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Make a local printer default for all users

Posted on 2004-10-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have 20 computers with Windows XP Pro that are all on a standardized image.  They are accessed randomly by about 200 users.  Computers are all on a Windows 2003 active directory.

I don't have a print server, but we do have networked printers.  To add them to the computer I created a TCP/IP port for them to use.  This means they are treated as local printers instead of networked printers.  I've found lots of information on how to make a network printer the default printer for users, but not local printers.

The problem I'm running into is that all the users are seeing "Microsoft Office Document Image Writer" as their default printer.  Is there a way I can script this, or use a group policy setting to force a specific printer to be the default?  Is this something set up in the default user profile?
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Question by:mslunecka
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Expert Comment

by:cah28
ID: 12402059
You can do it using the default profile, when ever I create an image, I create a user account with all the default settings I want, then I logon as administrator and  copy that profile to the default profile.  Goto control panel > system > advanced > user profiles > select desired profile to copy > copy to > browse to deafault user, note you will need to have hidden files and folders turned off to see the default user folder.

once this is done when a new user logs on all settings are created from the default profile.

Hope this helps!

Chris
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salvagbf earned 1000 total points
ID: 12402072
There are two ways to do this, you can either manually go to the command line and run this command, or you can create a .cmd file to just double-click when on the computer (or run from a logon script.)  Regardless, the command you need is

rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /y /n "Printer Name"

You'll want to enter "Printer Name" as the actual name of the printer when you look at it in the Printers folder, including the quotes.

That's a pretty powerful command for doing things with printers.  To see a list of other options for it, at the command line type

rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /?


-Bernie
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Expert Comment

by:salvagbf
ID: 12402123
The only problem with using the default profile method is that it won't work for users who have already logged on to the machine.  You'd have to remove their profile for that to work.  So if you ever wanted to make a change, not only would you have to remove all the user profiles that get automatically stored on the machine when they log on, you'd also have to go through all the steps for copying to the default user again.  I used to do that, but the method I posted above is significantly easier.  Also, you can use it to add printers, the following command would add a network printer for all users on the machine.

rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /ga /n "\\server\printerShare"

Then you'd have to restart the print spooler service, which can be done with the following commands on XP

sc stop spooler
sc start spooler

Again, the rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /? command will open a help box detailing all that you can do with that command, it's really powerfull.

-Bernie
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Author Comment

by:mslunecka
ID: 12402688
Thanks, that's just what I needed!

I'll be adding this as a logon script to the machines.  User profiles as well as any changes to files or settings are completely erased every time the computer reboots.  So all I need to do is unfreeze the system and put that in a little vb script and run it at logon with a group policy.

Thanks again!
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