Installing Printer Ports

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

If your users print over a network, you must create printer ports to enable connections between print servers and printers. You can install printer ports for stand-alone servers and clusters from the Printers and Faxes folder on the print server. The printer port can be one of two port types:

  • Standard TCP/IP port

  • LPR port

If you are using clustered print servers, you need to install the printers on each node and ensure that each node has the appropriate protocols, port monitors (not ports), and print processors installed. You can do this remotely, but you must address each node by its node name, not the cluster name. Ensure that the settings on all nodes are identical, because a specification made on one node does not carry over to the other nodes.

Standard TCP/IP Port

The standard port is the preferred printer port in Windows Server 2003. The standard port uses the standard TCP/IP port monitor (standard port monitor) and is designed for Windows Server 2003–based print servers that communicate with printers by using TCP/IP. For more information about the advantages of using the standard port and the prerequisites for installing a standard port, see "Determining the Print Server Network Connection Method" earlier in this chapter.

To install a standard port

  1. In Control Panel, open the Printers and Faxes folder, right-click the printer that you want to configure, and click Properties.

  2. On the Ports tab, click Add Port.

  3. In the Printer Ports dialog box, select Standard TCP/IP port, and click New Port to launch the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard.

  4. Complete the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard by using the information provided in Table 3.3.

    Table 3.3   Using the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard

    Wizard Page Action

    Printer Name or IP Address

    To identify the printer that will be connected to the port, type its name in the Printer Name or its IP address in the IP Address box.

    Port Name

    In the Port Name box, type a port name, which can be any character string, or use the default name that the wizard supplies.

    Additional Port Information Required

    To configure a standard port, click Standard, and then select one of the listed devices. If you do not know the details of the port, try using the Generic Network Card.

    To create a custom configuration, click Custom, and then configure the port by using the Configure Standard TCP/IP Port Monitor screen that appears.

    If the wizard cannot determine the appropriate protocol for the port, it prompts you for the information. Follow the vendor’s instructions for selecting either the RAW or LPR option.

    If you are not prompted for more information, continue to step 5.

  5. Review the port information, and click Finish.

    The new port is listed on the Ports tab of the Properties property sheet.


  • With Windows Server 2003, administrators can remotely configure and manage ports from any server running Windows Server 2003. This feature applies to local ports, the standard TCP/IP port, and LPR ports. You must configure AppleTalk ports locally on the server.

You can reconfigure the standard port monitor by adjust the settings in the property sheet for the print server.


  • The Configure Port dialog box does not validate the settings created in the following procedure. If they are incorrect, the port no longer works.

To reconfigure the standard TCP/IP port

  1. In Control Panel, open the Printers and Faxes folder, right-click the appropriate printer, and click Properties.

  2. On the Ports tab, click the Configure Port button.

  3. In the Configure Standard TCP/IP Port Monitor dialog box, click either the RAW or LPR protocol.

  4. To configure the protocol, take one of the following actions:

    • For RAW Settings, type the port number that the printer vendor specified (usually 9100).

    • For LPR Settings, type the LPR queue name that the printer vendor specified.

  5. If the printer supports SNMP and RFC 1759, select the SNMP Status Enabled check box.

  6. If SNMP Status Enabled is selected, you can change both the SNMP community name and the host device index:

    • The community name is usually "Public," but you can enter another community name if you want to limit access to the printer.

    • The device index is used mainly for multiport devices that support several printers; each port on a multiport device has a different device index, specified by the device vendor.

LPR Port

If your network includes clients that are running UNIX, install LPD, which acts as the client for printing according to RFC 1179 guidelines. For more information about the LPR port, see "Determining the Print Server Network Connection Method" earlier in this chapter.

To install an LPR port

  1. In Control Panel, open the Printers and Faxes folder.

  2. Under Printer Tasks, click Add a printer to open the Add Printer Wizard. Then click Next.

  3. Complete the Add Printer Wizard byusing the information provided in Table 3.4.

Table 3.4   Steps for Completing the Add Printer Wizard

Wizard Page Action

Local or Network Printer

Click Local printer attached to this computer, clear the Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer check box, and then click Next.

