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We recently migrated to a Windows 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Server (SP2) as a print server. For the most part, we found that it wasn't too hard to get both a x64 and a x86 driver for the printers we were using. Shortly after switching, we noticed that certain printers were taking far, far longer to spool their jobs. In particular, we noticed that our HP LaserJet 8100 was taking approximately 10-20 seconds to spool a job compared to its previous behavior of spooling almost faster than you could click.

At first we suspected it might have something to do with the x64 version of Windows managing the x86 client print requests. However, the behavior only seemed to manifest on certain printers. We eventually narrowed it down to the HP Universal Print Driver. Any printer using that driver was extremely slow spooling. HP doesn't offer a printer specific W2K3 64-bit driver for our LaserJet 8100, only the universal driver is available (as of 2/25/09). They do offer an 8100 specific driver for 32-bit systems in addition to the Universal driver.

Unfortunately, the 32-bit specific drivers cannot be added to the x64 printer share because of the difference in print name. Apparently you're only able to add 32-bit drivers if they are named exactly the same thing (i.e. they must both be Universal Printer drivers). This has created quite a dilemma. The performance is so poor with the universal print drivers, it makes multi-print jobs take many times longer than they did before. Doing a stack of prints for our Engineering team literally takes hours where before it took a half hour.

It seems our options are limited. If we return to an x86 Windows Install to support the 8100 specific drivers, we lose the ability to support x64 systems. It would be a waste of money and resources to create both 32-bit and 64-bit print servers. It would be a lot nicer to eliminate the Universal print drivers or find a way to improve their performance.

Is there a solution to improving the Universal Print Driver performance or am I stuck going back to a x86 print server?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 24 '10 at 12:39

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15 years ago I could recommend HP without hesitation. They've been resting on their laurels for far too long. –  Mark Ransom Jul 24 '10 at 2:58
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7 Answers

I was migrating from a Windows 2003 print server to 2008 R2, within the first few minutes of testing we had major print delays. It was taking at least 30 seconds to spool each page, I tried several suggestions from this site and others with no avail. I decided to try different configurations myself, after some trial and error I found the fix for me was to change the print processor under the advanced tab to hpcpp115 RAW. Hope this saves some headaches.

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We had a similar problem and fixed it by changing the printer type.

Can you set up the 8100 as a different series? What if you configure it in Windows as an HP 5si, or an HP 9000? If you are just printing, and not using special trays frequently, this should work.

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This is an interesting possibility. We are an Engineering firm, so we have a combination of 8.5x11, 11x17, and 8x14 loaded in different trays. Would that be impacted by your suggestion? –  Mr Furious Feb 25 '09 at 20:22
    
@Mr Furious - you might be able to add a different printer share for each of the trays. –  Joel Coel Sep 22 '11 at 14:00
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We've had similar issues when using the UPD with a HP Color LaserJet HP2840.

After a few days we've worked out that the issue is caused by some printers being slow to interpret the raw data from the UPD driver and then realised the issue could be resolved by using a driver that pre-renders the data before sending to the printer.

We've found the the Samsung CPL-650 driver set pre-renders the print jobs and has drivers for all operating systems including 64 bit.

As a solution we've installed and tested the CPL-650 drivers in both 32bit and 64bit environments with image heavy documents using the PCL6 driver and have seen a major increase in printing speeds.

While we haven't tested the PS or SPL drivers we can safely assume that they will work just as well.

Hope this helps a lot of people out.

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I've had the same problem with Server 2008 64-bit. I have settled on the more annoying Universal print driver as it's been the only solution that's worked. Even then, I've had oddities with this print driver with using the wrong tray on occassion and not printing landscape vs. portrait on occassion. In other words, it's been inconsistent for me.

My fingers are crossed that there's actually a good answer that comes out of this.

Up-voted in hopes SOMEONE will have an answer.

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Thanks for the solidarity. An upvote on the question would be helpful in gaining attention! :P Life would have been a ton easier if HP had written decent drivers or made a discrete 64-bit driver. –  Mr Furious Feb 25 '09 at 20:24
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Take properties on your printer, choose advanced settings and scroll down to the bottom of this page. Use either color or monochrome in device type, depending on your printer model. This made it for us, the auto detect seems to slow down the communication with the printer.

Brgds

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If you use non hp universal drivers in a w2k8 64bit failover print cluster you experience a delay of about 30 - 40 second when trying to access the printer thats only if you have admin rights on the printer. But it works fine for those who do not have admin rights. I'm in the process of upgrading most of my hp model specific drivers to universal driver. I agree hp needs to do a better job with their drivers. It takes about 10 minutes just add the new/upgrade drivers, the spooler looks to hang but eventually it finish installing.

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Server 2008 x64 R2 with both x86 and x64 drivers. HP UPD 5.1 PCL 6 installed. Printers are deployed to win xp sp3 32 bit machines using GP preferences. Right click on the hp printer and choose printer properties takes 30 to 40 seconds while right clicking on the xerox printers which are also deployed takes only 2 or 3 seconds to display the properties.

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