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Any Printer Recommendations for WHS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello Forum Members:

    I read quite a few of the articles on printers in this forum, but I would like someone to recommend a good printer that is WHS compatible (probably USB connected) that I can use for printing from all my connected workstations.  I would like a printer with a SIMPLE driver that doesn't install tons of other stuff (my HP printers, which I really like on workstations, install so many other gadgets, monitors, reminders for cartridges, control dashboards, auto-updates, etc, that it would seem to be a bad choice for a server.  I just want a quiet printer driver without all the fluff that won't clutter up my WHS server with unnecessary software.

    Anyone with experience in this issue?

    Regards,

    Rich Locus, Eugene, Oregon

    • Moved by Ken WarrenModerator Wednesday, April 7, 2010 1:15 AM hardware question (From:Windows Home Server Software)
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 12:52 AM

Answers

  • In consumer printers, your best bet is a network multifunction printer, not a printer connected to your server. Seriously. Windows Home Server isn't designed to be used as a print server.

    With a multifunction, you'll get scanning and copying along with the printing. With a network printer, you get the ability to print from any computer with the drivers installed. Trying to connect a printer to your server could be simple, or you could wind up with a printer that doesn't print reliably from some (or all!) workstations. And you'll still need drivers everywhere.

    If you decide you want to persevere, check the manufacturer's web site for a driver only package, rather than a full suite of applications. And avoid inexpensive GDI/"win" printers (almost all consumer printers fall into this category), which use the rendering engine built into Windows to do the heavy lifting when printing. Those frequently work very poorly as server-connected network printers.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by RichLocus Wednesday, April 7, 2010 4:02 AM
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 1:15 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • In consumer printers, your best bet is a network multifunction printer, not a printer connected to your server. Seriously. Windows Home Server isn't designed to be used as a print server.

    With a multifunction, you'll get scanning and copying along with the printing. With a network printer, you get the ability to print from any computer with the drivers installed. Trying to connect a printer to your server could be simple, or you could wind up with a printer that doesn't print reliably from some (or all!) workstations. And you'll still need drivers everywhere.

    If you decide you want to persevere, check the manufacturer's web site for a driver only package, rather than a full suite of applications. And avoid inexpensive GDI/"win" printers (almost all consumer printers fall into this category), which use the rendering engine built into Windows to do the heavy lifting when printing. Those frequently work very poorly as server-connected network printers.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by RichLocus Wednesday, April 7, 2010 4:02 AM
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 1:15 AM
    Moderator
  • In consumer printers, your best bet is a network multifunction printer, not a printer connected to your server. Seriously. Windows Home Server isn't designed to be used as a print server.

    With a multifunction, you'll get scanning and copying along with the printing. With a network printer, you get the ability to print from any computer with the drivers installed. Trying to connect a printer to your server could be simple, or you could wind up with a printer that doesn't print reliably from some (or all!) workstations. And you'll still need drivers everywhere.

    If you decide you want to persevere, check the manufacturer's web site for a driver only package, rather than a full suite of applications. And avoid inexpensive GDI/"win" printers (almost all consumer printers fall into this category), which use the rendering engine built into Windows to do the heavy lifting when printing. Those frequently work very poorly as server-connected network printers.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    WHS does support printer sharing. I have 3 printers connected to my WHS and have had them this way since the public beta release in 2007. I have 1 HP PS1115, 1 HP DJ 630c and a Epson R340 I have even set my daughters home system up with using a HP laser printer within her local network. They have had NO problems what so ever. Also note the following.

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/jan07/01-08HomeServer.mspx

    Below is a google search for sharing a printer on WHS.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=sharing+printer+windows+home+server&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Besides what good is a server if it can't do what a server should do.

    jd

    • Proposed as answer by PeterPla Sunday, April 11, 2010 10:10 PM
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 3:51 PM
  • jd,

    It's not really a limitation of Windows Home Server per se . Rather, it's a limitation of the printers and drivers that manufacturers produce, and that consumers buy. You may have no trouble at all with a particular printer (I have several that I've configured that way at various times), or you may be completely unable to get it to work successfully and reliably.

    If you can get a printer to work, great. I think it's an excellent (though unsupported) way to extend your server. If you can't (I've also had some of those) don't blame Windows Home Server for faulty drivers and/or firmware.

    And even if you can get a particular printer to work, I still think an inexpensive network multifunction is a better choice than a printer connected to your server, because you get more functionality for your dollar. :)


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 5:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello:

    I took your recommendation and purchased a network-enabled printer - in my case, the HP LaserJet Multi-function M2727 nf.  I love it, and I can print to it from all 6 of my workstations.  In the meantime, WHS is doing what it was intended to do... all is good!

    Friday, June 11, 2010 7:49 PM