XP clients crash when trying to print to a deployed printer

December 6, 2012 at 20:10:19
Specs: Windows Server 2003
I have recently installed a Windows 2003 R2 Enterprise Server. This server has a few functions:

- Domain Controller (Active Directory)
- File Server
- Print Server

I have around 12 client computers connected to the domain, all running XP professional SP3. The server has two IP addresses that are static, and the clients obtain IPs from DHCP via a router. User profiles are not roaming, but folder redirection (My Documents and Application Data) is set up, and appears to work fine.

Everything seems to work fine, except for the print server. I have tried to install our Canon LBP 3300 laser printer and deploy via group policy in an OU. Pushprinterconnections.exe is used as a startup script, and the printer appears on all client machines.

Everything looks good - except for when I try and print from a client, and it hangs. Normally this results in explorer.exe and the print monitor crashing and being closed manually via task manager. The document that is attempted appears on the server when the printer is opened, but it gets stuck on 'spooling'. The document then has to be manually removed.

I've tried a lot of things, including:

1) Removing the printer completely from the server and reinstalling from scratch.
2) Removing and then redeploying the printer via both computer and user configurations
3) Running cleanspl.exe on the server side. Reinstalling the USB print monitor via registry and then the printer as the only one on the system.
4) Updating to the printer driver.
5) Adding the printer manually on the client, not pushing it via group policy.

Despite this the result is always the same. I'm really out of ideas here - if anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it!

Thank you

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December 7, 2012 at 13:37:56
Try adding it to a client directly, not mapping it from a shared printer on your server and see if the same thing happens. Where are you having the print jobs rendered, on the server or the client? Anything in the Event Viewer on the client or server? Is the Spooler service crashing? Can the server print to the printer?


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December 9, 2012 at 17:27:07
Thanks Tony,

1) Tried adding directly to clients and printing locally - that's no problem.
2) Print jobs spool on the server - is that the same thing as rendering?
3) No errors on the server or client that I can see.
4) No evidence that the printer spooler is crashing.
5) The server can print to the printer no problem

Something stranger seems to be happening now as well - on some computers, it is not printing at all. On others, the client is able to print when they first log on. After a while however they are not able to print.

When the clients hang, the printer monitor window is opened. This file ('CNABxxx.exe') is the Cannon print monitor, and crashes when the client is unable to print. I am not sure if this as a result of the problem or is a cause of it. I have tried to find alternative drivers to isolate that, but can't. I'm using the most up to date ones now which are supposed to work on both Server 2003 + XP.

I'm really not sure where to go from here!

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December 10, 2012 at 07:57:51
What type of drivers are you using? PostScript or PCL? If you're using PCL I would try switching to a PS driver. I've had problems in the past with PCL5 drivers and sometimes switching to a Universal or PS driver fixes it.

Your printers are using static addresses correct?


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December 19, 2012 at 17:57:55
Hi Tony,

Sorry for the delay - I've been travelling back to the UK so unable to pick this up.

Our printer is connected to the server via USB, and is using the standard printer driver. I have tried using a generic driver that was installed on the server, but that didn't print at all. I'm not sure how to check what kind of driver it is - sorry! I'm a bit stuck...

Thanks for your help!

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