What driver isolation mode do we recommend for our printer drivers? Follow

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Domingo Rodriguez

Question

What driver isolation mode do we recommend for our printer drivers? 

Answer

We recommend Shared isolation mode, and since driver version v2017.1 we also install our printer drivers by default into the shared pool.

Only if a certain printer driver has a tendency to crash, apart from reporting the crash problems to us they can decide to run this particular printer driver in Isolated mode instead (so that the global shared process will not be affected)

More Information (Optional)

When the Print Server role service of the Print and Document Services server role is installed on Windows Server 2008 R2 or higher, each printer driver on the print server can run in one of three possible driver Isolation modes:

  • None In this mode, the printer driver will run in the spooler process and not in a separate process. If a driver crashes, the spooler will crash, and administrators must restart the Print Spooler service. All print queues on the server will be offline while the spooler is offline. This mode is the only option on Windows 2000, Windows 2003, and Windows 2008 print servers.
  • Shared The printer driver will run in a separate process with all of the other drivers that are also configured in Shared mode. If the driver crashes, the spooler will not crash, but all print queues with drivers in the shared process will be offline (print queues with drivers in isolated processes or within the spooler process will remain online). The shared process will be recycled, the drivers in it will be restarted, and the queues associated with these drivers will return to the online state.
  • Isolated In this mode, the printer driver will run by itself in a separate process isolated from all other drivers. If the driver crashes, only the print queue associated with this driver will be offline. The isolated process will be recycled, the print queue will be restarted, and the queue associated with the driver will return to the online state. No other print queues or drivers on the server will be affected by this crash/restart.

Therefore, a Windows Server 2008 R2 print server can have the following:

  • Legacy mode (always present)
  • Shared process (always present)
  • One or more isolated processes (optional)

 

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