Migrating printers in Windows 2000

If, like me, you run a central network print server to look after all your print queues then it’s likely to be running on an old machine in the corner of the computer room (or should that be the corner of the office). Maybe it’s running on the overworked file/email/proxy server that also works part time as the office games server. Either way, the chances are that you will one day want to move your print queues of that server on to another server.

Here is an easy way to migrate printers between Windows 2000 servers, though I have had some success in using it to move between Windows 2000 and 2003 as well. This tip details using the Microsoft Printer Migrator v2.0, which is available in the Windows 2000 Resource Kit. The two servers will be referred to as ServerA (the original print server) and ServerB (the replacement print server).

Before you start make sure that you have installed any 3d party software on ServerB to be sure that any required print monitors are installed. The Print Migrator will backup the print queues and the printer monitor port information (TCP/IP port information, Jet Admin etc). It will also backup the user security and share information.

Backup Run the Print Migrator on ServerA. The window will show you the currently configured and installed printers and printer drivers as well as port information and monitors. You can drill down through the tree view to see finer detail, though you can’t select/deselect any information from the view.

Click the Actions menu and choose Backup. Select the location to store your backup file (ideally accessible over the network) and enter a suitable filename. You can also select a remote server to backup from this dialog by entering the server name in to the ‘Target server’ text box. For this example we will leave this text box empty which will back up the local server.

Click Open to save the backup. You should remember that the information being backed up can be quite large, particularly printer driver files. On an example here, five network HP printers resulted in a file almost 20MB in size.

Restore Run the Print Migrator on ServerB. From this window click the Actions menu and then choose Restore. From this dialog select the backup file that you created previously. You can also choose to suppress any warnings that appear as well as to restore a backup to a remote server, though leave these blank for the moment.

Click Open to start the restoration process. The restoration process will start and you will see the events appear in the bottom pane of the window. Once is has reported ‘Restore complete’ check your printers folder and with luck you should see you printers collection in place.

I have tried and tested this method across numerous servers, running a wide variety of printers and software. As long as you install any required software from the printer manufacturer on the destination server first, you shouldn’t have any problems.

For more information visit; http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315983

[Modified by Mitch Tulloch] \ 28 Oct 2004

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