Windows 7 Pro Default printer switching

Siroonian used Ask the Experts™
I have a few users who got new machines with Win7 Pro and everything seems to be going well with the exception of this print issue.

They print to a network attached HP 4350 PCL6, and have done so for 5 years on XP.  The printer installs with no problem and can print fine.  the issue comes when trying to set it to default.

when you log back in it sets it to the next logical local printer as  default, in this case a quicken PDF, i even deleted that and it just went to the adobe PDF so it does not seem like a program setting.  As I've also done selective startup with no startup programs on and it still does it.

I checked the logs and event 823 comes up and states in the details that the print spooler is setting this option. When i set it back manually i see the data option as "0" instead of "1"

It almost seems like it tries to load the network printer and because it's just logging in it can't see it then chooses the local PDF instead.

These are also desktops with only one network location configured so it's not a location aware based problem.
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   * Go to Control Panel
    * Select Devices and Printers.
    * In the printer section first select any of the already listed printer.
    * Now you will see menu item “Manage Default Printer” listed, click on that.
    * This will open a window which will either let you select same printer for all network or another section where you can select first the network and then the printer and map it.

Full source:


This is a desktop, so location aware printing is not an option.  it's my understanding that this is a laptop only function?

At any rate it does not appear in the printers section on this machine or any others.

Apparently, it's only available in premium editions of Windows 7.  I guess Professional isn't premium.
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i agree it sounds like this option at first and it is included with Pro but i can't seem to find where it's configured as it's not listed in the toolbar.

From MS:
The new feature, included in the Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows 7
I have not seen this behavior, but it appears to be fairly common.

One thing worth trying would be to deny the SYSTEM user permission to change the registry value of the default printer.

The key defining the user's default printer is located here:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

If you edit the advanced permissions of this key and deny the SYSTEM user access to Set Value, that should prevent it, in theory.


While this is not a fix, i'm starting to think with the amount of people it's affecting and no one really having an answer as to the cause it must be a Windows bug.

This however does work, and keeps it from resetting the default printer, however heavy handed it may be.

Thanks for the Input.

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