Select a Printer Port

Click Create a new port, and then select LPR Port.

Add LPR compatible printer

If LPR Port is not available, click Cancel to stop the Wizard. To add the LPR Port, install the optional networking component, Print Services for UNIX.

Name or address of server providing LPD

Type the Domain Name System (DNS) name or Internet Protocol (IP) address of the host for the printer that you are adding. The host might be the direct-connect TCP/IP printing device or the UNIX computer to which the printing device is connected. The DNS name can be the name specified for the host in the Hosts file.

Name of printer or print queue on that server

Type the name of the printer as it is identified by the host, which is either the direct-connect printer itself or the UNIX computer.

Configuring LPR to print text files to a PostScript printer in UNIX

In some cases, sending an ASCII text file to a PostScript printer on a UNIX-based computer can cause PostScript code to be output on the printer. This can occur because the PostScript printer is processing the text as RAW data without interpreting the PostScript code.

LPR sends a processing instruction in each print job in the form of a control command indicating the data format. Table 3.5 shows the LPR commands for specific data types. Under Lprmon, the default is l (RAW data); under Lpr.exe, the default is f (text).

Table 3.5   Control Commands for LPR Printing

LPR Control Command Data Format Transmitted

f, p

Text data type


RAW data type


RAW data type formatted for a PostScript printer

Using the default value of l can cause the PostScript code to be printed on a UNIX-based system. The l value sets the RAW data type, which causes the text file to be printed ignoring the PostScript instructions. To correct this, set 0 (RAW data type formatted for a PostScript printer) as the default value. This might not be necessary on some UNIX systems, which include software that scans arriving documents for PostScript code with the l value. If the software detects the l value, the document goes directly to the printer; otherwise, the software adds PostScript code. You can change the default control command that LPR sends by editing the PrintSwitch entry in the registry.


To change the default control command for a printer

  1. In the registry editor, navigate to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print \Monitors\LPRPort\Ports\Port-name\IP Address or Host name: Printer-name

  2. Double-click PrintSwitch.

  3. In the Data type box, type REG_SZ, and then in the Value Data box, type the control command you want to specify. (See Table 3.5 for a list of control commands and the value data types that they represent.)


Respooling is a method of spooling a document twice to enable the print monitor to locate the appropriate LPD print server. LPR must include an accurate byte count in the control file, but it cannot get the byte count from the local print provider. After Lprmon receives a document from the local print provider, it spools the document a second time to a temporary file in the default spool directory, finds the size of that file, and then sends the size to the LPD print server.

Status reporting

LPR is a one-way protocol and does not return a detailed error status report. If a problem occurs, the message is always ERROR. For more information about LPR or LPR errors, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at Search the Knowledge Base using the keywords "LPR" or "LPR Errors".

Pooling printers

Printer pooling is especially useful in high-volume printing environments. Pooled printers appear to clients as a single printer, but printing throughput is increased because the load is distributed among the printers in the pool.

Before you set up a printer pool, consider the following issues:

  • Two or more printers are required; Windows Server 2003 does not limit the number of printers in a pool.

  • The printers in the pool must be of the same model, and they must use the same printer driver.

  • Printer ports can be of the same type or mixed (such as parallel, serial, and network).

  • If you want to ensure that documents are first sent to the faster printers, add the faster printers to the pool first and the slower printers last. Print jobs are routed in the order in which you create the ports.

  • Because users do not know which printer prints their documents, it is a good idea to locate all of the pooled printers in the same physical location. Otherwise, users might not be able to find their printed documents.

To create a printer pool

  1. In Control Panel, open the Printers and Faxes folder, right-click the appropriate printer, and click Properties.

  2. On the Ports tab, select the Enable printer pooling check box.

  3. In the list of ports, select the check boxes for the ports connected to the printers that you want to pool.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each additional printer to be included in the printer pool.