Print services: Migrating with ease

Migrating print services to a new server can be cumbersome and time-consuming if done manually, but Microsoft offers a free tool that automates the process. Learn more about Microsoft's Print Migrator in this tip excerpted from our sister site SearchWinIT.com.

IT Reseller Takeaway: When migrating to a new server, configuring print services can be a cumbersome and time-consuming task. But there are ways to make moving printer shares, permissions, drivers and updating clients' print drivers easier. Print Migrator (or PrintMig) is a free Microsoft utility that automates the process. Learn more about PringMig in this tip, excerpted from our sister site SearchWinIT.com.

There are two basic issues you'll need to address when migrating Print services:

  • Moving Printer shares, permissions and drivers
  • Updating Clients to point to the new server

The Print Migrator utility, know as PrintMig, is a free utility from Microsoft which makes moving your print service an easy task. PrintMig has two basic functions: exporting out the source server's printing environment and importing that environment to the target server.

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The export process works by creating a single .CAB file that contains all relevant registry entries, share names, permissions and drivers. This resulting single file is all that needs to be copied to the target server. Now before you import this file into the target server, you will need to ensure you have all print monitors that exist on the source server installed on the target *prior* to importing the PrintMig export file. For example, if the source server has a HP JetDirect Print Monitor (so the server can support a JetDirect Port type), you need to install the same monitor software on the target server so the port type is supported there as well. Importing with PrintMig is nothing more than selecting the Import option and choosing the export file to be imported. It is truly that easy!

To update your clients, you have two options:

  1. Update each client's settings to point to the new server name. This can be done manually, with some scripting, or with third-party tools like ScriptLogic's Desktop Authority. Whichever method you use, you'll need to basically remove the old printer definitions and create new ones.
  2. Give the new server a secondary name of the old server. Here's how it works: You have the source server in our migration named NT4PS and the target server named W2K3PS. Since NT4PS will be retired, once you have all of the printers migrated to W2K3PS via PrintMig, you can add the REG_SZ value OptionalNames to NT4PS in the following key in W2K3PS's registry:

Read the entire tip at SearchWinIT.com.


This was first published in June 2007

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