Dell 3130 printer–odd driver/network behavior

Overall, I’m happy with this new Dell 3130cn color printer, but their drivers are *odd* – and you cannot setup a Windows server print queue to this printer by creating a TCP/IP port and feeding Windows the INF drivers.

I unboxed this printer, jacked it into a /24 network in my office then proceeded to setup a new printer on  a Windows 2008r2 core print server in another routed network.  New port – TCP/IP – hostname – autodetects as LPD… well fine, but I changed it to 9100 port.  Drivers, download R308589 from Dell.com – point to the INF, get a choice of PCL5, PCL XL and PS… humm, lets go PostScript.  Done.  Print test page – queues, queue is empty (as if job sent to printer and accepted) but nothing comes out printer.  Again, nothing.  Check embedded web server on printer – Printer Jobs- completed jobs – nothing but the test page from the unit.  Humm.

Got busy doing other stuff, came back later – and a Port 9100 job was in the completed jobs list from a Mac user in my office that printed directly to the device.  Odd.  Can I do that too – yup, setup the printer on my Win7 workstation using same driver.  “What the heck, a routing issue from server’s network to the workstation network?”  No, because I can get to the EWS – and the routers treat 80/443/9100 all the same.

Answer: Dell’s Admin Guide to Open Print Driver.  You must install all 3 print drivers to your server – then your Configure tab on the printer properties shows the printer model rather than just showing Generic Laser printer

genericPrintermodelSpecific

I don’t know the voodoo behind the driver, model selection, and networking – when Active Model=Generic you can print over port 9100 TCP to the printer if you are in the same subnet.  If printing device (server or your workstation) is in a different subnet – you better follow the Dell instructions to install all 3 drivers (even though you only “use” one of them).

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