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Printers and roaming profiles

Posted on 2014-09-23
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Last Modified: 2014-11-04
Hello,

I am trying to determine the best way to have the same printers available on a computer regardless of who logs onto that computer.  We are a windows 2008 network with win 7 clients.  We are using roaming profiles for the users that roam so they can have their IE favs and such.  I think the group policy preferences would be the best way to go, but I just don't know if it is going to clash with roaming profiles or not?  How would I figure out if the group policy settings would clash with roaming profiles or not, and how would I setup group policy preferences for specific computers so every user who logs onto it has the same default, local and network printers configurations.

Thanks,
Mike
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Question by:cheesebugah
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by:Alexios
Alexios earned 250 total points
ID: 40340867
Hello
You can use Print Management which has a powerful “Deploy with Group Policy” feature.
It can be deployed by selecting  “per machine” option.

In Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 you need to install the “Print Server”-role from the “Add Roles Wizard”.

Follow the instructions from this article
http://blog.powershell.no/2009/11/08/deploying-printers-using-group-policy/
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Spike99 earned 250 total points
ID: 40341482
How many computers are you talking about? If it's just one or two computers, I would just install the printers using an IP port or other local port on that machine.  If you install the local printer on the machine when logged on as an administrator, all users who log on to the same computer will see that same group of printers.  That can become difficult to manage if you have a lot of computers, though

So, if you're talking about a ton of computers, another way to go is to create a logon script that will connect users to printers on a print server.  You would only need to make sure that the drivers for the printers are installed on the computers in question.

I never deployed printers using GPO, we always use a GPO to point to the logon script which is what mapped those printer connections for users.  This posting on spiceworks.com has an example of a script similar to the one we used on my last job:
http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/37450-how-can-i-add-a-network-printer-automatically-with-a-logon-script-in-sbs2003

We used a VBS script similar to the one Stuart3205 described, but I've also seen logon batch files using this format:
rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /in /n \\server_name\printer_name, as Eric described.

I hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:cheesebugah
ID: 40341886
I greatly appreciate the suggestions.  We have a bunch of shared computers.  Can anyone address the part of my question regarding roaming profiles and GPO policies?  How do I know if there are printers following users with roaming profiles?  Can I configure a GP to override those printers in their profiles if there are?

Thanks,
Mike
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Author Comment

by:cheesebugah
ID: 40360739
Printers definitely follow users with roaming profiles.  I found this that seems very promising.

http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/304767

I tested method 1 on my PC to no avail.  This seems pretty easy and straightforward and I don't know why it doesn't work on my PC?  There must be something missing or a little askew in method 1?  Or, we're having permissions issues as no one is a local admin on their machine.  I'm thinking method 2 is the best method in this scenario.  This method also seems pretty simple and straightforward but testing method 1, which is essentially makes the same registry changes, doesn't seem to take.  Can someone test this and see if you can get this to work?

Thanks,
Mike
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by:Spike99
ID: 40360765
Unfortunately, we don't use roaming profiles in the Citrix desktop environment in my new job, so I'm not really in a position to test that (I don't have my own test environment to test it out on).

But, the script they describe in Method 2 of that page looks promising: I personally am much more comfortable changing that sort of behavior using either log on scripts or GPOs than I am using regedit.
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Author Comment

by:cheesebugah
ID: 40383227
Alicia,

The problem I am seeing is that I cannot set a default printer for a "computer" using a GPO.  The only way to ensure that whoever logs onto a certain computer gets a certain printer is to go through the "computer" GPO settings, not the "user" settings.  I don't know if it can be done with a  logon script?  I could run the registry hack in a logon script though.  Any further thoughts?
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by:Spike99
ID: 40384165
You could do it with  a logon script on each pc.  Just copy the script to:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

that way it would run when the user logs on to that PC.
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Author Closing Comment

by:cheesebugah
ID: 40422333
So I am deploying the printers via a GPO.  I am also calling the registry file via a logon script.  This is working beautifully so far.  Thank you for all of your help.  It is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
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by:Spike99
ID: 40422839
I'm glad I could help!
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