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All network Printers dissapeared from Active Directory

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Environment info:
W2K3 - print servers (3), domain controllers (2)
A/D  and Domain functional level : 2003

We had a very weird issue today, all network printers disappeared from AD, no matter what OU they were in. I went to the print servers (we have 3) and checked - all the printers were still there, still shared, etc. I clicked on the properties of one printer, unchecked sharing, clicked ok. I went back in and re-shared it. After a minute or 2, a search in AD revealed that one printer that I deselected and re-selected.

I then decided to try rebooting the print server. About 5 minutes after rebooting, all printers on that print server 1 were now showing up when doing a search in AD for all printers. The printers were not in their correct OUs.

I then rebooted Print severs 2 and 3, printers re-appeared in AD. i then moved all the printers to their correct OUs.

I did some research, and it seems that a GPO setting might have something to do with this. Under Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Printers. Both our DCs are configured this way:

Allow printers to be published: Not Configured
Allow pruning of published printers: Not Configured
Automatically publish new printers in AD: Not Configured
Check published state: Not Configured
Directory pruning interval: Not Configured
Directory pruning priority: Not Configured
Directory pruning retry:Not Configured
Log directory pruning retry events:Not Configured
Printer browsing: Not Configured
Prune printers that are not automatically republished: Not Configured
Allow print spooler to accept client connections: Not Configured


So has anyone had this happen, and should I change the GPO for any of the above settings?
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Question by:pigbts
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by:rnicolaus
ID: 35031414
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by:pigbts
ID: 35031529
Thank you for the link, it seems that printer pruning would be causing the problem, but that setting is set to "not configured" on the print servers.
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yelbaglf earned 500 total points
ID: 35031612
If you enable this policy or do not configure it, the domain controller prunes this computer's printers when the computer does not respond.

If you disable this policy, the domain controller does not prune this computer's printers. This setting is designed to prevent printers from being pruned when the computer is temporarily disconnected from the network.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms814836.aspx

I would DISABLE it, instead of leaving it set to 'not configured', since the DC will still prune when not configured.
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Author Comment

by:pigbts
ID: 35031623
ok, i will give that a try. I guess I assumed that not configured meant disabled.
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Expert Comment

by:yelbaglf
ID: 35031689
One would think, since that makes sense.  :-)  But not everything Microsoft always makes sense...right? Lol

Also, if you run into trouble in the meantime, a spooler restart will suffice for republishing your printers.
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