JSI Tip 5137. How do I create a printing pool on a Windows 2000 print server?

NOTE: The text in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article is provided so that the site search can find this page. Please click the Knowledge Base link to insure that you are reading the most current information.

Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q318749 contains:



This step-by-step article describes how to create a printing pool on a Windows 2000-based print server.

You can create a printing pool in Windows 2000 in which two or more of the same printers are connected to one print server and behave as a single printer. Note that the physical device that performs the actual printing is referred to as a printer; a logical printer is the physical printer's software interface on the print server.

By connecting one logical printer to multiple printers through multiple ports on the print server, the printing pool appears to users as a single printer. When a user prints a document to the printing pool, the document is printed on the first available printer in the pool. Users are not required to know which printer is available. The logical printer checks for an available port and then sends documents to ports in the order in which they were added.

This configuration is useful in high-volume environments because it maximizes printer use and minimizes the time that users may have to wait for their print jobs to be printed. Additionally, it is easier to administer printers because you can manage multiple printers from the same logical printer on the server.

back to the top

Before You Set Up a Printing Pool

Before you set up a printing pool, consider the following items:
  • Two or more printers are required. Windows 2000 does not limit the number of printers in a pool.

  • The printers in the pool must be of the same type and use the same printer driver.

  • Printer ports can be of the same type or mixed (such as parallel, serial, and network).

  • Add the fastest printer to the pool first so that documents are sent to the fastest printer before they are routed to the slower printers in the pool.

  • Because users do not know which printer receives and prints their documents, it is a good idea to place all of the pooled printers in the same physical location. If the printers are not in the same physical location, users may not be able to find their printed documents.

back to the top

How to Create a Printing Pool

NOTE : This procedure assumes that the printers that you want to pool are installed on the print server and are listed in the Printers folder. To add a new printer, click Add Printer in the Printers folder.
  1. Click Start , point to Settings , and then click Printers .

  2. Right-click a printer that you want to include in the printing pool, and then click Properties .

  3. Click the Ports tab.

  4. Select the Enable printer pooling check box.

  5. In the list of ports, select the check boxes for the ports to which the printers that you want to pool are connected.

  6. Repeat steps 2 through step 5 for each printer that you want to include in the printing pool.

  7. Click OK .

back to the top


For additional information about how to configure a Windows 2000-based server as a print server, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q300392 HOW TO: Install and Configure a File and Print Server in Windows 2000
For additional information about how to set up a print queue in Windows 2000, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q300610 HOW TO: Set Up a Print Queue in Windows 2000
back to the top

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.