Access printers behind a firewall

Microsoft introduced a feature in Windows 2000 called the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP), which enables you to print to and manage a printer across the Internet over HTTP and port 80.

Windows 2000 Professional
Access printers behind a firewall

Microsoft introduced a feature in Windows 2000 called the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP), which enables you to print to and manage a printer across the Internet over HTTP and port 80.

The benefit to using IPP is that you can access printers behind firewalls. The flipside is that IPP simplifies firewall administration and configuration by not requiring additional ports other than port 80, which is also used for Web browsing.

A computer running Windows 2000 Professional or later can serve as an IPP printing host, serving its printers out to remote clients. Setup does not automatically configure your printers to enable IPP when you install Internet Information Services (IIS) on a Windows 2000 Professional computer. However, you can set it up manually.

  1. After you install IIS on the Professional system, open the IIS console, right-click the Default Web Site, and choose New | Virtual Directory to start the Virtual Directory wizard.
  2. Under the site, add a virtual directory with an alias of Printers that points to %systemroot%\Web\printers. Set the permissions to include Read And Run Scripts.
  3. Open the Properties for the Printers virtual folder and click the Documents tab.
  4. Add the default document Page1.asp, remove the other default documents, and click OK.
  5. To print to or manage a printer on the target computer, connect to http://[computer]/printers, where [computer] is the IP address or fully-qualified host name of the computer hosting the printer.
  6. If you can't see the Printers from the client browser, stop and restart the Default Web Site in the IIS console.

Note: The client must support IPP to take full advantage of printing across the Internet. Windows 2000 and later clients support IPP. You'll find a Windows 9x client for IPP on the Windows 2000 Server CD in \Clients\Win9xipp.cli.

Windows 2000 Server


Back up the IIS metabase

If you host services such as Web sites with Internet Information Services (IIS) in Windows 2000, it's a good bet that you've implemented a process to back up the server and its content. If you're not already doing so, you should also take steps to back up the IIS metabase, which holds configuration data for IIS.

A metabase backup not only helps you restore the server's IIS configuration more easily, but it also helps simplify moving IIS services between servers if necessary.

To back up the IIS metabase in Windows 2000 Server, follow these steps:

  1. Open the IIS console, and expand the server tree in the left pane.
  2. Right-click the server you want to back up, and choose Backup/Restore Configuration.
  3. In the Configuration Backup/Restore dialog box, select Create Backup, type a descriptive name for the backup, and click OK.
  4. Click Close.

Each time you create a backup using this method, IIS creates two files in the %windir%\System32\inetsrv\MetaBack folder, one with an .mdx extension and one with a .scx extension. The .mdx file is the metabase data, and the .scx file is the schema. In both cases, x is a placeholder for a number that indicates the backup version.

In addition to creating the metabase backups, make sure to include the MetaBack folder in your regular backup scheme.

If you need to restore a server, you can restore the files and then use the Configuration Backup/Restore dialog box to restore the configuration. Or you can copy the backup files to the %windir%\System32\inetsrv\MetaBack folder of a new server and restore the configuration to clone the IIS configuration on the new server.