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Replacing Windows 2000 Printer Server to Windows 2003 Server

The Story:

Last week our Windows 2000 printer server had repeated problems in a single day. As the rule of thumb of Windows 2000 printer server troubleshooting says, I stopped the printer spooler service, waited a few seconds, and then started the service. Based on my experience, most of Windows service will show an fail message when I clicked on the restart service button. That’s why I prefer to click on the stop button and the start button after several seconds.

Anyway, it did solve the problem for about half an hour until the next user complained that she cannot print also. Then I restarted the Windows to make sure all the troubles caused by any lack of available memory resources will be solved. It came up and it solved the print problem.

But a few hours afterward the problem re-occured and so I did the restart ritual of both service and Windows all over again. I thought that was all for that day, but on the following day I discovered that my work colleague restarted the Windows once more after I left the office because of the same problem.

The problem no longer occur until today, but me and my work colleague has worked on plan to replace the printer server to new hardware and upgrade it to Windows 2003.

As always, we tried it in a testing environment with very similar condition. Here are the steps to upgrade Windows 2000 printer server to Windows 2003.

The Steps:

1. Download the Windows Print Migrator 3.1 from Microsoft website. This software will prevent you from adding all the printer manually.

2. If your printers are mostly HP, most probably you are using HP JetDirect. Then you need to download the HP Web Jetadmin from HP website. Without this, the printers can be imported yet the status won’t be “Ready”.

3. Login to the Windows 2000 Printer Server and Disable Kernel Mode driver blocking, following these steps from

– Run Local Group Policy. Open Run and type gpedit.msc

– Explorer Computer Configuration,

– Select Administrative Templates,

– click Printer.

– On the Right pane, right-click on “Disallow installation of printers using kernel mode drivers”

– Select Properties and check Disabled.

– Click OK to close the Local Group Policy.

4. Run the Printer Migrator on your Windows 2000 Server and choose Actions>Backup. It will backup all your printer driver and configuration into one cab file.

5. Login to the new Windows 2003 Server , install the HP Web Jetadmin.

6. Copy both Printer Migrator and the cab file it created to the new Windows 2003 Server.

7. Run the Printer Migrator and choose Actions>Restore, selecting the cab file.

8. That’s all folks! May the force be with you!

*during the test environment we tried to maintain the same printer server name so users need not to reconnect all of their printers and it does WORK! ;D

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