PRTG Manual: Windows Print Queue Sensor

The Windows Print Queue sensor reads the print queue on its parent device and returns the number of jobs in the print queue. It can monitor queues for all printers that are installed locally. For example, you can use this sensor to monitor all print queues on your Windows print server and retrieve information about all available jobs that are in the queue longer than defined.

The sensor can show the following:

  • Number of jobs in the queue
  • Execution time

Additionally, this sensor can change to a defined status if there is a printer problem. See section Sensor Settings for available parameters.

Windows Print Queue Sensor

Windows Print Queue Sensor

Sensor in Other Languages

Dutch: Windows Print Queue, French: File d'attente d'impression Windows, German: Windows Druckwarteschlange, Japanese: Windows プリントキュー, Portuguese: Windows Fila de impressão, Russian: Очередь печати Windows, Simplified Chinese: Windows 打印队列, Spanish: Queue de impresión Windows

Remarks

  • This sensor can have a high impact on the performance of your monitoring system. Use it with care. We recommend that you use no more than 50 sensors of this sensor type on each probe.
  • Requires .NET 4.7.2 or later on the probe system. If the sensor shows the error PE087, additionally install .NET 3.5 on the probe system.
  • Requires that the Print Spooler Windows service runs on the target device.
  • We recommend Windows 2012 R2 on the probe system for best performance of this sensor.
  • You can add a change trigger to this sensor to get a notification when the number of jobs in the queue changes.

icon-prtg-on-demandYou cannot add this sensor to the Hosted Probe of a PRTG hosted by Paessler instance. If you want to use this sensor, add it to a remote probe device.

Requirement: .NET Framework

icon-toolsThis sensor requires the Microsoft .NET Framework. .NET 4.7.2 or later must be installed on the probe system, either on the local system (on every node, if on a cluster probe), or on the system running the remote probe. If the framework is missing, you cannot create this sensor.

icon-book-bulbFor more information, see the Knowledge Base: Which .NET version does PRTG require?

Requirement: Windows Credentials

Requires Windows credentials in the settings of the parent device. Preferably, use Windows domain credentials.

icon-i-round-redIf you use local credentials, make sure that the same Windows user accounts (with the same username and password) exist on both the probe system and the target computer. Otherwise, the sensor cannot correctly connect.

Requirement: Print Spooler Service

For this sensor to work, the Spooler "Print Spooler" service must be started on the target computer.

To enable the service, log in to the respective computer and open the services manager (for example, via services.msc). In the list, find the respective service and set its Start Type to Automatic.

Add Sensor

The Add Sensor dialog appears when you manually add a new sensor to a device. It only shows the setting fields that are required for creating the sensor. Therefore, you do not see all setting fields in this dialog. You can change (nearly) all settings in the sensor's Settings tab later.

Select the print queues that you want to monitor. PRTG creates one sensor for each task that you select in the Add Sensor dialog. The settings you select are valid for all sensors that you create when you finish this dialog.

The following settings in the Add Sensor dialog differ in comparison to the sensor's Settings tab.

Sensor Settings

Print Queues

You see a list with the names of all items that you can monitor. Add check marks in front of the respective lines to select the desired items. You can also use the check box in the table header to select all items or cancel the selection.

icon-i-roundPRTG creates one sensor for each selection.

If no print queues are available, you see a corresponding message.

icon-i-roundIf a printer name changes after you have created a sensor for its queue, you need to add the sensor anew.

Sensor Settings

On the details page of a sensor, click the Settings tab to change its settings.

icon-i-roundUsually, a sensor connects to the IP Address or DNS Name of the parent device on which you created the sensor. See the Device Settings for details. For some sensors, you can explicitly define the monitoring target in the sensor settings. See below for details on available settings.

Basic Sensor Settings

Sensor Name

Enter a meaningful name to identify the sensor. By default, PRTG shows this name in the device tree, as well as in alarms, logs, notifications, reports, maps, libraries, and tickets.

Parent Tags

Shows Tags that this sensor inherits from its parent device, group, and probe. This setting is shown for your information only and cannot be changed here.

Tags

Enter one or more Tags, separated by spaces or commas. You can use tags to group sensors and use tag–filtered views later on. Tags are not case sensitive. We recommend that you use the default value.

There are default tags that are automatically predefined in a sensor's settings when you add a sensor. See section Default Tags below.

You can add additional tags to the sensor if you like. Other tags are automatically inherited from objects further up in the device tree. These are visible above as Parent Tags.

icon-i-roundIt is not possible to enter tags with a leading plus (+) or minus (-) sign, nor tags with parentheses (()) or angle brackets (<>).

Priority

Select a priority for the sensor. This setting determines where the sensor is placed in sensor lists. A sensor with a top priority is at the top of a list. Choose from one star (low priority) to five stars (top priority).

