Programmatic access to “Print Dialog” of my network printer is really slow

In a .Net application, I am using the standard “Print Dialog” of Windows 7 x64 to print PDF document on a network printer named “\\Server\Printer”. It noticed on most test machines that the dialog window was taking up to 8 seconds only to open (I.e.: before doing the actual print). Configuring the printer “\\Server\Printer” as a “local printer on port \\Server\Printer” instead of configuring it as a “network printer” is solving that issue.

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I will post the .Net piece of code I am using to open the “Print Dialog” asap. It’s really the most simple one.

I experience the issue with a network Printer “Ricoh Aficio MP C5000”. I didn’t try with another model as all printers I have access to at my Office are the sames.

I looked for a solution to solve this issue without upgrading the network drivers or the firmware of the printer (as far as this could solve the issue as sometimes reported for HP printer) as I don’t have the required privileges to do so.  Here is the trick I found:

  1. If removed the current network printer via Control Panel > Device and Printers.
  2. Add a new Printer
  3. Choose  “local printer” on port  “\\Server\Printer”
  4. Choose the drivers in the list of available ones. Notice: I chose Ricoh Aficio MP C6000 PCL 6 as C5000 was not available.

Next, the “Print Dialog” opened immediately on all workstations where I did test the trick.

As soon as I re-install the printer as a “network printer”, the performance issue is back… Notice however that the dialog window always opens immediately when called from, e.g., MS Office (Word, Excel, …) whatever configuration mode I use for the printer.

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