SBS 2011: GPO Group polioy to roll out printers

This is the 3rd of likely too many questions about our move to SBS 2011.  We did a Jeff Middleton swing and the users are up and running.  But there's loads of error messages and issues I have questions about.  Can you search for my username? There'll be loads of questions I need answers to and I award points quickly (if you answer quick!).

So SBS 2011 is moving away from login scripts? OK.  Small group - everyone is in the same office, they all need access to printer x - a network priinter that is connected to the server and shared as \\server\x

32 and 64 bit drivers are on the machine.

how to roll it out?  I saw pages on the web to add the print management roll and I did that, made a GP,etc.

On 3 new Win 7 boxes (with, shame on me? all users as local admins) it fails with '
0x80070bcb The specified printer driver was not found on the system and needs to be downloaded'.  I get that in the event log and on the gp modeling.

I can manually install the printer on those boxes and install the driver with no problem.  Even then, uninstall the printer, reboot and the event log still has that error / no printer mapped.

I found the pages about point and print restrictions disabled. added those to that GP and still no luck.

a) do you need to run gpupdate  / force? I did that on the server and desktop and same results.
b) I tried the next day and still no luck (gp takes time to update? even though gpupdate / force should have done it.)
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Getting automated printer deployment right is a tricky thing. A few rules:

1) The 32-bit and 64-bit drivers *must match.* In other words, you can't install the 32-bit driver and use the "in-box" MS 64-bit driver, as the two driver versions and vendors will not math and will thus confuse GP. So always download drivers in pairs (the 32 and 64-bit) and install that wal.

2) Don't use print management. That is definitely an enterprise tool, and while it works well, is *very* touchy. For the SBS sized network, use group policy preferences. The errors are easier to understand and troubleshooting is more straightforward.

3) Deploy printers as shared printers using SBS (or another server) as a print server. Don't try to print straight to an IP address. The latter works, but fixing issues later is a nightmare, and being able to centrally control, view, and administer a central print queue is a small but significant benefit of using centralized print management and deployment. I've seen admins try to print straight to a priner, but centrally control how that works, which just seems wonky. It is only going to the goal...halfway.


Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
did you mean map network printer using startup script?

check this :

note that printer drivers must be installed on the server to allow transfer the driver to client while mapping.
if you using 64bit you have to install 64 bit drivers on the server for printer and add new driver this achived by right click on the printer -> printer properties -> new drivers -> then browse for 32 bit drivers and add it to printer , by this way you can have printers for both 64 and 32 bit machines.

good luck
Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
Gary ColtharpSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
I still use scripts in group policy elements. I open Group Policy Management and create a new GPO, linked at the domain level. Call it Printers Policy or something.  Edit the policy and drill down to the User scripts and create a new "logon.bat" file there. For each shared printer just add a line "start \\SERVER\SHARENAME"

As cgaliher said, the drivers are the tricky part. If they are HP printers, for the most part you can download the universal printer driver from HP using the same format (PCL,PS,PCL6,etc) and the same version or revision number. Download in both Windows 2008 x64 and Windows XP (or Windows 7 32 bit if you dont have any XP left in your environment) versions. Replace the native driver on the server with the universal driver and rename it back to a descriptive model name. Then add the additional x86 drivers in the "Additional Drivers" button on the Sharing page.

Not all printers are HP of course...but if you follow the same method, it should work.

Hope this helps
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