Default Tags

ptfsensor

Sensor Settings

Print Queue

Shows the name of the task that this sensor monitors. Once you have created the sensor, you cannot change this value. It is shown for reference purposes only. If you need to change this value, add the sensor anew.

Advanced Status Option

You can optionally define specific sensor states for several return messages of the monitored printer. Choose between:

  • Hide: Do not define sensor states for specific return messages.
  • Show: If you choose this option, you can define sensor states for various messages that the monitored printer reports.

icon-i-roundNot all printer types properly support Advanced Status Options, which might lead to false alerts. If the printer does not support a property, this property is always false. This means that PRTG cannot display the state or detect if the printer supports the property. Even if the printer can report a property, it can only do so if a print job is sent to the printer.

Door Open

These settings are only available if you enable the Advanced Status Option above. For each reported problem of the monitored printer, you can define the status that the sensor shows. Choose between:

  • Ignore: The current sensor status persists if this message is reported by the printer.
  • Warning: The sensor shows a Warning status if this message is reported by the printer.
  • Down: The sensor shows a Down status if this message is reported by the printer.

Manual Feed Required

Needs User Intervention

Offline

Out of Memory

Out of Paper

Paper Jammed

Paper Problem

Paused

Printer Error

Printer Not Available

Toner Low

Toner Out

Min. Print Job Age (Sec.)

Optionally define the age of the print job in seconds. If set, jobs younger than this value are not regarded. If you leave this field empty, the sensor does not check for the print job age. Enter an integer value or leave the field empty.

Debug Options

Sensor Result

Define what PRTG does with the sensor results:

  • Discard sensor result: Do not store the sensor result.
  • Write sensor result to disk (File name: Result of Sensor [ID].txt): Store the last result received from the sensor to the Logs (Sensors) subfolder of the PRTG data directory on the probe system that the sensor runs on (on the Master node if in a cluster). File names: Result of Sensor [ID].txt and Result of Sensor [ID].Data.txt. This is for debugging purposes. PRTG overwrites these files with each scanning interval.
    For more information on how to find the folder used for storage, see section Data Storage.

icon-prtg-on-demandThis option is not available when the sensor runs on the Hosted Probe of a PRTG hosted by Paessler instance.

Sensor Display

Primary Channel

Select a channel from the list to define it as the primary channel. In the device tree, the last value of the primary channel is always displayed below the sensor's name. The available options depend on what channels are available for this sensor.

icon-i-roundYou can set a different primary channel later by clicking the pin symbol of a channel on the sensor's Overview tab.

Graph Type

Define how different channels are shown for this sensor:

  • Show channels independently (default): Show a graph for each channel.
  • Stack channels on top of each other: Stack channels on top of each other to create a multi-channel graph. This generates a graph that visualizes the different components of your total traffic.
    icon-i-roundThis option cannot be used in combination with manual Vertical Axis Scaling (available in the Sensor Channel Settings settings).

Stack Unit

This field is only visible if you enable Stack channels on top of each other as Graph Type. Select a unit from the list. All channels with this unit are stacked on top of each other. By default, you cannot exclude single channels from stacking if they use the selected unit. However, there is an advanced procedure to do so.

Inherited Settings

By default, all of the following settings are inherited from objects that are higher in the hierarchy and should be changed there if necessary. Often, best practice is to change them centrally in the Root group's settings. For more information, see section Inheritance of Settings. To change a setting for this object only, disable inheritance by clicking the button next to inherit from under the corresponding setting name. You then see the options described below.

Scanning Interval

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance. See section Inheritance of Settings for more information.

Scanning Interval

Select a scanning interval (seconds, minutes, or hours). The scanning interval determines the amount of time that the sensor waits between two scans. You can change the available intervals in the system administration on PRTG on premises installations.

If a Sensor Query Fails

Define the number of scanning intervals that the sensor has time to reach and check a device again in case a sensor query fails. Depending on the option that you select, the sensor can try to reach and check a device again several times before the sensor shows a Down status. This can avoid false alarms if the monitored device only has temporary issues. For previous scanning intervals with failed requests, the sensor shows a Warning status. Choose from:

  • Set sensor to down immediately: Set the sensor to a Down status immediately after the first failed request.
  • Set sensor to warning for 1 interval, then set to down (recommended): Set the sensor to a Warning status after the first failed request. If the following request also fails, the sensor shows an error.
  • Set sensor to warning for 2 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after three consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 3 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after four consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 4 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after five consecutively failed requests.
  • Set sensor to warning for 5 intervals, then set to down: Set the sensor to a Down status only after six consecutively failed requests.

icon-i-roundSensors that monitor via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) always wait at least one scanning interval before they show a Down status. It is not possible to immediately set a WMI sensor to a Down status, so the first option does not apply to these sensors. All other options can apply.

icon-i-roundIf you define error limits for a sensor's channels, the sensor immediately shows a Down status. No "wait" option applies.

icon-i-roundIf a channel uses lookup values, the sensor immediately shows a Down status. No "wait" options apply.

