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Disable auto printers server 2003, limit users to see only their own printers.

Posted on 2007-12-04
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Last Modified: 2012-03-15
Right now when a ts user gets on our server, he sees a good 30-40 printers. Partially because the server is auto finding every printer from every computer that comes on the network. I'd like my server to stop picking up printers from everywhere. I might have to have a bit of discussion about this. I'm not sure if I'd have to go and do a NoNetCrawl under each user? I'm not running active directory. I'd also like to explore ways I can make each user only see their own printers. Not sure what options there are for that. I'd like something I can set server wide with possible exceptions.
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Question by:earth-traveler
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by:weareit
ID: 20403801
Are the users Power Users or above?

If they are you cannot change what the user sees as session printers.

-saige-
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by:ScooterAnderson
ID: 20404262
Weareit is dead on... Make sure the TS users are only members of the Remote Desktop Users group on the server and no other groups with elevated privileges...
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20404397
they are rdp users and then users and then a couple other custom catagories. The first and most important thing would be to get the server to stop finding everyones extra printers. We have people that have laptops that come and go so every time someone uses our network to get online, the server finds their printers and adds them to the list.
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by:ScooterAnderson
ID: 20404453
Definately check the groups your Citrix users are a part of, they are getting elevated privileges from somewhere.  When TS/Citrix is configured with only the minimum permissions (Users are members of "Domain Users" and "Remote Desktop Users"), then they will only be able to see their own printers.  Check the "Administrators" & "Power User" group memberships for any of the customer groups that you have configured...  That may be where they are getting the rights to see all printers.
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20404602
I don't use citrix unless you mean just rdp. Just checked the accounts, Remote Desktop Users, Users, (both default 2003 groups) and then two groups that I created, one that I use to lock people out of files and one that grants them access to the quickbooks program and it's directory (if they use quickbooks). That's it. Sorry if I'm missing the point, I don't know where else to look, I'm not amazing at this :)
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20404622
Actually, after reviewing what printers are connecting, maybe it'd be easier if I had a way to limit users to only connecting their default printers. A lot of people are bringing auto printers into their sessions with them. If the server wasn't auto discovering printers and if users were only bringing their default printers into a session, it might work. That'd probably take care of most of the problem. Then we can figure out why they can see each others printers.
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20545664
Any ideas on how to force ts clients to only connect their default printer and also how to get the server to not automatically add printers to itself that it sees connected to local computers?
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by:weareit
ID: 20547150
By default, when a client makes a connection to a TS Server via RDP the default printer on the local computer is used as the default printer for their TS Session.

-saige-
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20554970
I think most of my problem is stemming from auto printers the more I look at it. I was talking to a friend that said at his work they make a file that is a registry update and then everyone runs the file and that way they can update under the CurrentUser key. Can anyone help me come up with a file I can run under each user to turn to toggle NoNetCrawl. I think it was called something like that to disable auto printer finding.
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ScooterAnderson earned 450 total points
ID: 20567437
I found it at:
\HK_C_U\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\NoNetCrawling

There's also a MS article, specific to WindowsME, but it's good for 2K & XP:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/276322
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20567820
What I'm looking for is a way to run a file under each user  and have it do the registry modification.

 NOTE: If the preceding steps do not disable the net crawl functionality, change the NoNetCrawling data value to 1 in the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

thanks!
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by:ScooterAnderson
ID: 20567928
Ok, on one of your systems, open the registry and go to that spot key in the registry, change the value to 1, then export the registry key to a file.  Then you can drop that .reg file in the Startup folder (All Users) to run at startup.
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20567978
Is this the kind of thing that can just be run once? Is there any problem with leaving it in the startup longterm?
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by:ScooterAnderson
ScooterAnderson earned 450 total points
ID: 20568077
It should only have to be run once per user on the machine (if you're editing the \HKCU hive).  You can test it pretty easy by applying it for one user profile, then log out and log in as someone else (without running the .reg file in the 2nd profile).
There's not a problem with leaving it in the startup, it will just overwrite the value that's in the registry with a "1"....  You could hide it by using a .bat file in the startup folder, issue "@echo off" at the top of the .bat file, then call the .reg file.  Then your users don't see the .reg DOS window splash after logon.
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20568239
Using the .bat file sounds helpful but I don't know how to use one. Sorry, there's some large holes in my knowledge due to being self taught. Is it easy to do a step by step of how to make one do what you are mentioning?
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by:ScooterAnderson
ScooterAnderson earned 450 total points
ID: 20568684
No worries.... :)

