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situation - small network of 25 PC windows 7, two network (connected via network cable, dedicated fixed IP address) printers (Xerox WorkCenter 7120). Office divided in two parts, each part has its own printer, so people dont have to stand up and make more than ten steps to get their papers :)

problem - Xerox 7120 was not a good choice for us and is very maintenance intense, causing problems and outages. People have to be informed to use the other printer while the first one is offline, and BFU is yelling, that "it is too complicated" to choose another printer from the menu ...

question - is it possible to have something like "failover" printing, like

PC in office 1 : try printer 1, if not available, print on printer 2

PC in office 2 : try printer 2, if not available, print on printer 1

automatic solution, no user imput required (well, some notice where it was actually printed would be nice) ? I tried to google for some solution, but most I've found was for Windows 2000, that scared me a little :)

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If they're complaining that it's "too hard" to choose a different printer, what makes you think that they'll be happy as clams walking to a farther printer on the off chance their print job comes out there? O.o –  GregD Jul 25 '13 at 14:50
    
User education is key ...it can't be that difficult to tell them to just choose the other one. –  Nathan C Jul 25 '13 at 14:50
    
Make the users do their IC3 training –  Simkill Jul 25 '13 at 15:02

2 Answers 2

You can create a printer pool of identical printers. Users print to the pool and the print comes out where ever is least busy. If a printer fails, it will print to whichever is available. You can find more information here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc757086(v=ws.10).aspx

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This won't work since it won't say where the job went. It even recommends in the article that the printers should be in the same place. –  Nathan C Jul 25 '13 at 14:50

Third party software tools such as Print Queue Manager by SoftwareShelf can do this for you. But I'm unaware of a built-in tool to handle this. Simkill's idea of a printer pool is the closest but with load-balancing like that you need the printers in the same place. So you can definitely go the printer pool route if you want to simply pick up two more printers and stick 2 printers at Location A and two at Location B.

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