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* A print server is a computer that manages print requests for a shared printer.
A print server may manage a locally connected print device or a network-connected print device; the physical location doesn't matter. What does matter is that the print server receives print requests from clients, queues such requests, converts documents into printer-specific code via the printer driver, and transmits the code to the physical print device. Printers in Active Directory require an associated print server.
* A printer pool is a single 'printer' that can send documents to multiple ports and multiple identical print devices. The ports can be local or networked. Windows XP finds the first available print device for any given document.
* A printer driver is the software that describes to Windows XP the features and commands of a particular model of print device.
Installing a new printer
Installing a printer follows a very similar sequence of steps, whether the printer connects directly to your PC or to the network. The procedure centers on the Add Printer Wizard in the Printers and Faxes control panel.
Remember You must be logged on as Administrator to install a printer by launching the wizard manually. You must be logged on as at least a Power User to install a local printer at all.
If Windows XP detects your printer automatically, as it typically will if the printer is local and connects via a USB or FireWire port, then Windows launches the wizard itself. When you launch the Add Printer Wizard yourself, the general procedure is as detailed in Lab 7-2.
Instant Answer If you connect a printer to a parallel or serial port, Windows XP probably won't detect it right away. Restart the operating system with the printer turned on, or run the Add Printer Wizard as described in this lab, to detect the new printer.
Lab 7-2: Installing a Printer with the Add Printer Wizard
1. Specify whether the printer is directly attached to your PC or connected to the network.
If the printer is directly attached, you can let Windows XP try to autodetect it, or you can skip autodetection and provide the manufacturer and model information yourself. Most modern print devices support the Plug and Play standard, and Windows XP typically recognizes them automatically and prompts to install the necessary driver. Plug and Play doesn't work over the network wire, however, so autodetection isn't an option in this case.
Warning You have to click the Local Printer radio button even if you're setting up your PC to be a print server for a network-attached printer. Seems counterintuitive, but if you click Network Printer, you can only search for printers that already have print servers created for them; you can't create a new print server on the local PC.
2. Specify the printer port (see Figure 7-4).
Figure 7-4: Specifying a local or network port for your new printer.
A direct-attached printer typically connects to a serial (COM:) or parallel (LPT:) port, although FILE: is an option if you want to create print files that you'll send out (for example, to a printing service bureau) for hard copy output. A network-attached printer generally requires you to click the Create a New Port radio button and specify a port type. For example, 'Standard TCP/IP Port' would normally be your choice for a TCP/IP printer, and you would then be prompted to specify an IP address or DNS name for the printer.
Instant Answer Hewlett-Packard net-direct printers (which use the trade name 'Jet-Direct') often use the DLC (Data Link Control) protocol for communications. Windows XP doesn't provide this protocol anymore, so your only recourse would be to replace the net-direct card with a newer one that supports TCP/IP.
3. Specify manufacturer and model.
Skip this step if Windows XP correctly autodetects your printer.
4. Give the printer a name.
You can use a name that's different from (and more descriptive than) the device driver name. Just remember that 31 characters is a safe maximum length. The name you assign here appears with the printer's icon in the Printers folder.
5. Choose whether the printer should be the default printer for Windows applications.
You see this choice only if you have at least one printer already defined. The default printer appears in the user interface with a black check mark on its icon.
6. Give the printer a share name, if you plan to share it.
The share name defaults to the printer name you assigned in Step 4, chopped off to the old DOS-style 8.3 name format. That's because other people on your network may be using DOS or early versions of Windows that get confused with longer resource names. When network users browse a list of shared printers, the share name is what they see.
7. If you gave the printer a share name in Step 6, you can enter optional Location and Comment information.
This information appears in an Active Directory network when users perform printer searches. So it can help users find the right printer if the share name isn't descriptive enough.