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Unable to delete a shared printer in XP Pro

Posted on 2004-08-16
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Last Modified: 2008-03-17
Hey fellas,

I recently replaced a HP LaserJet 4 with a brand new 4200.  The printer is installed locally on a PC and is shared.  Though not the wisest of actions, I did not remove the printer from the PCs that were connected to the share.  One PC in particular is now ofcourse unable to communicate with the new printer, but worse, I cannot delete the printer and free up the printer port to reinstall (this PC runs some DOS apps that require lpt1 be mapped to a UNC address).  I've tried everything I can think of but an error is constantly returned when attampting to delete the printer.  Unfortunately the user is not present so I cannot recreate the error (as network printers are profile spacific) but it is something to the effect of "the printer has lost contact with the print server.  I've toyed with the idea of deleting the users profiel (they're local) and I'm sure that would solve the problem but, there are several unique configurations that are profile spacific that I would much rather not have to recreate.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Ryan
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Question by:FlowMotion
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by:jmacmicking
ID: 11819930
It's a bit drastic but you could always delete the printer from their registry; if you look under HKEY_USERS you should see a list of SIDs present on the PC.  Find the user's SID and open it.  There should be a Printers key.  Delete all references to the printer in question under all sub-keys.  However, please be aware that I don't recommend doing this.  You may end up corrupting the user's registry and end up having to delete the profile.  If you do it make sure you've got everything backed up first.  Don't forget that My Documents and Desktop are both stored in the profile under XP and users have a habit of storing files in both.

It would probably be better to:
  Wait for a time when the user can be there so you can see the error.  Presumably they would like to be able to print so they should be at least somewhat accomodating.  
  Reset the user's password and fix the problem.  I'd get their supervisor's Ok before doing this.  Either let their supervisor know their new password or have the user get in touch with IS to have their password reset again once you're done.
  Open the user's profile under Documents and Settings.  Make sure you have Show Hidden Files turned on and Hide Operating System Files turned off.  Rename NTUser.Dat to NTUser.old.  Copy the NTUser.Dat from the Default User folder (under Documents and Settings) to the User's folder.  This resets all the registry keys to their original defaults.  BE CAREFULL--same cautions apply as above.
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by:FlowMotion
ID: 11821205
Heh, maybe i wasn't clear earlier.  I've seen the error on several occasions, i simply didn't have it handy while posting this message.  Having seen the error, i was unable to correct the problem.  Your registry hacking may be an option to consider however.  I'll post my status shortly.
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jmacmicking earned 125 total points
ID: 11822021
You may also want to give the user temporary status as either a power-user or an administrator of the local machine before trying to remove the printer.  I've never heard of a problem removing printers that was related to local rights but default XP rights cause plenty of problems with adding printers.
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by:hdhondt
ID: 12158912
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Accept jmacmicking
Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

hdhondt
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