Q. What is printer driver isolation in Windows Server 2008 R2?

A. Print servers commonly have problems with a bad driver crashing. This crash brings down the entire print spooler because the drivers run within the spooler process. With the print spooler crashed, all printers become unavailable, and if you are running a print cluster then the print cluster resource becomes unavailable.

In Windows Server 2008 R2, you can select levels of isolation for print drivers. The print drivers can continue running in the same process as the spooler (no isolation, None); have several drivers running in a separate driver process (Shared); or have each driver running in its own process (Isolated). By default, print drivers are placed in a shared print process separate from the spooler.

Related: Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Printing Enhancements

You can configure the isolation for each driver using the Print Management MMC snap-in. Navigate to the Print Servers, , Drivers leaf, as shown here.

Click to expand.

Related Reading:

Check out hundreds more useful Q&As like this in John Savill's FAQ for Windows. Also, watch instructional videos made by John at ITTV.net.
TAGS: Windows 8
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