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Using group policy to install network printers

Posted on 2006-10-23
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Last Modified: 2008-09-23
I  have just installed a network printer at a school site that use SBS2003. They have alot of users that log into the server.
Is there a way of using group policy to make it so whichever user logs in the printer will automatically be there ready for use.
Otherwise its a pain logging in as every different user and adding the printer manually.
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Question by:ksservices
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:NetAdmin2436
ID: 17790844
This is an article from Microsoft about deploying printers via group policy.
http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/ab8d75f8-9b35-4e3e-a344-90d7799927231033.mspx?mfr=true

Otherwise you can add a script to the loging process. In the link below is an example if you want, but above is for group policy.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Q_21922259.html

Hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:NetAdmin2436
ID: 17790886
I should add, I believe deploying printers through group policy on 2003, it has to be SR2.
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Deploying-Printers-Group-Policy-Windows-R2.html

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Expert Comment

by:NetAdmin2436
ID: 17790989
Or....If you have true network printers
Setup a local TCP/IP port on each computer for each printer (if it's a true Network printer, ie the printer has an IP address). Then no matter what student logs into that particular computer, the printer(s) will be setup for them to use. Not as convienient to use, but still better than configuring printers on a per user basis through the old fashioned way by logging in as the user.
http://www.le.ac.uk/cc/dsss/docs/print-driver.shtml
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Expert Comment

by:expexchuser
ID: 17791615
I manage all our printer setups through login scripts at the workstation level and it works like a charm.  See this article for help on developing a script:
http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/Logon/LogonScript_Printer_Method.htm

Setting it to a workstation
http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/Logon/logon_printer_computer.htm
Here, they make it sound like you can't assign it to a computer b/c if you do, it runs the script at boot before anyone logs in, thus nobody really gets assigned the printer.  I have a workaround I've been using for nearly a year and just emailed it to him.

The goal is to have a user get a printer located near the computer regardless whether they've logged in before or not.  I don't want to set printers to users b/c sometimes users change workstations (and offices) and so the printers they need 80% of the time are not the ones they need 20% of the time, and I don't necessarily want to be contacted 20% of the time for this.
 
To accomplish my goal, I simply took the script that I had intended to assign to the computers group and place it out on a network share (ie netlogon\printers).  Then created a shortcut to it and placed the shortcut in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.  Then I only need to modify the one script out on the share and all computers pulling it will be updated.  
 
I created about 8 different scripts for 8 different areas/offices.  Each computer in each area gets the corresponding script's shortcut.
 
I've been using this method for nearly a year and has worked flawlessly.  It accomplishes exactly what that page talks about wanting to accomplish while bypassing the fundamental problem.

Here is a sample script.  Anywhere you see ' means it's a comment and not a command.  The last couple have the comment mark in case you don't have a printer to remove or set to default.  To make them work, just remove the ' and set the correct path.
Sample script:

' Set printers
' ******************************
On Error Resume Next
Dim objNetwork
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
objNetwork.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\server\HPprinter4200"
objNetwork.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\server\HPprinter4250"
objNetwork.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\server\HP5si"
'objNetwork.RemoveWindowsPrinterConnection "\\server\printername"
'objNetwork.SetDefaultPrinter "\\server\printername"

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Author Comment

by:ksservices
ID: 17794784
I cannot get the scripts to work. It is a Konica Minolta magicolor 5430dl  and the driver doesn't exist in the ntprint.inf

The group policy i cant do because it is not R2 of SBS

Anymore ideas


Thanks
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Accepted Solution

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expexchuser earned 250 total points
ID: 17796030
As long as your 2k3 server has the additional drivers for your client's operating systems installed, it should be fine.  My script works w/o group policy b/c you place a shortcut to the script in the local computer's All Users' startup directory.  You just save the script out on a network share the user has access to.  The script must be customized to your environment.  You must replace my paths (\\server\name) with your real paths.
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Expert Comment

by:expexchuser
ID: 17796074
Otherwise the computerperformance site I linked to also goes into installing via rundll.  So does this page: https://engineering.purdue.edu/ECN/Support/KnowledgeBase/Docs/20040216090320
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