good success, but there is no guarantee it will work at all, never mind work well.

    If you have a solid business printer, of course, it's a whole different ball game. The functionality to share a printer is still present, just not exposed through the server dashboard.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by George Perkins Friday, September 9, 2011 1:06 PM
    Friday, September 9, 2011 1:55 AM
  • I have both a networked laser printer and the USB connected photo quality printer, with the latter connected directly to a Windows Home Server and shared over the network.

    This arrangement is worked extremely well, once I explicitly set up sharing for the photo printer, and I had almost no issue with either installing the drivers or printing to it from the many computers around a network.  Just install the printer as you would normally and set up sharing.

     


    Simon
    • Marked as answer by George Perkins Monday, September 12, 2011 2:49 PM
    Monday, September 12, 2011 1:50 PM

All replies

  • The article from 2009 is for WHS 1 not WHS2011 which was only released this year! However, the story is pretty much the same, it can be done but is not supported as you will need to log in to your Server locally or via RDP and operate outside the Dashboard. Do not expect to be able to run installation software with all the frills but if you set up a printer manually and just install the drivers you should be fine.
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Thursday, September 8, 2011 10:09 PM
  • The reasoning behind advising the purchase of a network attached printer, versus using your server as a print server, is that consumer printers generally offer less than stellar performance and stability in this environment. You can try it, and possibly you'll have good success, but there is no guarantee it will work at all, never mind work well.

    If you have a solid business printer, of course, it's a whole different ball game. The functionality to share a printer is still present, just not exposed through the server dashboard.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by George Perkins Friday, September 9, 2011 1:06 PM
    Friday, September 9, 2011 1:55 AM
  • I have both a networked laser printer and the USB connected photo quality printer, with the latter connected directly to a Windows Home Server and shared over the network.

    This arrangement is worked extremely well, once I explicitly set up sharing for the photo printer, and I had almost no issue with either installing the drivers or printing to it from the many computers around a network.  Just install the printer as you would normally and set up sharing.

     


    Simon
    • Marked as answer by George Perkins Monday, September 12, 2011 2:49 PM
    Monday, September 12, 2011 1:50 PM
  • Thanks Simon, that's what I hope to do as well!
    Monday, September 12, 2011 2:49 PM
  • I have both a networked laser printer and the USB connected photo quality printer, with the latter connected directly to a Windows Home Server and shared over the network.

    This arrangement is worked extremely well, once I explicitly set up sharing for the photo printer, and I had almost no issue with either installing the drivers or printing to it from the many computers around a network.  Just install the printer as you would normally and set up sharing.

     


    Simon


    It would be really useful if you could describe how you setup printer sharing as on WHS 2011 it appears to have been deliberately hidden. Microsoft Help really doesn't help in this area ??????

    I can do it easily on other variety of Microsoft servers, but why have Microsoft made it so difficult to do on WHS 2011, it is an obvious likely requirement for many Home server users. I have a network printer, but also a Black and White USB laser.

    John

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 1:55 PM
  • Hi

    Excuse me jumping in -was just passing nearby.

    1. Start a Remote Desktop Connection

    2. Control Panel > Devices and Printers

    3. Add Printer

    After installation completed, setup Printer Properties (and Preferences)

    Good luck

     

    PS I agree MS seem strangely coy about this but my USB connected Canon iP works a treat

    David

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 5:26 PM
  • First, I would follow the steps at this page about adding roles...

    http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-add-remove-roles-in-windows-home-server-2011/

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 6:42 PM
  • I agree you could - but why?

    The simpler, quicker method works!

    David

     

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 7:52 PM
  • Hey Guys,

    So I have this all setup - took less than 5 mins, but my next question is how to roll this out.

    I have 4-5 PC's in the house, each with a minimum of 5 user accounts. At the moment i can install the printer on the PC via Devices/Printers menu, however this only installs the printer for that particular user account.

    Is there a way to deploy a Shared Printer in WHS2011 to all the PC's and All the User Accounts?

    Failing that, is there a way i can do this on a per PC basis (ie. login as an admin on each PC and push the printer out to all the user accounts, rather than doing it manually for each user acct)

    Thanks,

    D


    • Edited by D-Tem Tuesday, October 4, 2011 10:09 PM
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 10:09 PM
  • Not a WHS question, but installing a printer on a Client should make it available to all users of that Client - if that does not work try with an Admin account - there is no reason to have to install it for each user.

    As for the other idea of deploying it to all PCs from WHS, no you will have to do it for each individual PC as above.

     

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 10:23 PM
  • I have shared a printer successfully (I can print a test page from the server via RDP and add it as a network printer on client computers) but any time I print from a client computer it just sits in the queue on the server and never prints (it's gone from the client's queue)  Any subsequent print jobs, even those done on the server itself are also stuck.  If I recycle the print spooler service on the server then everything that's "stuck" in the queue prints.  I have tried sharing via Homegroup and through advanced sharing and it doesn't change the behavior. 

    A friend suggested a scheduled task to recycle that service (the minimum recurrence is 5 minutes) - and it worked, but this is annoying and I don't want to have to wait up to 5 minutes for a print job, and there's no reason why this should be a problem anyway...

    Before I installed WHS 2011, I had an XP Pro install that worked beautifully as a print server - I want to like WHS 2011, but it just feels dumbed down after using 2003 / 2008 at work.

    Friday, December 30, 2011 3:55 AM
  • Assuming this is a new printer install it seems that it is the server that is not quite cooperating.

    You have proved that the other parts work so I suggest that you restart the server.

     

    Good luck!

    Friday, December 30, 2011 11:12 AM
  • What print driver are you using? If it is a print driver from Microsoft, that came with WHS 2011 natively, it shouldn't be a driver issue; however if you loaded a driver from the print hardware vendor, that could be the issue. Also, look in your server's event logs - you might see the cause of the print spooler's failure.
    Friday, December 30, 2011 5:05 PM