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Windows 7 does not see all directory-listed printers when searching using Add a Printer

Posted on 2010-08-18
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Hi

We just set up a new Windows Server 2008 R2 print server in our office with printers listed in AD. We have an Active Directory domain w/Windows Server 2003 domain controllers. We have 2 other Windows Server 2003 print servers whose printers are also listed in AD. We have XP and Windows 7 clients. Our server was finished last week, all printers are shared on the network and listed in the directory, they show up in AD just fine when searching printers so I know they got listed correctly.

Here's my problem: When our users of Windows 7 go to Devices and Printers, and click Add a Printer at the top, then choose Add a Network, Wireless, or Bluetooth printer, Windows 7 says "searching for available printers" and shows a list. However, only the printers shared on the 2003 print servers show up in the list, the ones shared from 2008 do not. However, if I go to "the printer that I want isn't listed" at the bottom and search the entire directory, they show up fine. It's very strange.

This problem is specific to all Windows 7 clients and also to other 2008 servers in our domain. I'm trying to figure out what dictates that initial search list and I'm trying to find out why my 2008 server printers are not showing up in this list. Windows XP seems to default to searching the entire directory for printers, so our XP users do not have a problem finding directory listed printers.

Any suggestions would be great, this is driving me insane. Thanks!
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Question by:Mike_Brodeur
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Expert Comment

by:insightcomputing
ID: 33466253
Open Advanced sharing settings by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type network, click Network and Sharing Center, and then, in the left pane, click Change advanced sharing settings.

Click the chevron  to expand your current network profile.

Click Turn on network discovery, and then click Save changes.   If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
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Author Comment

by:Mike_Brodeur
ID: 33466666
I turned network discovery on for both my Win7 system and our 2008 print server, but the printers still don't show up. I also re-published the printers to the directory. No change. Am I not waiting long enough after enabling network discovery?
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Expert Comment

by:pcfreaker
ID: 33467083
Hello,
I found this solution online
 http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itpronetworking/thread/f46361ef-7d20-42fd-a8ad-69713f18b1bc
I have done this but after many steps and trial and failure testing.
Let me know if you need any help.
Rgds.
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Expert Comment

by:James Haywood
ID: 33469060
AD problems are usually DNS related, check your DNS logs and run some tests with nslookup
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Author Comment

by:Mike_Brodeur
ID: 33469314
@pcfreaker I tried the steps outlined in that document, it didn't help. Thanks for the tip though.

@hhaywood000 Everything communicates fine, the printers are published in AD and are seen fine by XP clients and 2003-based servers, so 2008 was able to publish the printers in AD without issue, and they show up in Win7 after searching the entire directory, just not the initial "searching for printers" dialog box
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Accepted Solution

by:
ivanoviola earned 500 total points
ID: 33471058
There is a group policy that sets the number of printers shown which defaults to 20 printers.

gpedit.msc
Computer config
Admin templates
Printers
Add Printer Wizard - Network scan page (Managed Network)

Enable this and setup the types of printers you want to display.

There is also a group policy in there that allows you to remove the security prompt when downloding the driver for the printer. "Point and Print Restrictions"

Hope this helps.

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Author Comment

by:Mike_Brodeur
ID: 33474249
Ivanoviola, you are the MAN! That is exactly what did it.

Thanks!!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mike_Brodeur
ID: 33474251
Hit the nail right on the head, worked the first time I tried it.
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Expert Comment

by:ivanoviola
ID: 33478302
Great! Came across the same problem a few months back. Drives you nuts but then seems easy in the end.

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Expert Comment

by:OCCU
ID: 34503935
Printer will also show up if you hit the button "The Printer i want wasn't listed" and then "Find a printer in the directory, based on location or feature". You will then see a directory screen that looks similar to XP and all shared printers should be listed.
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