Why PrintMig 3.1 is Retired

Why PrintMig 3.1 is Retired

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Hey folks, it’s Yong Rhee once more.  Today’s post is a short, but an important one for Print Server administrators.  If you’ve ever administered a Print Server, the chances are that you’ve probably had to perform a print server migration as well.  Whether that migration is to a Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 machine, printer migrations always seem to somehow get very messy and complicated.  Printing issues are more of a helpdesk headache as well – more than logon or application issues.  So as an administrator, how can you migrate printers without causing a printing outage in your environment?  Let’s take a look …

Most Windows printer administrators have either heard of or used the Print Migrator tool (PrintMig).  PrintMig 3.0 was released back in May of 2002, and version 3.1 was released in September 2003.  By comparison, Windows Server 2003 was released in March of 2003, Windows Server 2003 SP1 was released in March 2005, and Windows Server 2003 SP2 was released in February 2007.  So, the operating system has been secured and updated, but the PrintMig tool has not been updated in over five years.  Hmmm, that makes you stop and think for a second, doesn’t it?  Here’s five other reasons that Print Migrator 3.1 is not as robust of a migration solution as it once was:

  1. PrintMig was created before OEM printer manufacturers starting shipping printer drivers containing .cab files.  As a result, PrintMig 3.1 cannot restore printer drivers that have .cab files in them
  2. PrintMig was created prior to Windows Server 2003 SP1 and SP2.  For clustered printing scenarios, the folder structure for the location of Print Processors changed, and thus PrintMig is unaware of these new locations
  3. PrintMig only recognizes local or NetBIOS path names to separator pages (.sep files).  If you use a fully qualified name (FQDN) for the location of .sep files it will cause PrintMig to crash with an access violation
  4. PrintMig cannot restore servers that include the word “Spool” in their network name, for example Spooler1 or PrintSpool
  5. PrintMig does not work with 64-bit (x64 or IA64) print servers because x 64 servers were not widely deployed when PrintMig 3.1 was released

So, with PrintMig out of the picture, how should you migrate printers?  In Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, the Print Migration Wizard within the new Print Management Console is one option.  Alternatively you could also use the PRINTBRM.EXE command line tool (which effectively replaces PrintMig 3.1).  I’ll be going over some of the benefits of both of these tools in future posts, so stay tuned!

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- Yong Rhee

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  • I recently migrated from a Windows 2000 print server to a Windows 2003 R2 SP2 cluster using PrintMig 3.1. I had no problems (a few weeks in production now, 200+ printers). Your statement  "PrintMig was created prior to Windows Server 2003 SP1 and SP2.  For clustered printing scenarios, the folder structure for the location of Print Processors changed, and thus PrintMig is unaware of these new locations." concerns me - what have I overlooked and is there a problem I will encounter?

  • PrintMig worked great in Windows XP for transfering printers from one machine to another. As long as they are both Windows XP.

    PrintBrm works great in Windows 7 for transfering printers from one machine to another. As long as they are both Windows 7.

    My question is how do I use either of these to transfer my printers from Windows XP to Windows 7?

  • Nothing, except the binary. They lock paths in it; they also prevent CABs too. On purpose. No, I'm not kidding. PRINTMIG, offset 0002d550h. CAB files. Right there.

    G----- liars.

  • I'm looking to migrate Printers from a Windows 2003 SP2 Server to a Windows 2003 SP2 2 Node Cluster.

    Using PrintMig 3.1 has failed (which is now obvious after seeing this update), but I can't use PrintBRM on Windows 2003 machines.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can restore to a Windows 2003 SP2 Cluster?

    Cheers,

    Gareth

  • I am trying to migrate printers from a Windows 2008 sp2 server to a Windows 2003 R2 server...going backwards...PrintMig 3.1 does not work with Windows 2008, and the Printbrm.exe (Windows 2008 print management tool) doesnt seem to work with my Windowss 2003 print server when importing from .print.Migration file (created on the win2008 server).

    any suggestions on a way to do this? Thank you for your help.

    Gregory Lee

  • Is it possible to Migrate the Pritn server from 32 Bit Server 2003 to 64 Bit Server 2008?

    If yes, How...?

  • I have been trying to test migration from Windows 2003 32bit to Windows 2003 64bit. I setup various scenarios but nothing seem to work:

    1) Installed both 32bit and 64bit drivers on source (w2k3 32bit), run printmig to backup and restore it on the destination (w2k3 64bit). No errors, but printer doesn't appear although I can see them in the registry

    2) Installed both 32bit and 64bit drivers on source AND destination, run printmig to backup and restore it on the destination (w2k3 64bit). No errors, but printer doesn't appear although I can see them in the registry

    3) Installed both 32bit and 64bit drivers on source (w2k3 32bit), run printbrm using a ws08 server to  backup. I then ran restore from ws08 to the destination (w2k3 64bit), but encountered many errors.

    I don;t if the the error is because on ws08 its c:\windows, but on w2k3 its c:\winnt

    The following objects failed to install:

    LISTING PRINT QUEUES

    BKKLPR0013-PCL  Error: 0x80004005

    Unspecified error

    BKKCPR0015-PCL  Error: 0x80004005

    Unspecified error

    LISTING PRINTER DRIVERS

    HP LaserJet 4250 PCL 5e, Windows x64, None      Error: 0x80004005

    Unspecified error

    HP LaserJet 4200 PCL 5e, Windows x64, None      Error: 0x80004005

    Unspecified error

    ETC ETC

    ***********************************

    At this point in time, it does not seem possible to migrate printers from w2k3 32bit and w2k3 64bit at all. Microsoft doesn't provide any such information neither.

    Any help?