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Problem setting default printer for users in Windows 7 using local port

Posted on 2011-03-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Good Afternoon

Our school is moving to Windows 7 during the Summer holidays and we are currently working though several issues before we can go live.  At the moment our main problem is with printing.

In our current XP estate we add the printers to the machines using local ports connecting to our print server (so for example on the client PC we create a local port \\printserver\Classroom1Printer and give it the appropriate driver).  In general across the school each ICT suite has its own printing facilities so the students never setup printers themselves they just use what we setup for them.  This works perfectly fine under XP.

When we go through the same process on Windows 7 adding a local printer port to connect to the server it works fine if your logged on with an admin account but not for any other accounts.  Printing from a non admin account the print job appears in the print queue on the client machine but with an error message and on the server the print job appears then disappears in the print queue every couple of seconds constantly 'spooling'

Due to the school environment were in we can't really allow the kids to setup their printers on a per user basis as you would normally do so we really need to resolve this issue.

I would imagine that its some kind of permission/rights issue since it works fine as an admin (and still works fine for Windows XP users) but I'm stumped at the moment and haven't been able to find anything much on the net.

Any help would be hugely appreciated!

Cheers

Neal
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Question by:alfatec
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by:rsoly777
ID: 35018300
I am guessing that  there is actually a shared printer on your print servers. I would check the permissions on the print server shares to make sure the students have general printing permissions
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by:alfatec
ID: 35018440
Yup thats right, however as I said though the setup works fine with staff/student users on Windows XP just not with Windows 7 I'm stumped as to why they would need different permissions just because they are on Windows7.

Looking on the server at the printer I am using to test this the students and staff have 'Print' Permissions, whilst admins also have Manage printers and Manage documents on top of that.  These permissions work fine under XP just not 7.

Giving students the same permissions as us is a bit of a none starter!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 35018521
Windows 7 out of the box does not have all the printer drives installed in the local machine.

Take one machine and try the following:  Open Devices and Printers, Add a Printer, choose local printer and pick the default LPT1 for this exercise, and click Next. Beside the Have Disk button is a Windows Update button. Click Windows Update and allow it to update.

When the update is done and it is ready to add a printer, cancel the whole thing. Restart and see if your shared printers get added.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:alfatec
ID: 35018661
Thanks for the response.

I don't think its a driver issue let me go through how we add the printer just incase I am not making sense :)

- I'm logging onto the Client Machine as a domain admin
- Once logged on I go to Printers/Devices and Add a Printer
- Then I add a Local Printer and Create a new Local Port
- The new local port points to the shared printer on the print server i.e. \\printerserver\myprinter
- When asked for the driver for the printer (in this case a HP 2015n) I point to one of our admin network shares and allow the Client PC to copy the drivers over.
- Once finished I run a test print to confirm its working.

Now under Windows XP anyone logging onto the machine would then see the printer I have setup (without themselves configuring anything) and be able to print fine whether they were an admin or not.
Under Windows 7 (using the same equipment and user accounts etc) anyone logging onto the machine can see the printer, can send a print job to the server BUT the print job seems to get stuck, it appears then disappears on the Printer Server queue and is constantly stuck 'spooling'.

There must be some permissioning difference between Windows 7 and XP but I just can't figure out what/why
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Expert Comment

by:rsoly777
ID: 35018682
Have you checked the logs on your print server to see if there are any errors? Agreed that print drivers should be installed on the machines but on your test machine if a print job works for Admin and not student I do not believe that is the issue, I still believe there is a good possibility it may be permission related issue
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by:alfatec
ID: 35025721
Had a look through both the server and the client machines logs and at the time I am testing it there is nothing flagged.  The only thing I see relating to Printing is the notification in the log when I clear the printers queue.

As a test I set the permissions on one of the printers so that Everyone had Print/Manage Printers/Manage Documents rights and the problem still occured.  This makes me think its something on the client machines that is different in Windows 7 to Windows XP.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 35026156
Did you try my suggestion above of adding all printers to the local machine using Microsoft update?
... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:BtechB
ID: 35028141
For testing purposes have you tried adding the printer as Standard TCP\IP port and see if it works. We use this method for certain offices on our campus and it works fine. The printers do have DHCP resevations so we dont have to worry about the IPs changing however. We now mainly use Group Policy to push printers to the computers. This method works the best and will keep your drivers and printer settings up to date.

There is another solution you can try that we have used before in our adjunct faculty offices that are shared by many users.
http://members.shaw.ca/bsanders/NetPrinterAllUsers.htm
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by:alfatec
ID: 35028157
I've just tried it now (handy tip with the Windows Update button) but sadly the problem is the same.

As I say the printer works fine when your logged on as a domain admin its only when you log onto the machine that it doesn't work.  Which makes me think its some kind of permissioning issue rather than a driver problem.
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by:rsoly777
ID: 35029051
have you looked at using the local group policy? (Gpedit.msc) Under Computer and User configurations there is a place to create a policy for printing See attached Screen capture. There may likely be a way to fix your problem here
LocalGroupPolicy.png
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by:slipservice
ID: 35029123
I agree with btechb, I would test the printer by setting up a local tcpip port on the client machine and just enter the direct IP of the printer. I have experienced issues with UNC paths and certain software in Win 7, if I turned UAC off the UNC path would work. If you dont want to switch to IP ports then try going to control panel and action center. On the left you will see an option to change user access control. Move the slider all the way down to turn it off. If it is already off try and move it up one notch just to trouble shoot.
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by:alfatec
ID: 35034459
I've had a tinker with the Local Group Policy already, I know several people have had issues with this particular one

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Printers\Point and Print Restrictions

But I've tried disabling and enabling it without any luck.

UAC is fully off on our test image, I've tried putting it up a notch and that hasn't had any effect when I go through the setup again.

Direct IP printing isn't really feasible for us unfortunately as we use a program called PrintManager to give the students their own printing balance so the print requests have to go through the server.

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by:alfatec
ID: 35082879
Anyone else got any ideas?
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by:slipservice
ID: 35083053
Can you tell us more about your environment? Im sure youre on a domain, what level are the students? Just domain users? Any local admin rights?

What OS is your DC and/or Print Server(2k3 or 2k8) 32 or 64 bit?
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by:rsoly777
ID: 35084823
Was this machine a bare metal install or an imaged machine? If it is imaged I would try a Bare Metal Install on one machine  run through your configurations and see what the result is it is possible the issue is caused by imaging
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by:slipservice
ID: 35085428
Take a look at this article:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753269.aspx
Pay attention to the Point and Print section about modifying group policy, you may be able to change it at the local level as well.

I still feel like this is a UAC issue, if your print server is 2003 Id be curious to try something.

Not sure if you have a 2008 server in your environment, but I would be curious to see what happens if you add the printer locally to that server and use the 2008 server as your print server for the windows 7 machines.

I would be curious to see if there is a difference in the 2k3 and 2k8 printer permissioning, I understand you wouldnt be able to use your printing software this way. But it may be a workaround

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by:rsoly777
ID: 35085481
slipservice we have already discussed using local policy, Group policy is another option but there has been no mention of a domain yet from alfatec.
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Expert Comment

by:slipservice
ID: 35085773
Seriously rsoly777, you're critiquing my answers? He is asking for ideas...and because he disabled and enabled one thing in local policy and you posted a screen shot doesnt mean its a mute point.

From microsoft:
The Point and Print Restrictions setting can also be found under User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Printers. This policy is ignored by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but is enforced by earlier editions of the operation system including versions Windows XP with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, and Windows Server 2008. We recommend that you change this policy setting in both locations so that all down-level clients have a consistent experience.

AKA there could be local policies on the print server and Win 7 PC regardless of a domain. He looked at the computer configuration local policy not the user configuration as suggested by microsoft. Thats why I said pay close attention to the point and print section. You would have seen this if you actually followed the link in my post and read it. Worry about the quality of your own answers.
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alfatec earned 0 total points
ID: 35156236
Apologies for the delay getting back (holidays!)

We managed to crack this yesterday, it was down to permissions on the server itself.  We fixed it by doing the following

1) Share Permissions
1. On explorer, go to C:\windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS
2. Right click, Properties
3. Sharing tab
4. Advanced Sharing
5. Check "Share this folder"
6. Permissions
7. Grant everyone Full Control

2) NTFS Permissions
1. On explorer, go to C:\windows\system32\spool\printers
2. Right click, Properties
3. Security tab
4. Edit
5. Add
6. Advanced
7. Find Now
8. Choose "NETWORK"
9. OK
10. Grant NETWORK Full Control

Before we did this only the XP Clients could print, now the Windows 7 ones can as well.

Thanks for your help
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Expert Comment

by:rsoly777
ID: 35157217
I am glad you figured it out I was sure it was permissions related as I expressed in an earlierpost
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Author Closing Comment

by:alfatec
ID: 35187278
Found answer via alternative method, help from Experts Exchange was handy though.
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