Today I will share a tip that is useful to stress test the windows spooler.
Any TS admin will know how much this can become frustrating to debug the print spooler, as often the spooler service will stop or will hang at 100% CPU usage.
The problem does not arise much when a customer use the Terminal Server Easy Print’s driver, but a lot of older TS’s does not use it, or they still need old driver for special’s printer.
To stress test the driver I found a useful Citrix’s tool.. wait, citrix ? yes as everyone know that xenapp is built over terminal server’s service, thus their tool can be used without problem to test a TS.
I will quote the tool info;
Many printer driver problems in Terminal Services/Remote Desktop Services environments revolve around poor multi-threaded performance, which in turn can cause print spooler instability. Problematic multi-threaded performance is usually exposed when multiple users connect to a Terminal Server simultaneously using the same printer driver. Symptoms include the failure to autocreate client printers, increased thread count of the printer spooler and/or Citrix Print Manager services, and possibly the unresponsiveness and/or unexpected termination of these services (stop responding).
This tool can be used to simulate multiple sessions auto-creating printers using the same printer driver.
It can also be used to compare the following among various drivers:
- CPU load incurred while creating a printer using a particular driver
- Time required to successfully create a printer using a particular driver
Note: The current version of the tool does not test concurrent printer capabilities, settings, or actual printing calls, which are also possible causes of failing to print. Therefore, good/passing stress results do not always mean that printers are actually working or certified.
Now with that tool we can stress a bit more the driver to find some culprit before it crash live. A tool in our toolbox 🙂