Adding Printers via Group Policy are not installing: Error 0x800703eb

Im deploying printers via group policy. The print server is a Windows Server 2012, the clients are all Windows 7 32-Bit.

The policy is getting the correct settings but the printer is not showing up. In event viewer i get the following error:

The computer '192.168.9.49' preference item in the 'Printers {6CDA8498-65F2-4B71-BA11-666293604519}' Group Policy object did not apply because it failed with error code '0x800703eb Cannot complete this function.' This error was suppressed.

I've ENABLED Point and Print Executions to not show warning or elevation prompt. But that hasn't resolved it. Anyone know what I'm missing?
Brad NelsonOwnerAsked:
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Frosty555Commented:
Usually this is a driver issue. Either the driver on Windows Server 2012 is not compatible with the Windows 7 clients (like you have a 64-bit driver on the server, and your clients are 32-bit, or the printer manufacturer doesn't provide a unified driver architecture and under the hood you actually need different driver files for Server 2012 vs Windows 7), or the driver doesn't support deployment in this way because of something missing that gets included in the setup EXE provided by the manufacturer but doesn't get deployed via Windows Server 2012.

Make sure the 32-bit drivers are installed and included in the Printer options on the server. If you have other options for what driver to use on the server (such as a "generic" driver provided by the manufacturer, or PCL vs PS), try different ones.

Or, try installing the manufacturer drivers onto the Windows 7 PC first

Some printers (especially cheap consumer printers) just don't like to be deployed this way.
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
The workstations are indeed 32-bit. I installed the 32bit driver, but to add "Additional Drviers", its greyed out so i can't add it.I agree with you, and feel its a driver issue, but cant figure out how to resolve it.

I also did install the printer manually so the driver would be on the computer then removed the printer to see if the GPO would install it,  but it didn't


I'm sharing the printer out as \\printer-server\printerA  and on the workstation i can install that printer by double-clicking on the printer from the network, so i know the printer driver is valid, and the UNC path is valid.
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Frosty555Commented:
I'm sharing the printer out as \\printer-server\printerA  and on the workstation i can install that printer by double-clicking on the printer from the network, so i know the printer driver is valid, and the UNC path is valid.

It's deceiving... I don't know exactly why but I've run into this exact situation myself and even though installing the printer manually via the UNC path works, installing it via the GPO fails and it's actually the driver's fault.

What model of printer is it? Do they have any different drivers available, like a generic "unified" driver?
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
I have tried 2 different model printers and tried the following drivers:

Okidata B710N(PCL) Driver
Oki PC6 universal Driver
Xerox PCL6 Class Driver
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McKnifeCommented:
Do you use the user part of the policy? If so, it would require admins. Use the computer part and assign that policy to computer objects.
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
We're using the Computer Configuration to setup the printers.
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McKnifeCommented:
Ok. Please try alternatively to use native GPO printer deployment and not group policy preference based deployment.
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
OK here is an update:

if i add the printers in the GPO under:
Computer Config > Policies > Windows Settings > Printer Connections

They get installed. However I need them under:
Computer Config > Preferences > Control Panel > Printer so that i can take advantage of Item-Level targeting.

Any ideas why the printer would install from GPO using the 1st method but not 2nd method?
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McKnifeCommented:
No idea. I found the prefs item buggy several years ago, maybe it still is.
"so that i can take advantage of Item-Level targeting" - item-level targeting is just an applied wmi-filter. You can create a wmi filter and apply it to your other GPO, too.
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
Ya but if i had to go that approach, id have to have about 50+ group policies to get all these printers matched to all these locations
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McKnifeCommented:
Yep, correct. That's administrative overhead. Did you test it with clean machines already? Did you use other drivers but the OKI ones?
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thats called "unnecessary administrative overhead" and its not required to get the printers to work. I do server admin for large corporations and use the GPO printer and item-level functions, they work for other companies, but not this one. I'm not about to install 100 GPO's just because its not working here, when we both know Microsoft designed the GPO to be able to deploy printers in the fashion that i'm attempting.

Thanks for your assistance up to this point.
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McKnifeCommented:
And my questions?
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
Sorry, ya I tried HP drivers for the HP printers, both universal as well as model-specific. I think i answered that way up in the thread already.
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McKnifeCommented:
I had a second question about testing with clean machines (OS only).
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
If by clean machines you mean a machine that has not had the printer driver already installed on it, then no. All the computers in the offices were configured manually with the printers prior to them wanting to configure GPO.
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McKnifeCommented:
No. Clean=OS only, domain joined, nothing else.
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McKnifeCommented:
Could you solve it?
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Brad NelsonOwnerAuthor Commented:
No, they scratched the project. Thanks for trying.
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Chief AvocadoChief of Problem Avocado'sCommented:
I was trying to deploy a HP M602, New clean builds of Win10 were OK, but older Win7 machines were getting the 0x800703eb error.   The Win7 machines had the printer by an old GPO, I decided to delete the GPO and start with a new one.

The solution for me was to remove the previously deployed drivers from each workstation, then on next boot the printer appeared and the error message gone.

Hope this helps someone.

--Paul
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