How To Migrate Printers From 2008 R2 (or previous) to 2012

There are a few ways to migrate from a previous version of Windows Print Server, such as 2008 R2 to Windows 2012. Here’s how I migrated to Windows Server 2012 Print And Document Services (Print Server) from Server 2008 R2.

Once you’ve migrated your print drivers to Server 2012, don’t forget to restore the printer shares!

Manual Printer Migration

Because I only had a few printers to migrate I opted to manually migrate to Server 2012 because it offers the highest level of reliability. With only a few printers, I was able to test each one during the migration to ensure success.

After installing the Print And Document Services (Print Server) role, I installed each printer driver onto the server and setup each shared printer for the users to connect to, using the same printer settings that were on the print server I was migrating from.

There is another manual print server migration option for migrating to Server 2012 that is suitable for print servers with more printers on. Here’s how to migrate a large number of printers from 2008 R2 or previous to Server 2012:

  1. Install the Print And Document Services (Print Server) role on the 2012 server
  2. Export the following registry keys from the old print server:
    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print
    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Port
  3. Stop the spooler service on the 2012 Print Server
  4. Import the exported registry keys in step one to the 2012 Print Server
  5. Import the  driver and prtprocs folders under spool folder from the old print server to the 2012 Print Server
  6. Start spooler service on the 2012 Server

Printer Migration Using The Print Management Console

This method involves using the Print Management console to backup the printers, including the drivers and shares, then restoring them to the new 2012 print server. To migrate printers using this option, install the Print Server role service  under the Print And Document Services role in Windows Server 2012. Then click Start -> Print Management. Under Print Servers, add the old 2008 R2 Print Server (or which ever previous version you are using), then right click and Export the printers to a file. Next, right click the 2012 Print Server that you would like to migrate printers to and Import the printers.

This can be a good migration option if you are certain that the printer drivers are compatible with Windows Server 2012 and have a lot of logical printers.

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