Upgrade from Windows 2003 Print Server to Windows 2012 Server

Upgrading servers can be a hassle if you are wanting to jump from something old to something new, especially when you are wanting to go from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012. You can’t just pop the new OS in the drive, click “upgrade,” and have everything transfer over flawlessly. Instead, you will need to do a fresh install of Server 2012 on a separate machine, and then migrate. In this blog post I will go over how to use the Windows interface and command prompt to migrate your Windows 2003 print server to a Windows 2012 print server. As an added bonus I’ll go over a 3rd (and much easier) method using PrinterLogic.

To migrate using the Windows Server 2012 interface:

  1. Open Print Management.
  2. In the left pane, click “Print Servers,” right-click the print server that contains the printer queues that you want to export, and then click “Export Printers to a File.” This starts the Printer Migration Wizard.
  3. On the “Select the File Location” page, specify the location to save the printer settings, and then click “Next” to save the printers.
  4. Right-click the destination computer on which you want to import the printers, and then click “Import Printers from a File.” This launches the Printer Migration Wizard.
  5. On the “Select the File Location” page, specify the location of the printer settings file, and then click “Next.”
  6. On the “Select Import Options” page, specify the following import options:
    • Import mode—Specifies what to do if a specific print queue already exists on the destination computer.
    • List in the directory—Specifies whether to publish the imported print queues in the Active Directory Domain Services.
    • Convert LPR Ports to Standard Port Monitors—Specifies whether to convert Line Printer Remote (LPR) printer ports in the printer settings file to the faster Standard Port Monitor when importing printers.
  7. Click “Next” to import the printers.

Or, if you want to migrate print servers by using a command prompt:

  1. To open a Command Prompt window, click “Start,” click “All Programs,” click “Accessories,” right-click “Command Prompt,” and then click “Run as Administrator.”
  2. Type: CD %WINDIR%System32SpoolTools Printbrm -s \<sourcecomputername> -b -f <filename>.printerExport
  3. Type: Printbrm -s \<destinationcomputername> -r -f <filename>.printerExport

The two methods I’ve listed above are in no way fail proof, nor are they guaranteed to work without error. But there is an alternative solution that can be used to make the migration process much easier. With PrinterLogic you can easily migrate your printers from your 2003 Windows Server to your new 2012 Windows Server, or completely eliminate your need for a print server all together. With PrinterLogic, you can easily import the printers from your print server with the import utility. This import utility will copy the following information from your print server into the PrinterLogic database:

  • Printer Name
  • Location Information
  • Comment Information
  • Port Name (IP or Hostname used)
  • Protocol (RAW or LPR)
  • 32- and 64-bit drivers related to that printer

After this import has completed you can either deploy the printers onto your 2012 Windows Server with the built-in deployment assignments, or you can fully utilize PrinterLogic and use it to centrally manage your printers from the Administrator console and deploy them as Direct IP printers to your end users. From that point on, you can fully manage your printers and the drivers from an Administrator console that can be accessed from any computer on your network.

How to Migrate Printers from Server 2003/2008 to Server 2012

Dealing with print servers is usually the last thing on an IT administrator’s mind. They can be a pain to deal with, and even more of a pain when its time to migrate to a new version of Windows. Unfortunately it is a necessary task when moving towards a newer IT environment. Upgrading from a print server that is currently on Windows Server 2008 is usually easier than if you are migrating from a server currently running Windows Server 2003. This is because of the lack of 64-bit driver support from most 2003 server setups.

Microsoft has tried to make migrating printers from 2003 and 2008 to 2012 as easy as possible using their migration tools. However, if you are migrating from a 2003 server that does not have 64-bit drivers, you will need to add all of the 64-bit editions of the drivers currently on the 2003 print server to your new print server in order to have the migration complete successfully. This is done by manually adding each of the 64-bit drivers before you can start the migration. That is where the pain starts. For example, if you have 200 printers on your 2003 print server, you would need to add the 64-bit driver of all 200 of those printers to your new 2012 server before you can complete the migration successfully.

