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Step-by-Step: Migrating Print Servers from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012

When we talk about migrating to a new OS we always have to think about each workload supported by the OS where looking at migrating. In this post we will look at migrating the Print and Document Services role from a Windows 2008 R2 server (W2K8R2-1) to the destination Windows Server 2012 server (PRNT-SRV)

To follow along:

To manage the migration process, use one of the following:

  • The Printer Migration Wizard, which you access through Print Management, a snap-in in Microsoft Management Console (MMC).
  • The Printbrm.exe command-line tool.

Before you can start the migration process, you must ensure the Print and Document Services role is installed on the destination server (PRNT-SRV in our case).

1- Backup the source server (our 2008 R2 server) using the Printer Migration Wizard

From our Windows Server 2012 we will use the Print Management console to perform the Migration.

1- Open Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Print Management.

2- Right Click Print Management, and select Migrate Printer

PS Mig 2

3- Select “Export printer queues and printer drivers to a file”  and click Next



4- Provide the Server name from which you want to extract to printer queues and drivers. and click next.



5- Review the list and click Next



6- Provide a location and a file name to save the extracted data and click Next



7- When the export is complete click Finish.


2- Restore printers to the destination server (PRNT-SRV) using the Printer Migration Wizard

1- Right-click Print Management, and then click Migrate Printers to open the Printer Migration Wizard. Select Import printer queues and printer drivers from a file, and then click Next

After selecting the file we created when we exported the Print Queues and drivers, click Next



2- Review the printers to be imported and click Next.


3- Select “This Print Server ( \\PRNT-SRV ) ” if you are running the Print Management console from the target server, or select the appropriate server in your domain by selecting “A print server on the network”


4- Set the import options and click Next


Wen the wizard completes, ensure that you do not have any errors, test the printers,

  • View event log messages about the migration.
  • Manually check the destination server for each printer migrated from the source server.
  • Verify that the printer associated with each printer queue is online
  • Confirm that a printer queue’s special settings, permissions, or drivers were preserved during the migration
  • Check the properties for each queue on the destination server and verify that any special settings are still applicable.
  • If the driver installs any non-standard settings that have been altered as a result of the migration, verify those as well
  • Make any necessary changes, such as adding a port monitor or a new driver

If you are using Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) to publish printers, do not publish printers to AD  when you restore printers. This prevents duplicate printers from being displayed by AD DS before the destination server configuration is verified.

On the source server, you must unpublish printers before renaming the source server. To do this, select all printers in the Print Management snap-in, right-click the selected printers, and then click Remove from Directory. This prevents printers from being published twice to AD when the source server is renamed.

After renaming the destination server to the source server’s original name, you can publish all printers on the destination server to AD DS. To do this, select all printers in the Print Management snap-in, right-click the selected printers, and then click List in directory.


You can find more info about the Migration process here.




Pierre Roman, MCITP, ITIL | Technology Evangelist
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