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Monitor what is being printed...

Posted on 2014-04-15
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Last Modified: 2014-04-17
Hello,

I have a bunch (4) printers on my unmanaged windows network and HP printers are being printed on from various places.

Is there a way to keep a copy of what's being printed for auditing purposes?

I would like to see the name of the computer printing, when it was printing and the actual print job itself so I know WHAT is being printed.

Thanks in advance
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Question by:prosit
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by:helpfinder
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what kind of printers? are they USB or network printers?
If printers are network, you should make print server (from 1 PC or real server) and install all printers here and share them - in this case you will have centralized point through all print jobs will come so you can track them (quite) easily. On print server you can enable logs so you have basic information about who printed.

You can also install some 3th party software to track print jobs, but generally it´s paid software. I tried in the past PaperCut Print Logger which is free but also it´s just lite - so not many features - but to track who and what printed is possible.
If your printers are USB you can do the same with PaperCut Print Logger but you have to install as many times as many computers with USB printers you have (and you will have as many reports)
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by:prosit
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They are network printers that are just connected to the network NOT a print server, and I'd really rather not them being on a print server.

I did look at papercut, but it doesn't seem to give me what is being printed, just the information on what's being printed.

I don't mind paying for it though if there's something available.
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helpfinder earned 500 total points
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if you have to monitor printed jobs the best way it to have printers centralized. If not, then you have to monitor each computer. Or printer could have this feature - some log - in the management. It depends on the printer model. Browse each IP and check.

Regarding Papercut there are information:
Date / Time / User / No, of pages / Printer name / Document name / Computer name / Paper size / Duplex / Grayscale or color / Size

But there is not a reason to worry aboout print server - as I told you, it could be a regular PC running 24/7 (or during working time) with installed printers. So print job won´t go from user>printer but from user>printserver>printer so on print server you are collecting all the data.

I tested a little bit that software and made a document with screenshots for one friend, so I am attaching this so you can check. On printscreens you can see the data which are saved and how you can handle them
PAPER-CUT-PRINT-LOGGER-EN.pdf
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by:prosit
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I appreciate you taking the time to demo it, however it still doesn't do what I want.  And I'm guessing it's not possible...

Thank you again, enjoy the points!
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by:DansDadUK
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You can configure each printer instance to keep a copy of the printed documents - see http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/where-are-print-jobs-keep-printed-documents/8eac965d-6d69-4f84-920f-240fe9f862e2

You'd need (third-party) software (e.g. SwiftView or PCLWorks for PCL; GhostScript for PostScript), to 'view' the contents of the saved files (in 'raw' format); not sure about 'emf'.
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