Once you have the 64-bit drivers added to the print server you would be able to run an export on the server and it will export the queues, the drivers, the print objects and security settings. There is a lot of dependency on the drivers during the import and the export process, and depending on the drivers you are using you could run into a variety problems. Because of this it is usually suggested to use the most up-to-date drivers possible and to use universal drivers when possible as well.

After the export from original server has completed, next comes the import. If all of the steps before the import were correctly completed you could still run into problems with importing. Unfortunately there is no way to know until you start the import if it will have problems with a specific driver or printer object or queue.

The last step usually when migrating the printers from one server to another would be in having the users connect to the new server. The suggested method is to rename the old and the new servers to essentially swap names. This is because on the workstations the printers are normally connected by specifying the name of the server then the name of the printer (\serverprinter). So if you change the name of the new 2012 server to the same as the original 2003 server and make sure that the 2003 is no longer on the domain with the same name. It should connect the printers on the workstations to the new server.

If this all sounds overly complicated, that’s because it is. And if you’re wishing there was a simpler way—a way to automate and make all of these steps much easier—there is. Check out PrinterLogic at www.printerlogic.com and sign up for a free trial, and we’d be happy to show you how we can help you eliminate print servers altogether, or make the migration of your print servers simple and seamless.

Secure Printing Solutions from PrinterLogic

Just to clarify, Secure Printing should not be confused with Pull Printing, which enables you to print to a holding queue so that print jobs can be retrieved from any printer company wide. Secure Printing is specifically focused on printing to a specific printer, enabling users to physically go to the printer they selected when they are ready to have the print job released. In this article we’ll be focused specifically on evaluating Secure Printing solutions.

One problem with most of the Secure Printing products on the market is that they require a print server, which means that if your print server goes down, then everything ceases to work. This is one of the key benefits of the PrinterLogic solution, which eliminates all print servers to remove the single point of failure, while enabling a centrally managed Direct IP print environment without losing any functionality of your print server.

PrinterLogic’s solution allows you to do everything that a print server environment does, without any server dependencies. When your current build prints with Secure Printing, it usually sends the print job onto the print server (which must be available), then it goes to a destination printer and releases it with an interface to the printer. PrinterLogic gets rid of that server and goes a step further to allow the release from any electronic device that has a browser, or it can integrate with any badge or card reader system.

Every printer in PrinterLogic has a general tab where you can choose to enable Secure Printing. When you turn it on, you have options of “No”, “Yes (Always)” and “Yes (Prompt)”. The “No” option means that this will not be used as a secure queue. The “Yes (Always)” option means that every print job will be sent to the Secure Printing queue. The “Yes (Prompt)” option will give the end users a dialog box prompt to select whether it is a Secure Printing job or not, giving them the choice to use the Secure Printing functionality.

Once you have selected your preference of setting, Secure Printing functionality can now be used with that printer. When someone prints to that specific printer, they get a dialog box after hitting print that gives them the option of “Yes, Release” which means that the document is not sensitive and the job should be released immediately as a normal Direct IP print job. If they select the “No, Hold” option it will then be placed into the secure print queue until release.

Now that we have a queued print job, we need to release it. As I mentioned earlier, releasing can take place from any web-enabled device, or from an already installed badge or card reader system at the printer. If you have card readers near your printers, PrinterLogic can then associate print jobs to that reader, so when someone walks up and swipes their card, we authenticate that user on the domain, see what print jobs are queued for them at that printer, then immediately release them out.

You may also use any web-enabled device to release a print job. You can dedicate a computer or tablet as a kiosk at the printer, which means that machine can only release jobs for that printer. You may also use any tablet, cell phone, or handheld device on the network. Using any electronic device with a browser, users would simply login to the browser with their domain credentials, at which point they will see all their print jobs waiting to be printed at the device they are standing at. They may select the document, then press the release button at which point we will immediately release the job at the printer.

