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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Universal Printer Driver in Technical; We are currently commissioning a new print server [The old one is an ex NT4 server and we are finding ...
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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Universal Printer Driver

    We are currently commissioning a new print server [The old one is an ex NT4 server and we are finding it slow and unreliable] While adding the print drivers to the server I found a universal printer driver on the HP site.

    Link to HP Universal Printer Driver

    It occurred to me that some of the unreliability issues may have come from corrupted/old drivers, and that I might be able to use one driver for all of my HP printers on the network. I have tested it and it appears to work for the laser and inkjet printers.

    I am also thinking about trying it with some of the older Brother printers. That aside I thought this universal driver might be of interest to other Network Managers who may not have found it already [I found it because I did not want to use the CD which came with the HP printers which may have had pre-existing issues affecting our current server] It also means that I will have only one driver to update in future instead of the myriad I have now.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    You will have BIG problems as it tries to install itself to the client and initiates an install routine. Jon Honeyball in PC Pro has recently highlighted this in his column. I've had no end of problems with this horrible thing.

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box
    You will have BIG problems as it tries to install itself to the client and initiates an install routine. Jon Honeyball in PC Pro has recently highlighted this in his column. I've had no end of problems with this horrible thing.
    Thanks Dos_Box.

    Looks like more testing and perhaps a re-think might be in order then?

    Anyone else tried this yet?

    Server: Windows 2003 SP1
    Workstations: Windows XP SP2
    Network: Viglen Classlik7

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    To continue this thread, since I am still working on the 'new' print server, I have now ditched the idea of the Universal Print Driver and have installed printer specific drivers. I chose to install the most up-to-date drivers I could find for each printer. Now what I find is that Word does not print borders around boxes, or drawing objects like arrows etc, also printed Pubilsher are corrupt, the list goes on. I have now removed the newer drivers and installed the same versions that was on the old print server and we are still seeing the same problems. I now want to go back to the newer drivers and want to find a way to resolve these issue.

    I have changed:

    The print processor WinPrint/Raw, WinPrint/Raw[FF appended], WinPrint/Raw[FF auto],..., HPZPP4wm/Raw, HPZPP4wm/Raw [FF appended],...

    How graphics are printed [Raster or Vector]

    Can anyone suggest a way out of this mess [apart from re-instating the old print server, as that is really on its last legs and about to expire any day now]

    Many thanks.

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    I have addressed some of the issues raised in earlier posts, but I am now seeing a new issue. I have to ‘introduce’ printers to stations by double clicking the printer share at the print server. Once the printer is ‘known’ to the station I can then capture the image.

    If I don’t do this when the logon script to allocate the printer runs the user gets an message saying that there is an error in the script at line nn. The line number depends on which printer is to be allocated:

    If it is a station in admin it could be line 3, if it is in science it could be line 90. But it is not the error that is the problem; it is the fact that the printer has to have been installed by the local administrator before this script can run successfully. This was not necessary on the old print server and I can’t find where the old and new servers differ.

    Anyone else seen this or have any ideas how to tackle it?

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    User3204's Avatar
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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    Yes, we have this permission issue.

    Only admin level accounts can install printer drivers initially, or possibly it's associated to power user access.

    To an extent, I quite like it... as it means that students can't install/print to the wrong printers. The printers are reset at logon for all users, but only if the drivers are installed.

    It means we have to logon to each workstation image, and decide which printer drivers will be necessary.


    I have been moving towards a Linux printer server, as all my previous NT & 2000/2003 printer servers have had spooler issues, that eventually required them to be re-installed...

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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    Theres scripts in the wiki which will install all you printer drivers at startup

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP
    .... Now what I find is that Word does not print borders around boxes, or drawing objects like arrows etc, also printed Pubilsher are corrupt, the list goes on. ....
    This sounds like it's linked to an ongoing print problem I have. What happens with my printers though is most users have no problems at all but the occasional one finds that when printing Word or similar documents containing borders / boxes etc the boxes print but the text fails. Yet if their document is pulled up by someone with Admin powers all print as on the screen :?:

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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP
    I have addressed some of the issues raised in earlier posts, but I am now seeing a new issue. I have to ‘introduce’ printers to stations by double clicking the printer share at the print server. Once the printer is ‘known’ to the station I can then capture the image.

    If I don’t do this when the logon script to allocate the printer runs the user gets an message saying that there is an error in the script at line nn. The line number depends on which printer is to be allocated:

    If it is a station in admin it could be line 3, if it is in science it could be line 90. But it is not the error that is the problem; it is the fact that the printer has to have been installed by the local administrator before this script can run successfully. This was not necessary on the old print server and I can’t find where the old and new servers differ.

    Anyone else seen this or have any ideas how to tackle it?
    You certainly shouldn't see any problems like this - network printers should be installable by any user with no special prvileges (either by using Add Printer; double clicking a printer share or running a script which does an add network printer.

    There are problems (which I think MS has acknowledged but I now can't find on their web site) with some larger print drivers during logon if the printer is being added with a script. Basically, the driver is copied at this point but the process can time out. If this happens, then you can get bits of the driver corrupted and all sorts of weirdness can happen (with kernel mode drivers you can even blue screen).

    I've written about this before - http://edugeek.net/index.php?name=Fo...wtopic&p=61400 - and suggested trying an HP LaserJet 4 driver. This will work with almost all modern printers that understand PCL (most of them) and might help. It's also worth trying the driver deleter mentioned in that article to clear out all the rubbish.

    I'd love to have no printers at all - life would be so much easier :-)

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    Re: Universal Printer Driver

    I find that users are unable to add printer drivers, I run my printer scripts at startup and login to fix the issue. The printer is allowed to be installed, but the user seems to lack sufficient privileges for it to install everything. It appears but returns errors as if it wasn't installed.

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