Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"The specified port is unknown" When Adding a Network Printer

We currently have a Windows 2008 x64 Server with print services installed and we are sharing several network printers through that server. Every time a user logs in, a vbs script is run that maps certain printers for them depending on which groups they belong to in Active Directory. All was well and good until randomly we started getting the error message "The specified port is unknown" on one of our servers when trying to add the printers. So, instead of mapping the specified printers, the logon script failed leaving the user printerless. I then went on to test adding the printer manually through the control panel, and to my surprise, I got the exact same error. What gives?

I tried several things on the server hosting the printer, but it made absolutely no difference whatsoever. Finally, I thought, maybe if I just restart the Print Spooler service on the server the user was logging into. As soon as I did that, everything worked again! So, I'm not exactly sure what caused the problem to occur in the first place, but I'm glad that I know how to fix it now.

Bonus: We were also having issues with the wrong username/job owner showing up on the printer separator sheets. Instead of printing the username of the person who printed, it would print the username of the last Domain Admin to print something. We searched Google near and far and came back with nothing. After running out of ideas, we pinged Microsoft support on the issue to discover that this is a known problem with Server 2008 and Vista SP1 and there's actually a hotfix available for it: I hope that someone finds this useful, since I had such a hard time finding the solution.


Anonymous said...

I am having the same problem and restarting the print spooler also fixed the problem. Is your problme with an HP printer?
Rich Durkee

Matt Augustine said...

Hi Rich!

Thanks for stopping by.

In all honesty (since this was about 2 years ago) I can't recall which printer model this applied to. However, it more than likely was an HP, because at the time our department was printing to an HP Laser Printer... so I'm assuming I would have been testing on that.

Anonymous said...

Had same problem with about 8 network printers being applied via GPO on one machine.
Restarting print spooler on that client machine helped


Matt Augustine said...

Awesome -- glad that worked!

document management said...

For Installing Linux Network Printer 1st we have to configure Samba & Need to create some user for accessing Printer from Other/windows machine, so 1st try to configure samba with users.