Print Server Driver Change Causes Client Issues

We have a Windows Server 2008 x86 print server with mostly HP printers on it. We connect the printers for the users with a login script in Group Policy.

I have found that when changing the driver for one of the printers on the print server it affects some of the other printers on the client end (for example, if one of my printers is using the Universal driver and I switch it to the driver for that specific model). After doing such a driver change we will get calls from random users saying that they can't print - always HP, but not necessarily the same model of printer. Simply removing and re-adding the printer on the client machine is not possible. We have to rip all traces of the affected printer out of the registry and then re-add it.

We had these issues on our previous print server as well, so I am assuming this is a known issue. Anyone know why this happens?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrej PirmanCommented:
Do you also update "the other architecture", like 32/64 bit drivers on that server upon update? Might be some versions conflict between updated 64-bit drivers on server, but forgetting to also update 32-bit version drivers on server.
MCSFAuthor Commented:
Nope. It's a 32 bit server, 32 bit drivers only, and all 32 bit clients.
Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
Are you getting an error that the print driver isn't installed or that the printer isn't found when you try viewing printer properties or when printing to it?

It's an issue with some HP print drivers: when you change the driver, it modifies the "HPTrayCount" registry value to an invalid number and basically renders the printer unusable.

You can manually modify the value to resolve the issue, but completely removing the printer from the registry and re-adding the printer would also do it.

The value in question is:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\Printers\PRINTER_NAME\PrinterDriverData\HPTrayCount

When the driver change resets that value to 0, it causes a problem.  Change it to 12.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
MCSFAuthor Commented:
The solution didn't solve the root issue, but it should help shorten the amount of time it takes to fix client machines.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Printers and Scanners

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.