Schedules, Dependencies, and Maintenance Window

icon-i-roundYou cannot interrupt the inheritance for schedules, dependencies, and maintenance windows. The corresponding settings from the parent objects are always active. However, you can define additional settings here. They are active at the same time as the parent objects' settings.

Schedule

Select a schedule from the list. Schedules can be used to monitor for a certain time span (days or hours) every week.

icon-book-arrowsYou can create schedules, edit schedules, or pause monitoring for a specific time span. For more information, see section Account Settings—Schedules.

icon-i-roundSchedules are generally inherited. New schedules are added to existing schedules, so all schedules are active at the same time.

Maintenance Window

Specify if you want to set up a one-time maintenance window. During a maintenance window, the current object and all child objects are not monitored. They are in a Paused status instead. Choose between:

  • Not set (monitor continuously): No maintenance window is set and monitoring is always active.
  • Set up a one-time maintenance window: Pause monitoring within a maintenance window. You can define a time span for a monitoring pause below and change it even for a currently running maintenance window.

icon-i-roundTo terminate a current maintenance window before the defined end date, change the time entry in Maintenance Ends to a date in the past.

Maintenance Begins

This field is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the start date and time of the maintenance window.

Maintenance Ends

This field is only visible if you enable Set up a one-time maintenance window above. Use the date time picker to enter the end date and time of the maintenance window.

Dependency Type

Define a dependency type. You can use dependencies to pause monitoring for an object depending on the status of another object. You can choose from:

  • Use parent: Use the dependency type of the parent object.
  • Select a sensor: Use the dependency type of the parent object. Additionally, pause the current object if another specific sensor is in a Down status or in a Paused status caused by another dependency.
  • Master sensor for parent: Make this sensor the master object for its parent device. The sensor influences the behavior of its parent device: If the sensor is in a Down status, the device is paused. For example, it is a good idea to make a Ping sensor the master object for its parent device to pause monitoring for all other sensors on the device in case the device cannot even be pinged. Additionally, the sensor is paused if the parent group is paused by another dependency.

icon-i-roundTo test your dependencies, select Simulate Error Status from the context menu of an object that other objects depend on. A few seconds later, all dependent objects are paused. You can check all dependencies under Devices | Dependencies in the main menu bar.

Dependency

This field is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Click the Search button and use the object selector to select a sensor on which the current object will depend.

Dependency Delay (Sec.)

This field is only visible if you enable Select a sensor above. Define a time span in seconds for dependency delay.

After the master sensor for this dependency comes back to an Up status, monitoring of the dependent objects is additionally delayed by the defined time span. This can help avoid false alarms, for example, after a server restart, by giving systems more time for all services to start up. Enter an integer value.

icon-i-round-redThis setting is not available if you set this sensor to Use parent or to be the Master sensor for parent. In this case, define delays in the parent Device Settings or in its parent Group Settings.

Access Rights

Click inherited_settings_button to interrupt the inheritance. See section Inheritance of Settings for more information.

User Group Access

Define the user groups that have access to the selected object. A table with user groups and types of access rights is shown. It contains all user groups from your setup. For each user group, you can choose from the following access rights:

  • Inherited: Use the access rights settings of the parent object.
  • None: Users in this group cannot see or edit the object. The object neither shows up in lists nor in the device tree. Exception: If a child object is visible to the user, the object is visible in the device tree but it cannot be accessed.
  • Read: Users in this group can see the object and review its monitoring results.
  • Write: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, and edit its settings. They cannot edit access rights settings.
  • Full: Users in this group can see the object, review its monitoring results, edit its settings, and edit access rights settings.

You can create new user groups in the System Administration—User Groups settings. To automatically set all objects further down in the hierarchy to inherit this object's access rights, set a check mark for the Revert children's access rights to inherited option.

icon-book-arrowsFor more details on access rights, see section User Access Rights.

More

Knowledge Base: Which .NET version does PRTG require?

Edit Sensor Channels

To change display settings, spike filtering, and limits, switch to the sensor's Overview tab and click the gear icon of a specific channel. For detailed information, see section Sensor Channel Settings.

Notification Triggers

Click the Notification Triggers tab to change notification triggers. For detailed information, see section Sensor Notification Triggers Settings.

Others

For more general information about settings, see section Object Settings.

Sensor Settings Overview

For information about sensor settings, see the following sections: