Adding a shared printer in Windows 7

Posted on 2011-02-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
What seems to be a very easy task has really bugged me since I have started using Win 7.

More specifically, its permissions, in a typical windows domain environment, and adding a shared printer that the client needs drivers for. UAC is always turned off.

In XP, it just works.
In Vista, it prompts you for the admin credentials.
In Win 7, I have to log off, log on as admin, etc...

Is there a settng somewhere that will allow non-admin users to add printers (and drivers) like in XP?
Question by:hongedit
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Accepted Solution

Nicky Raven earned 167 total points
ID: 34914852
If you need your users to be able to add their own print drivers you will have to use GPO to edit the Driver Installation policy. It is located here:

Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Driver Installation

The setting is called "Allow non-administrators to install drivers for these devices setup classes". You will need to add the device class GUID of printers.

I hope that helps

Expert Comment

ID: 34914875
What Windows version is the computer that is sharing the printer?

We have all our printers shared by a Server 2003, and I don't remember having had any troubles installing the printers on Windows 7 (we've just finished replacing all our pc's by new ones). It did ask for permission (UAC is off here too), but otherwise no problem.

Author Comment

ID: 34914984
HizShadow: Thanks for that. How do I find the device class GUID? Is it 1 single ID for all printers, or one for each printer?

rhhoore108: Varies, anything from Win2k3 to Win2k8, sometimes sharing through other PC's, so XP/Vista/7.

Happens the same on all. If logged on as a normal user in Win 7 this is what happens:

1. Connect to printer (either by login script or browsing manually, right click and "Connect"
2. It will say it needs a driver, do I wish to contimue (security alert). Click Yes.
3. It will copy the driver files, and when it reaches the end, it'll fail with a permission error

The only way it will work is if:

A) PC already has relevant driver installed
B) User has admin perms (local or domain)
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Author Comment

ID: 34915041
Also, cannot for the life of me find that GPO setting: Allow non-administrators to install drivers for these devices setup classes

 GPO List

Expert Comment

ID: 34915229
Is that from Group Policy Management on your domain controller?
I checked on mine (2008) and it is indeed there...

If you do find it, and you change it, you may need to run gpupdate (from a command prompt) in order to make the change active immediately. And you will need to log off and on on the clients.

Author Comment

ID: 34915276
That is from my Win2k3 DC.

I can see on my 2008 server's though...any idea where the equiv is in 2003?

Also, are Device ID's specific to each make, model, or a combination of both?

Assisted Solution

rdhoore108 earned 166 total points
ID: 34921362
Vendor ID is specific to the make/brand, Device ID is specific to the model. But this is not what HizShadow meant, he was referring to the windows ID's of different classes of devices. See here:

So, the printers would be {4d36e979-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}.

You will need to install the Group Policy Management Console on an W7 pc. This will allow you to connect to the domain controller but still have the settings needed that are not shown on 2003.

Expert Comment

ID: 34921379
(I was just clarifying HizShadow's post, as he seems to be away for the moment. I have not done this myself yet.)

Assisted Solution

siht earned 167 total points
ID: 34922912
Windows 7 has a new Group Policy setting which you will need to modify for this to work. Modifying this setting enables the required drivers to be installed at logon under a normal user account. Below is the relevant section of the how to I wrote for myself after battling this issue for a few days.

      16. Log on to a Windows 7 (or later) machine with Microsoft Remote Server Administration tools installed.
      17. Start --> Administrative Tools --> Right click "Group Policy Management" --> Run as administrator.
      18. Right Click the OU where you want the new settings to apply -->  "Create GPO in this domain and link it here"
      19. Name the new GPO "Deploy Printers Policy".
      20. Right Click the new "Deploy Printers Policy" --> Edit
            a. Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Printers\Point and Print Restrictions --> Set to disabled.
                  i. This enables the required drivers to be installed on the client machines at logon.
            b. User Configuration\Preferences\Control Panel Settings\Printers
            c. Right Click Printers --> New --> Shared Printer .
                  i. Action : Update or Create
                  ii. Share Path: Click the browse button and it should appear at the bottom.
                  iii. Click OK.
      21. The new shared printer should now appear on the client machines after the new group policy has applied and the users have logged off and on again.


Author Comment

ID: 34925272
Hi Siht

Thank you for that - most helpful indeed!

Does this also allow for users to add printers adhoc, i.e ones that are not defined in GPO or login script?

Expert Comment

ID: 34936982
I'm not sure, we only have a few users and printers so there are no more for them to add. Potentially as you are removing a restriction on users installing drivers, if your environnment warrants it you may want to test it.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34942467
Thank you, worked.

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