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What is the best way to deal with printers in a Win7 roaming profile environment?

Posted on 2014-10-08
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Last Modified: 2014-10-16
Just signed on with a new employer. They have ~50 desktop thin clients and ~15 printers.  The users are setup for roaming profiles with XP.  They are upgrading shortly to Win7.

My question is, what is the best way to deal with issuing printers?  All the printers are shared on a Server 2008 r2 print server.  AD is on 2003 r2.  I made a login script attaching to all the printers and the login process took over 10 minutes to connect and install each driver.

Specific questions:
1) Best way to assign or issue printers?  (GPO?  Login script? Manual?)
2) Best way to ensure the printers don't add to the boot process much (a way to pre-install all the drivers onto the Win7 image?)

Thank you,
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Question by:Eric Carver
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by:
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 40369458
copy all of the printer drivers into the c:\windows\sytem32\driverstore  this way a standard user can install a printer driver.
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Assisted Solution

by:alandc
alandc earned 250 total points
ID: 40369806
Logically the printers should be available to the nearest workstation not all the workstations. I usually divide the computers into groups (usually departments but sometimes by building floors and wings) then assign printers to the computer OU groups not the users.  The users can roam but the printers remain localized. They can choose to install more than one printer but the one closest will be force installed and set default each time they login.
Years ago before AD was powerful with GPO I set this locally using a utility that ran in the startup group (on Windows XP I think) that set the default printer.  This required manually installing the printers on the workstation and configuring each workstation manually for the default printer.  The users could come and go but the default printer would always be reset/restored.  AD/GP is much more elegant and scaleable.
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Author Comment

by:Eric Carver
ID: 40384820
Thanks for your help guys.  I used a bit of both of your comments to help my environment.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Eric Carver
ID: 40384827
I didn't accept my own, it's not checked - why does the site think I did?
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