As Microsoft’s End of Life deadline has come and gone for Windows Server 2003/R2, you might be considering using the company’s Print Server Migration Tool (yes, they do offer one) to help with the upgrade transition.
There are a couple of paths you can take to deal with the obsolescence. Since Windows Server 2008 is still supported for a few more years, you can:
- Use the Print Server Migration Tool to go from Windows Server 2003 to 2008
- Use the Print Server Migration Tool to go from Windows Server 2003 to 2008, then to 2012
- Or use the Print Server Migration Tool to go from Windows Server 2003 straight to 2012
Regardless of which path you choose to follow, the Print Server Migration Tool will present you with a wizard that will allow you to export your print queues and drivers. Then you can import all these settings into the new server. One big caveat is that you might not have 64-bit drivers installed on Windows Server 2003, yet you will need to have them in place when transitioning to 2008 or 2012. You'll have to add each of those 64-bit drivers manually prior to using the Print Server Migration Tool, otherwise the migration could fail. To be on the safe side, you'll want to use the most current universal drivers—unless, of course, you need a manufacturer driver for specific capabilities.
Once you've completed the Print Server Migration Tool process successfully, your work isn't over. Next you'll need to allow the users to connect to the server and see if everything is running smoothly. Remember to rename the new print server or take the old one offline beforehand! It's a common oversight that causes no end of headache.
The larger problem with using the Print Server Migration Tool at all is that you're bound to run into object or queue errors, dependency issues and configuration complications. And in the end you're still stuck with print servers.
So here's some food for thought: Why not use this migration from Windows Server 2003 to 2008 or 2012 as a chance to eliminate print servers altogether? Instead of wrestling with the Print Server Migration Tool, you can use PrinterLogic's web-based application to select all your existing queues, drivers, preferences and information. Then everything will be carried over seamlessly into PrinterLogic's rock-solid, highly adaptable print environment. After pushing out a tiny client to your workstations, any Windows shared printers on your network will be automatically detected and converted into direct IP printers.
Nor does the ease of use stop there. PrinterLogic lets you automatically update drivers individually or en masse, manage printers and print queues from a single pane of glass, and even empowers your users with simple self-service printer installs. All that fretting over 64-bit drivers and dependencies? It's now a thing of the past. Just like your old print server.
There's an oft-repeated saying that the Chinese use the same word for crisis and opportunity. That idea certainly applies to migrating from Windows Server 2003. Rather than view it as a crisis of driver errors, lost queues and incompatible settings, isn’t it better to seize the opportunity to move to PrinterLogic?
With nearly 20 years of experience in delivering market leading IT solutions to Fortune 500 companies, Devin prides himself on driving simplicity into products that solve extremely complex IT problems. For years he has been focused on the end-user computing devices and delivering technology that provides valuable services to the end-user which enable them to be their most productive self. As Vice President of Product Management at PrinterLogic, he focuses on increasing the value customers get from the company's Enterprise Printer Management solution.