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Setting Printers for all users

Posted on 2006-10-27
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Last Modified: 2009-07-29
Hello,  
  I have the following situation.  I have a number of computers that are used by different people as our reception staff is rotated from area to area.  That is on a given day there is usually only a single user of each computer, but this week it may be user1 and next week user2.  All computers are running Windows XP Pro and connected to a Windows Domain.  The Domain Users group has administrative rights to the local computers.

  Here's my problem.  When user1 is on the computer we set the printers up, There is a plain paper printer, a label printer and a printer with pre-printed forms.  Each of these needs to have the correct settings for paper size, tray and other options set.  This is not a problem we get everything setup and it works fine.  The following week User 2 is at this computer and now we have to go through all of the setup again.  The Printers may or may not be in User 2's profile, however the preferences are not set right until we set them for the user.  This works fine until another user uses the computer.  

  We only have to setup once for each user, but as we move people around a lot and have new people from time to time, and this happens in several work areas this becomes a big hassle, especially when we are adding a new printer into the mix, or making adjustments to the way we print.  For example we are currently setting up each of the systems to print a report that needs duplex printing.  This means we need to have all of the users of all of these computers set to use their printer in duplex mode.  

  I know we can get the settings the way we want for a specific user and then copy that user's profile to the default user profile, but that doesn't help with users who already have a profile unless I delete their profiles, something I do not want to do.  Also, company policy won't allow me to have all of the users at a given desk use the same login (reception for example)

  So finally, the question.  Is there a way to set up a printer for all users and have changes to that printers preferences also distributed to all users?

Thanks,

Neal
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Question by:nschafer
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Expert Comment

by:GATOR420
ID: 17819795
I think you have the best answer already its just that you don't want to do it. However, I would suggest instead of deleting their profiles, just rename them in case you did miss something in copying over their data. I think its a small price to pay up front for the long term time savings.
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by:nschafer
ID: 17819862
Gator420,

Thanks for your comment.  I have done this in the past, however the problem that I run into is that I must start from scratch every time we make a change to our printing environment.  Let's say for example we change the layout of the labels which requires us to move to a different label size.  I now have to dump all of the user profiles and let them be recreated.  This means that the users lose all of their settings.  We don't lose data as I don't allow users to store data on the local machines, but having them lose the user preferences is still annoying.

Granted, we don't change the print environment every day, but we do make changes several times in a year and I'm talking about about 40 users cycling through about 30 computers.  To say the least this is a very inconvenient.  That's why I'm looking for a better method.

Neal.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Shift-3 earned 500 total points
ID: 17820204
You could back up each printer's settings to a file using a command like this:
rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /n "plain paper printer" /Ss /a c:\plainpaper.dat

then create a logon script to restore them using the /Sr switch.
rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /n "plain paper printer" /Sr /a c:\plainpaper.dat

For more information on this command see here:
http://www.dx21.com/SCRIPTING/RUNDLL32/VIEWITEM.ASP?OID=145&CMD=P-A
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:nschafer
ID: 17820703
Shift-3,
  This looks promising, I'll run some tests and get back with you.

Neal.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:nschafer
ID: 17843983
Shift-3,

Thank you for the info and the link.  I haven't tested this as fully as I would like to have at this point, but my early tests are looking promising and I don't want to leave the question hanging open.

Thanks Again,

Neal.
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