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Working with Printers and Other Hardware Devices

Because a server offers services based on the hardware installed on it, such as a print server or file server, you need to access settings related to a printer (or printers) connected to a server and also access device settings for other hardware installed on the computer. Because Windows Server 2008 supports plug-and-play technology, hardware installation (in most cases) requires only that the new device (such as a backup drive or a printer) be attached to or installed on the server.

By the Way

Windows Server 2008 should automatically install any printer that you connect to the server via a USB port (or any other USB or FireWire hardware for that matter). With some printers, you may have to supply the appropriate drivers for that printer during the installation process. If you are connecting a printer to a server via parallel port, or attempting to use a legacy printer, you may have to use the Add Printer command found in the Printers window of the Control Panel.

Let’s take a look at how to access printer settings. You can then learn how to access the Device Manager, which provides a list of all installed hardware including printers.

To open the Printers window:

1. Select Start and then Control Panel.

2. In the Control Panel window, click the Printer link below the Hardware and Sound category link. The Printers window opens (see Figure 3.4).

Figure 3.4. The Printers dialog box enables you to access printer settings.

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3. To view the settings for a listed printer, select that printer and then click Select Printing Preferences.

The Preferences dialog box appears for the selected printer. The features and settings available vary, depending on the printer that is actually installed. When you have finished configuring the settings for the printer, click OK to close the printer’s Preferences dialog box. In Hour 14, “Working with Network Printing,” network printing and printers are covered in more detail.

The Device Manager is another of the hardware-related tools that you need to be able to access quickly. From the Control Panel, just click the Open Device Manager link below the System and Maintenance Category link. The Device Manager then opens (see Figure 3.5).

Figure 3.5. The Device Manager enables you to view and troubleshoot installed hardware.

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The Device Manager enables you to view installed hardware and troubleshoot hardware problems, which are typically related to hardware drivers. You can expand each of the hardware categories (such as Disk Drives or Network Adapters) and then access information on a particular hardware device.

Right-click a device and choose Properties to view the properties for that device (see Figure 3.6). In the Properties dialog box for that device, you can update or reinstall the driver for the device. The Properties dialog box also enables you to view the resources used by the device, disable a device, or uninstall the current driver for the device.

Figure 3.6. Use the Properties dialog box for a device to update or reinstall drivers.

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