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Lock printer preferences

Posted on 2009-04-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Here is my setup:

1. I have a Windows 2003 server that is NOT in a domain (Novell shop) and Windows XP workstations likewise not in a domain. The printer in question is an HP 4050 TN.

2. I have a vendor supplied piece of software that requires a unique printer for each of 4 different report types (e.g. double sided legal, envelope, single sided letter and double sided letter). Due to the number of users we're using networked printers.

3. Users do NOT have administrative privileges on their machines

4. The printer setup is somewhat tedious and has to be done for EACH user on each workstation, so I'd like to ease that process.

Presently, the printers are added to each workstation via "Create Standard TCP/IP Port..." for the computer by an administrator, and then the default settings and whatnot set for each user.

The problem is two fold: First, users sometimes change the print preferences, which means the legal sized report will print out of the letter tray or not print double sided, and other annoyances.

Second, it is extremely tedious to set up each users print preferences just so.

My idea was this: Share the printers from the server, configure them how I like, lock them down so users cannot change them, and then adding printers to users is simple.

The snag: Printer Preferences are not locked down, and users can still change them. There are many posts on here and the Internet that discuss changing the "defaults". However, this is not enough; I need to be able to set the print preferences at the server level somehow, and make those settings unchangeable at the workstation level.

Disabling "Manage Printers" doesn't do it either. While this prevents users from changing what tray has what paper, it does NOT prevent them from specifying that the default paper type is A4 or anything else they want.

Another idea I had was creating some kind of virtual or dummy printer driver that would reformat any input on that port to the style I wanted (double sided, legal vs. letter, etc.) and then the workstations would have options to change, but I cannot find such a system.

Ideas?
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Question by:d_j_twilight
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Expert Comment

by:anuroopkoka2005
ID: 24058368
Hello d_j_twilight,

try this application. ..INTELLIscribe Virtual Print Driver

http://lpr.brooksnet.com/virtual-printer-driver.html
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by:d_j_twilight
ID: 24089023
It looks to be an impressive piece of software, though a bit pricy. However, I don't see how it addresses my issue. I've looked through the documentation on the website, but don't see how it will prevent users from changing how documents are printed. This software just seems to control <b>where</b> documents get printered to.
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by:d_j_twilight
ID: 24089409
I found this product from HP that does almost exactly what I want:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DriverDownload.jsp?prodNameId=308332&lang=en&cc=us&taskId=135&prodClassId=10002&prodTypeId=18964&prodSeriesId=308330

However, the problem I run into now is that the 4 printers I referenced in my original post are actually all the same printer, with different sets of locks. However the tool allows you to modify a single copy of the driver. If there were a way to create four copies of the driver with different config files using this tool, that would work as well.
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d_j_twilight earned 0 total points
ID: 24210807
After trying various solutions, including HP's preconfiguration utility, I haven't found anything that allows a complete lockdown of the settings. HP's product allows the administrator to lock certain things (e.g. draft mode, duplex printing) but not everything, so even that doesn't work 100%.
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