Print Management console to manage printers

Discovered the Print Management console today. Wonder how I missed it so far! It’s such a useful tool when you have many print servers and would like to manage them all. Moreover, if your print server is a Server Core install, then using the console definitely beats typing the commands and scripts that are provided by default to manage the print server on Server Core.

Couple of things as a note to myself:

  1. A 64-bit server requires 64-bit drivers to be installed. This was surprising to me. Always thought 32-bit drivers were ok even if the OS is 64-bit. But no, that won’t do for printers. You have to install the 64-bit drivers, but you can install additional drivers – that are 32-bit – for clients and such. So in a way, yes, a 64-bit server can have 32-bit drivers installed, but only as an additional set of drivers.
  2. When managing remote servers it’s better to add the drivers first using this console and then adding the printer. If you try adding drivers when adding printer, the dialog box showing progress tends to freeze and you might think everything’s stuck.
  3. It is better to add both the 64-bit and 32-bit (if you require) drivers to the server, and then add the printer. If you add the 64-bit driver first, then add printer, and then add the 32-bit drivers via the additional drivers dialog box, it gets added but trying to open the printer again gives errors that your client machine needs to have 32-bit drivers. (This is on a Windows 7 client managing a Server Core 2008 R2 machine so could just be a bug with my setup). So best to add all drivers first to the server, and then add printer.
  4. If you already added 32-bit and 64-bit drivers to the Print Management console, then when adding a new printer the 32-bit drivers are automatically picked up as additional drivers. No need to select them manually.
  5. Additional drivers can be added by opening the printer properties, going to the sharing tab, and selecting ‘Additional Drivers’. But like I said above, better to just add these additional drivers first itself by going to the ‘Drivers’ menu in the Print Management console.