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Shared network printers disappear from our print servers

Posted on 2013-01-11
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Last Modified: 2013-01-23
Hi.
We have a problem on our mixed Windows XP/Windows 7 network in regard to printer deployment. We are in the process of migrating our clients over to Windows 7.
We still have 2003 DCs (and use these to host our printers owing to operational costs)
We use SCCM 2012 to deploy Windows 7 clients. Windows 7 clients are separate in our AD structure - no inheritence at the root of the domain. No GPO issues on either Windows 7 and Windows XP. Printers are successfully deployed via GPO, and they appear correctly on the stations.

The problem is that any printer that is shared from a 2003 DC, and is available to print from both Windows 7 and Windows XP (any manfacturer - including Ricoh photocopiers, HP and Brother printers) will every few days remove itself from the server it is shared from. This means that clients are unable to print as the printer doesn't exist where it should.
There seems to be no distinct pattern - nothing of use in the event logs on any server. (We have three 2003 DCs that are used as print servers - two other DCs with no shared printers)

This doesn't happen to printers that are shared from the same server, but are only accessible to XP clients.

Does anyone have any ideas why printers would suddenly be removed off multiple print servers?

Thanks.
Andrew.
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Question by:and235100
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Expert Comment

by:xtermie
ID: 38766461
similar situation here.
Seems like the registry keys for the printer are deleted from the local machines after they reboot or something.

http://www.edugeek.net/forums/windows/69978-printer-disappearing.html
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by:and235100
ID: 38766540
Thank you - but I can't see how the linked forum topic actually helps - the issue is not printers disappearing from stations - but from print servers...

We do not use scripts/registry for printers - only group policy printer management.
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Accepted Solution

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lauchangkwang earned 500 total points
ID: 38767389
try this :

The following are two policy related to pruning:
1.      On DC, run gpedit.msc and locate Computer configuration/Administrative Templates/Printers
2.      Make sure all the pruning related policy is set to disabled
Disabled the policy "Allow pruning of published printers"
Enable the policy “Directory pruning interval”, and set the interval to Never

Source from : http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverprint/thread/3083dd84-0c26-4823-ad45-9fca75250d75/
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by:and235100
ID: 38769886
Thank you lauchangkwang. I have used the options you have specified.

For "Directory Pruning Interval" I used "Infinite" (Server 2003)

I will keep an eye on the printers, and report results back here.
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Expert Comment

by:lauchangkwang
ID: 38795806
Any update on this so far ?? :)
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by:and235100
ID: 38801405
Apologies, as this is in a production environment, I wanted to ensure this hadn't had any negative impact. The solution worked perfectly. Thank you.
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Author Comment

by:and235100
ID: 38804411
After the weekend - the problem has come back.

A Brother 7050DN and a mapped Ricoh photocopier have disappeared from one of our print servers.

Solution given has not worked for us.
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Expert Comment

by:lauchangkwang
ID: 38805144
Does the setting remain the same?? Any changes / task performed recently??
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Author Comment

by:and235100
ID: 38806102
Thank you for getting back on this. Setting stays the same. This is configured on both local GP and domain GP for domain controllers. Nothing else has changed. Printers still remove themselves. If driver is not in use by any other printer, then the driver gets deleted as well.
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Expert Comment

by:lauchangkwang
ID: 38809693
>> If driver is not in use by any other printer, then the driver gets deleted as well.

Is there any batch file to do some clean up on the server a certain period like weekly ??
click Start > All programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scheduled Task.

take a look is there any batch job get scheduled with related to printer / clean up.
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