Is it possible to use NPRINTER under Windows 2000 or Windows XP?

On Windows 2000 - Yes, without problems.
On Windows XP - sometimes yes, but most probably it will behave ill, like the machine would restart/blue screen.

Issue was reported to Novell, but currently it is closed. If you need this issue to be fixed, or you have any comment related to this, leave comment here. You can also read detailed history of this issue there.

It seems that there are some "misunderstanding" between tdi.sys and nwsipx32.sys.
I reported the issue to Novell engineering, the essence of the (otherwise kind and understanding) answer was, that yes, it is a problem, but given its priority, there cannot be any real expectation that this bug will ever be addressed. Document ID: 3003838

In such cases, unfortunately you have to use alternate methods, such as NDPS, NPrinter on Windows 2000, nptrw95b on Windows9x, nprinter.exe on DOS, external print server, shared printer over Microsoft networking, etc., see links below for details.

Feel free to tell me, what's your favourite "remote printing" solution, and you can also easily tell here, if you have problem with the nprinter solution under Windows 2000/XP. Vote HERE and see what others use. You can add your comments too, after voting... Thanks!

Howto (In case you still want to do try...):

(Explanation and/or manual installation, for the masochistic ones)

-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 it's 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, he?). Hint: use psservice for this.

Of course someone will have to log in on the machine to use the attached printer then, 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:
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 problem, check (with the help of the "explanation") what could have gone wrong. Of course configuring NPRINTER is a manual task to do, but it will be started automatically, you will just have to configure it at your desire.

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:
Select from the Pserver/Printer (lower) section (down - HUNETWORK-PS\...), rather than form the NDS (upper) section, especially if you have "strange" container and/or printer queue names (containing spaces, etc.).

It will need to grant read rights to [public] for the printer object, so do this as an admin or alike. 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 feedback to me.

Error messages and meanings:

Error 770 occurred in PHandler.C on line 552.
You used NDS style printer and you have space or other non-normal character in the context/queue name. Use Pserver/Printer style when you connect the local nprinter to the queue.

Error 776 occurred in PHandler.C on line 437.
Remote printer already "handled" (in use). Check other workstations for running nprinter or nptr95. Reload pserver.

More error handling: NPrinterNT - Questions and Answers - TID2934151 (last modified 07JUN1999)

Useful Links:

Official Novell articles on NPRINTER vs. Windows NT/2000/XP
- 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)

Pure IP and/or NDPS based solutions
- DOS Nprinter replacement for Pure IP NDPS - Novell Cool Solutions Trench - By Erwin Veermans
- Setting up NDPS to print to remote printers - Novell Cool Solutions Question & Answer
- NPrinter Equivalent for Windows XP Novell Cool Solutions Trench - By Geoff Taylor
- How can NDPS use a printer locally attached to a Windows NT or Windows 2000 - TID10060125

Novell Client32 v4.9x related links (to be complete)
- Novell Client 4.91SP2 - FULL CLIENT
- Novell Client 4.91SP2 - SP2 Only
- Post 4.91SP2 patches:

Comments, suggestions about this web page, to:

version - note...
v1.00 - 2004.06.07 First version
v1.01 - 2004.10.13 Added error messages explanation, and updated NPTR.REG changed to be a REG_EXPAND_SZ value. This way it really runs at startup...
v1.02 - 2005.02.08 BSoD "awareness", added links and other methods
v1.03 - 2005.04.25 Other solutions listed (in case XP reboots)
v1.04 - 2005.05.03 Link added to similar BSOD TID
v1.05 - 2006.07.31 Added Novell official information and 4.91SP2 Full client links
v1.06 - 2007.05.11 Added link to blog article - history/comment page