As a quick recap, the PrinterLogic solution enables a centrally managed Direct IP print environment with all of your Secure Printing needs met—all with zero need for print servers.

Release Printing Without a Print Server?

Posted by Jarrett Taylor

Secure Printing is increasingly becoming a requirement for many companies. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with HR, Accounting, Medical or other sensitive data, your organization’s print jobs need to stay secure until someone is physically at the printer to collect the document. This helps prevent sensitive information from sitting on the printer tray for everyone to read.

Did you know that every year, hundreds of thousands of documents are printed and then left unclaimed on printers in the enterprise? Think about it—we’ve all done it. We’ve all had moments where we hit print on an important document, only to be distracted by an important meeting or a conversation with a co-worker, leaving that printed material to sit out in the open on the printer tray.

Over 10 percent of all print jobs are forgotten at the printer, accounting for millions of dollars of waste per year in terms of wasted paper and toner. The larger the organization, the larger the financial impact of this waste becomes. And beyond the financial loss, there are also significant environmental ramifications to consider, too. It is estimated that each employee wastes 1,400 sheets of paper per year—that’s a lot of trees.

But there’s another huge consideration for enterprise users when it comes to unclaimed documents—security. When these unclaimed documents contain sensitive or confidential information, that creates a huge security risk. Imagine that one of your employees in HR prints a document with another employee’s personal information on it, and then accidentally leaves it on the printer for anyone to find. And that’s just one of many cringe-worthy scenarios.

And that is exactly why it was so important for us to bring Release Printing to our customers. PrinterLogic’s Release Printing Module secures the print environment by enabling users to send print jobs without releasing them until they are physically at the printer to receive the documents.

The available print job release mechanisms include:

Printer Console Release:

  • The PrinterLogic app can be installed directly on a printer, enabling users to log in and release their print jobs directly from the LCD of the device. This method does not require any additional hardware for supported devices. For supported devices, the badge/card readers can authenticate directly to the PrinterLogic application.

Release Station:

  • A dedicated terminal (desktop PC, tablet device, etc.) can be set up at a printer for users to release print jobs. Users will only be able to release print jobs to nearby printers, ensuring the physical security of the documents.

Browser-Based Release:

  • Any device with a browser—including PC, Mac, Chromebook, and any mobile device—can access PrinterLogic’s web-based app and release print jobs securely.

Badge/Card Reader Release:

  • A badge reader is placed at the printer or is native to the printing device. The badge reader integrates with the existing badge system to release the print jobs to the printer associated with the badge.

As a result, PrinterLogic’s Release Printing Module enables both Pull Printing and Secure Printing capabilities for organizations looking to secure their print environment by eliminating the risk of sensitive or confidential documents being printed and left unclaimed for someone else to discover.

Pull Printing

Pull Printing (also known as Follow Printing) enables users to create print jobs via a universal print driver, giving them the ability to release the print job at any printer of their discretion. Pull Printing works in all of the following environments: PC/Mac, Mobile and Chromebook.

Secure Printing

Secure Printing allows users to create a print job via a specific printer driver to a single printer, while enabling the user to release the job at the designated printer when they are physically there to receive the print job. By using the printer’s actual driver, all original printer functionality is maintained. Secure Printing is currently available in PC/Mac environments.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. If you’ve read our previous posts, you know that we’re all about Eliminating Print Servers here at PrinterLogic. But most organizations still believe they need to use a print server in order to roll out Release Printing functionality.

I’m happy to report that this is no longer the case. With PrinterLogic, you can now enable Pull Printing and Secure Printing with or without print servers.

I know this sounds too good to be true, and I don’t blame you for any skepticism. So let us prove it to you. Go ahead and sign up for a quick demo, and we’ll show you how this works in real time. We can also give you real-life examples of the customers who are already using PrinterLogic to eliminate their print servers AND deploy Release Printing.

As always, if you have any questions for us before signing up for a demo, just leave them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you quickly.