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Not all printers are created equal, but most work the way you want them to, as long as you know how to make that happen. Sadly enough, plenty of users have no clue as to why their printers stall, and end up frustrated if this happens when they need something printed stat. An office printer that stops printing can leave employees deterred from finishing important tasks.
A slow printer in your department can be the result of a variety of things, inefficient print job processing being chief among them. Given below are some great ways to speed it back up, and resume the work you were supposed to be completing.
It is imperative to first figure out what is causing the printer to respond so slowly. There could be something wrong with the processor, or the memory. Maybe an invisible background service is hogging resources. When a user tries to print, any one of these can suffice to disrupt the operation. Luckily, Windows has a built-in task manager that lets you compare the printer’s idle state with the time when someone attempts to make a print.
Windows Server 2012 has a “print spooled documents first” option, which you should definitely enable if your printer gets used a lot by multiple people. Otherwise, a small job that was submitted after a larger job would have to wait for the latter to complete. This would be the case even if the smaller job had finished spooling while the larger one had not, and also when the printer is idle. To all outward appearances, it would seem your problem was the print spooler service not running properly.
In a busy office, the print spool server would have multiple jobs sent to it simultaneously, requiring the disk drive to write and delete data a lot of the time. The latter can quickly cause a bottleneck. You should try to optimize performance by setting a dedicated drive for the spooling alone. Microsoft® recommends having separate physical disk drives for spooler file storage and operating system use. Most people would simply need to reset print spooler file storage settings.
Expand the Increase Hard Disk Space Available to the Print Server
A disk drive of insufficient size can cause problems in spooling. Most print jobs tend to grow tremendously in size whenever they get rendered, and with multiple print jobs submitted simultaneously for spooling, the whole thing can become unresponsive pretty quickly. As a remedy, make sure the hard disk used by the print server is not too small.
Dedicated print servers can be easier to maintain, because even when they get bogged down with print jobs, they would not cause other important applications to stall or crash. By the same token, applications hogging resources would not after the performance of a print server.
Some users connecting to print servers leave their connections active for a long while, and this is bad because every connection needs resources to stay up. Windows has a server management functionality you can use to locate such connections, and when you do, you can close the unneeded ones. If the server gets repeatedly bogged down with day-long connections, there is probably something wrong with the client applications, and you may want to take that up with the manufacturer to come up with a workaround.
Using a high number of printer drivers is a bad idea, especially in Windows. The main problem with this is that it takes up a lion’s share of resources, while getting little work done. The other issue is that a lot of printer drivers are known to leave monitoring services in their wake after being uninstalled, and these too are a drain on resources. You can prevent them by standardizing the drivers used, preferring universal printer drivers, and getting software that lets you centrally manage printer drivers without the need to install it on the servers.
The processor is a possible source for a bottleneck you are likely not prepared to deal with, especially during times when heavy printing needs to be carried out. To avoid that, make sure that any conversion to PostScript/PCL takes place on the client, as opposed to the server. If the problem still occurs, you should look into getting more powerful hardware.
Most times when your print server slows down, a quick fix would not solve the problem completely, because there is simply too much printing to be done. So you should call us on 844-203-1916 for technical assistance instead. Our certified printer support experts can get on it right way in minimal time, and get your network printer working right once more.