Open up Notepad and enter the text:
@echo off
{the explicit path to the .reg file you exported from the registry}

Then save/close the notepad file as a .bat file, then copy/move it to the Startup folder to run at startup.
The @echo off  command will not list any of the following commands to the screen/DOS window - so your users won't know what's being run.
The {explicit path} is just simply the location of the .reg file, such as:   c:\admin\nocrawling.reg   or whatever you named the .reg file...  Then test it out some before you deploy it.
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20568858
Ok, the .reg file works fine, but the .bat file doesn't appear to be doing what it's supposed to. The .bat looks like this.

@echo off
{c:\NoNetCrawl.reg}

It's blinking the cmd dos window quickly but not actually changing the registry setting. If I manually run the .reg file from the same location with the same user, then it makes the change.
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by:ScooterAnderson
ScooterAnderson earned 450 total points
ID: 20568884
Sorry, forgot to mention to leave off the brackets around the file name --> {},  just delete those and you'll be good.

also, if you need to for troubleshooting, just remove the @echo off command from the batch file, that will let you see what commands have been run and any errors encountered.
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20568912
I'd actually done it without the brackets first. Turns out I hadn't spelled the filename right:) That's just great! Anyway, it works now but it does bring up the "do you want to add this to the registry" prompt each time where you have to select yes/no. Is there any way to avoid that?
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by:weareit
weareit earned 50 total points
ID: 20569331
Try this link for the command for a silent reg entry.

http://www.serverwatch.com/tutorials/article.php/1483121

-saige-
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by:weareit
weareit earned 50 total points
ID: 20569345
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20573473
I'm looking through that at the moment. I opened the .reg file I exported yesterday and it's got a bunch of registry key settings under that key (\HK_C_U\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\). Am I importing correctly? Do I have to pull the whole "advanced" area or can I just get the nonetcrawling part? I was planning on running this on 15 or so stand alone machines and don't want to be messing with all those keys on each one.
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by:ScooterAnderson
ID: 20573804
You should be able to just highlight the NoNetCrawling key and export that single key to a file by itself...
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20573963
No for some reason it's giving me the whole branch. In the export window, I've got two options, selected branch and all. Nothing for individual key. This is with the specific key selected and going file/export. Is it possible to just delete out all the other lines in the .reg file after exporting, leaving only the nonetcrawl? I also am having trouble following the directions for running the .reg silently. Do I just add the /s to the .bat file? I've tried multiple ways of doing it but have no luck. It is flashing open and closed like it did yesterday when I mispelled the .reg filename.
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by:ScooterAnderson
ScooterAnderson earned 450 total points
ID: 20574167
I just tested it and you can just take out all the other lines underneath that key and just keep the NoNetCrawl with the appropriate value.
The syntax for the silent .reg insertion is:   regedit /s  c:\nonetcrawl.reg
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20574198
Inserted into the .bat file, correct? So mine would read

@echo off
regedit /s c:\nonetcrawl.reg

and thats it?
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by:ScooterAnderson
ScooterAnderson earned 450 total points
ID: 20574214
yep... that's it.  You can test by swapping it back and forth between 0 & 1 in your .reg file then checking Regedit for the value on the workstation.
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by:earth-traveler
ID: 20574572
Thanks alot, problem solved!
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Author Closing Comment

by:earth-traveler
ID: 31412607
Thanks for helping me through all that~!
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