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killing automatic printer discovery

Posted on 2006-10-24
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
On Windows XP SP2 "My Computer" properties Tools, Folder Options, View the first option is "Automatically search for network folders and printers" which is enabled by default.

How do I UNselect/Kill this? I have to do that on 750+ PCs remotely as PCs are picking up printers from all over our site generating lots of "AUTO printerX on pcY" printers and our users just print without checking where they are sending printjobs.

The PCs are not using Active directory or group policies. I'm looking for a regkey or script to do this but everywhere I look has the "open tools, folder options, view and click on..." method which doesn't help.
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Question by:msaayman
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 17801523
Why not unshare the printer? Maybe a silly idea
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 17801524
Why not unshare the printer? Maybe a silly idea
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 17801525
oops there was a lapse in the broadband and a page not found came for a sec and when I refreshed it double.
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Author Comment

by:msaayman
ID: 17801582
They have been set up as IP printers and no sharing is configured for printers on 99.9% of the PCs. I can still see the non-shared printers being detected though. Any PC with file and printsharing picks up some of these unwanted printers. My own has 6 which come back if I remove them manually by deleting them from the printers list.

The only way of stopping printers from re-appearing is to manually go untick the option as mentioned in my initial posting.

Most PCs are just set up as default, which includes file and print sharing network components as we do use file sharing. Most users don't know how to browse for printers and the IP addresses are only used by us when we set them up individually by adding IP ports and entering the IP addresses.

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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 17801720
can this help
How To Disable Automatic Search for Network Printers and Folders in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320138
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 17801748
okay found this one too, I keep these sites as a quick reference
Using Group Policies to Control Printers in Active Directory
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/234270
http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/a685f252-3a45-4aa0-aae7-c4d4c5e75d2e1033.mspx?mfr=true
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Author Comment

by:msaayman
ID: 17801754
Thanks but that doesn't help enough. So far that looks like the only way of doing it. The method works for individual PCs or where there are enough hands or knowledgable people to go out to all the PCs and follow the instructions. I need to be able to do that automatically as we don't have the manpower or users that would be able to find the tickboxes (they're not stupid, just not very IT literate). Our users log on to a Novell server and I can push settings, scripts and registry changes to PCs but I need to know where to find the registry  or ini entry version of the manual click way to be able to do this.
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Author Comment

by:msaayman
ID: 17801791
We're mainly a Novell site, no active directory in use onsite and we havn't deployed group policies. There are lots of references to manual and group policy methods but that's just a way of changing registry or config files from a specific point. I was hoping to be able to identify a single point/setting to change eg. something like a "HKLM\System\printers\disable printsharing = 1" in registry or ini file entry.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 17801844
gee what a task?
Sorry this out of my depth. Wait a while and see if any others have a solution.
the fact you have no active directory in use onsite and  you haven't deployed group policies, I have no idea really.

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Accepted Solution

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johnb6767 earned 150 total points
ID: 17804323
I believe teh key you are looking for is
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
"NoNetCrawling"=dword:00000001
value of zero allows the autodiscovery to kick in....
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