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How you can - really - use NPRINTER on Windows 2000/XP

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Gabor Funk

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Posted: 20 Jul 2004

It IS possible to use NPRINTER on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

How to: (Explanation and/or manual installation, for the masochistic ones)
  • Download NTPRINT.EXE, extract and copy NPRINTER.EXE and NPRINTER.CPL to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32
  • Note, that "C:\Windows\System32" is not a "proper" directory for NPRINTER.EXE and pretty likely will fail. So, start it from "C:\X", a network drive or from any other place where there are no long file (directory) names, and no mix of capital and lower letters.
  • After this, you have a service, but - even after setting its start method to automatic - very often (always?) it will fail to start. So create a batch file and make it run at startup (startup folder, or run key in the registry). Because the service still won't start just by starting it once, the batch file should keep on trying to start the service until it is really started (Fun, eh?). Hint: use PsService for this.

Of course, someone will then have to log into the machine to use the attached printer, but since the machine has to be started anyway, I don't find this a very big problem. (If you do, use an external printserver).
(Autologin is possible, for details, see TID 10052847
From here, skip to "Configuring NPRINTER"

Automatic install

Download this zip file, and unpack to some simple named directory (C:\NPRINTER would do it), have admin rights, and start NINST.BAT. It will (most likely) do the above procedure automatically. If you have problems, check (with the help of the "explanation") what could have gone wrong. Of course configuring NPRINTER is a manual task, but it will be started automatically, you will just have to configure it at your leisure.

Configuring NPRINTER

Start NPRINTER from the Control Panel (or run NPRINTER.CPL), browse and setup the required printer for the machine.

Select your remote printer object for the workstation:

It will need to grant read rights to [public] for the printer object, so do this as an admin or the like. You will see something like this:

And connect it (might take a look at Options too):

It is written somewhere that unloading and reloading of pserver will break the connection between the nprinter, and it won't automatically reconnect (unlike the one for DOS). See for yourself and send feedback to me.


NPRINTER and Windows 2000 - TID10054175 (last modified 18NOV2002)

NPrinterNT - Questions and Answers - TID2934151 (last modified 07JUN1999)

NPrinter for Windows NT available - TID2931460 (last modified 12OCT1998)

NPRINTER for NT - TID2943059 (last modified 19NOV1998)

NTPRINT.EXE download links:

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