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How do I disable the disallow Kernel-mode Printer drivers installation policy?

Posted on 2011-03-18
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I have a Windows 2008 R2 Server that will not allow kernel-mode Printer drivers to install. I have setup a group policy to disable this option and verified that the registry value is set to 0 (disabled). However, when I run gpresults /v it shows  that the Value is 0,0,0,0 but the state is enabled. I found a few different articles discussing hotfixes (981957 and 979559) and I uninstalled them. I also found 2 other articles (2160329 and 2479628) but they don't show up as being installed. It still shows that the state is enabled and I can't install my printer. Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:ASITech
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connectex earned 2000 total points
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Kernal mode drivers often crashed systems so Microsoft changed them to user mode starting in Windows 2000. It's all here in this article: http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2007/09/14/kernel-mode-print-drivers-gone-the-way-of-the-dinosaur.aspx. And as you've mentioned it's been possible to override this when needed. Through it's never really been a good idea. It seems starting with Windows 2008, it's user mode drivers only. The registry setting or GPO is ignored. This post claimed they got that fact straight from Microsoft support: http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsServerFeedback/feedback/details/321389/gpo-disallow-installation-of-printers-using-kernel-mode-drivers-does-not-work
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by:connectex
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I also found this about kernel drivers: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733976(WS.10).aspx. Since 2008 R2 is only 64-bit, all kernel mode drivers will need to be signed. Signing drivers has only been done in the most recent years. So I really think Microsoft has locked this door tight. I suggest purchasing a new printer. Or you may be able to look in to using a universal print driver, if possible.
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