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Use group policy (or SMS/SCCM) to push local virtual printer settings..

Posted on 2009-05-18
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I am trying to determine if and how I can push local virtual printer settings via group policy (or SMS/SCCM).  

To elaborate, we have just upgraded our imaging solution to the latest release.  This required an uninstall and re-install of the local client side application.  Part of the client side app is a proprietary virtual printer (like Adobe Acrobat or Tiff Image Printer).  The printer is defaulting to black and white images where we need the images generated to be in color.  Currently we have to manually go to each work staion, navigate to "Printers and Faxes", find the printer, then modify the printer properties.

We would like to force the virtual printer preferences on all of our user's workstations to default to color printing through a remote mechanism such as group policy (or SMS/SCCM).  We have tried to read up on how to go about it but the only articles we have found address using group policy to push network printers not locally attached printer.  Has anyone ever attempted to push similar local printer settings?
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Question by:JBHaire2004
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 24423992
This would most likely be registry settings that you would push out via SCCM.
You can try starting Procmon (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx), then select the settings and then stop the trace.  You can then try exporting these settings out to a REG file from REGEDIT's export command and then you could fire the settings with:
regedit /s printersettings.vbs
or you can VBSCRIPT like this (this example sets the background wallpaper in the user's profile):
Set WshShell = CreateObject( "WScript.Shell" )
WshShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper", "C:\windows\Standard Wallpaper.BMP", "REG_SZ"

Set WshShell = nothing

 
If you want, you can post the Procmon log here.
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Author Comment

by:JBHaire2004
ID: 24424157
Thanks aleinss.  I was really hoping initially that there was a way to control local printer settings with group policy but thought it unlikely and begun looking to SCCM as my best bet.  I'll take a look at the ProcMon dump and see what I can find.
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Accepted Solution

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Adam Leinss earned 2000 total points
ID: 24425537
You might be able to do something with Group Policy Preferences, but that requires Windows 2008 server and you would still need to customize your own solution, because setting a color preference for a particular printer is too specific for GP to manage on its own
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