transfer shared printers, one NT server to another

You have painstakingly set up many dozens of shared network printers on an NT 4.0 server.

You want to move or copy  some of these to another NT 4.0 server.  You don't want to have to use the print-wizard for each one and re-set the shares by hand.  (Trust me, you don't.)

What's the best way to get these printers set up on the other server?
vap081297Asked:
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gaucigCommented:
Try coping the registry settings for the printers.  you may have to make sure that the printer driver files are on the system.
(Save Keys / Restore Keys)

Thanks Geoff....


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vap081297Author Commented:
RE: copying registry settings. With TCP/IP print services and one HP LaserJet 4 Si PS printer already installed and shared, I added and shared an HP3Si PS.  Everything is Postscript, for consistancy.
On just installing the HP3Si, only one file was copied (hp3si523.ppd, to two locations), and changes were made in the registry to the HKLM and HKU.  If one just applies the HKLM changes, the HKU changes appear on reboot.
Now, some of the keys for the HP4Si changed as well while adding the HP3Si.  Specifically, the "ChangeID" and "Status" hex values.  Is this significant?

Later, when trying to merge the HP3Si registry changes into a fresh NT machine with one LJ4Si PS already installed, I ignored all changes to the LJ4Si, and to HKU.  Both printer showed up after reboot.

In adding a new LPD port, HKLM\HARDWARE\RESOURCEMAP\OtherDrivers\EE16 changed values, in it's "\\Device\\EE161.Translated" and "\\Device\\EE161.Raw" values.  Again, undecipherable (to me) hex values.  So, I ignored them (did not include them in the significant registry changes).

The port did appear after these changes were merged in, again only after reboot.

Now, something interesting happens.  When attaching the printer to an LPD port, the key
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Ports "Ne01:"=""
get created (not when the port is created).
There is an Ne00:, Ne01, etc. for each connected printer, but I can't find where the NeXX is tied
to any particular port or IP address.
It is also at this point that some Envelope definitions get set in
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Forms
which one would think would occur during adding the printer, not when transfering from LPT1: to a LPD port.  But I digress.

On sharing this to Windows 95 machines (so drivers can load via network),
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows 4.0\Drivers\Version-0\HP LaserJet IIISi PostScript v52.3
gets printer definition keys, including one called "Dependent Files" that has a hex value.  It just looks like trouble to me.  Are these values portable across systems?  Should I be blindly copying these keys? ("The hex values, they mock me....")

Am I looking at the right registry values?  Am I making this more complex than it need be?  Is messing with the registry really the _best_ way to transfer printers?  Having to reboot is undesirable as well.  

Just for reading all this, I'll bump this up to 100 points.

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stshhCommented:
To move a shared printer from one system to another we did the following things, and everything worked fine:

1. Install the printer drivers on the new system. This copies the    necessary files to the print$ share and sets the values in
   HKLM\system\ccs\control\print\environment.

2. The printer definitions are in    HKLM\system\ccs\control\print\printers. Each printer has its    own key. You may just backup and restore this keys.
   The printer ports are stored in
   HKLM\system\ccs\print\monitors.
   Just backup and restore the significant values.

3. The printer shares are located in    HKM\system\ccs\services\lanmanserver\shares.
   Backup and restore them too.

Further comments:

1. The NeXX entries in HKLM\software... are created       automatically. In my oppinion they are mapped to the
   ports in HKM\system\ccs\control\monitors\..\ports in the
   order they are stored there.

2. Whatever happens to the HKM\hardware\... keys is handled by      the OS itself. The Hardware key is rebuilt at each boot.

Hope this helps

bye
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