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O/S Deployment Thread, FOG printer deployment problem in Technical; Hi Foggy Edugeekers! Since switching to 2008 we've had a rough ride getting printer deployment working- we're still set on ...
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    FOG printer deployment problem

    Hi Foggy Edugeekers!

    Since switching to 2008 we've had a rough ride getting printer deployment working- we're still set on doing it 'properly' under AD but I'd also like to be able to do it via FOG as it seems like it is a damn sight simpler to achieve than doing it via AD however it isn't quite working properly right now.

    We are running FOG 0.31 under buntu 10.04.2 with a 2008 AD DC and trying to deploy printers to XP SP3 machines. I've setup my printers as per the FOG user guide and when I login to a machine set to have its printer deployed via FOG I choose 'refresh printers' from the FOG menu, FOG then tells me it has installed my printer although nothing appears under Printers and Faxes. If I then look under the printer server properties I can see that FOG has successfully created the required IP port AND installed the printer driver too so I'm at a loss as to why the printer doesn't actually come up. I've tried both 'Add printer' and 'Add and Remove' printers as both a regular unpriv user and a domain admin user with the same result. It would help if I knew where FOG reports any errors with printer deployment - I can't find that under the FOG management UI.

    Anyone got printers deploying via FOG with a similar setup?

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    morganw's Avatar
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    I always found that the FOG printer system on XP had some timing based issues.
    SourceForge.net: FOG - A Free Cloning Solution: Topic: Printer service causes logon error
    If you consistently don't get it though I would think it's probably down to some Group Policy settings that may be restricting the addition of new printers.

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    danboid (9th August 2011)

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    Hi morganw!

    Thanks for your suggestions, although they haven't helped a whole lot unfortunately.

    The thread you linked to seems to suggest I patch, recompile and then deploy a FOG .dll although it doesn't give any instructions on how to do the patch and recompiling bit and I am a total virgin when it comes to win dev stuff. Having to replace the .dll on all my hosts would be a bit of a pain too but certainly doable.

    I personally don't think this is a group policy issue because as I mentioned I have exactly the same problem when I do this as a domain admin who has no problems installing drivers, adding and removing printers manually so it shouldn't be a problem for the FOG service either if I log in as such a user at least, but it is.

    I had another quick, non-exhaustive play with this today and at least now I know where FOG dumps its printer errors- in the root of the C: drive on the client machine and the specific error I get is "Failed: it looks like the local printer is missing".

    I've got the drivers stored on a cheap NAS device but tomorrow I will try storing the drivers on a Windows share (read-only) then a samba share and finally having the drivers stored locally to see if its a permissions prob. The current share holding the drivers is RW which shouldn't be a problem but maybe FOG is super-anal about the share being read-only as it does specify that in the docs.

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    It's been a been a while but I seem to remember that the timing issue caused errors when setting the default printer because the printers were added slowly and so it was trying to set the default before it was actually there. My FOG stuff is all shutdown now as I've temporarily switched to MDT2010, but I think that error was when the the printer name didn't match anything in the driver definition file. Are you trying to setup a printer that prints directly to the IP address of the physical printer or have you shared a printer on a server?

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    Had another go today - I know for sure that the printer name is correct as I copy/pasted it out of the .inf file but I verified that today by installing it locally and checking the name and that it printed with the driver I've been trying to use and everything was fine. I tried putting the drivers on a read-only 2008 share instead but that made no difference so I'm pretty convinced now that it is a timing issue that I will likely only get fixed with the patched .dll. Patching it wouldn't be a prob, its just the compilation bit I'm unsure of. Has anyone here already patched the faulty .dll who may be able to upload and share for the Visual C (or whatever) impaired please?

    Actually, I'm one version behind in FOG although I saw no mention of this being fixed in the release notes so maybe installing the latest client would be worth a shot, if it has been updated?

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    morganw's Avatar
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    I just used Group Policy Preferences instead although you'll end up adding OUs and GPOs all over the place to acomodate people with fussy requirements for which printers they want. I'm pretty sure that the printer problem was never fixed, I don't think the service has been updated for ages as it still has issues with Windows 7 as well.

    I've not heard of anyone recompiling the service even though the source is all there. I've just switched to using this Logon script.

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    morganw's Avatar
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    Just another thought:
    as a test you could try with Windows Vista or 7 as I don't think they had the same timing issue.

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    It would be interesting to see if this is fixed with w7 now but we're still stuck with XP for the majority of machines and personally I prefer it that way- I'd bring back server 2003 given half a chance too! Seems to me MS have had their heyday.

    I'll try going through the official channels and see if I can get a response off the devs on this as I reckon you've correctly identified the prob, it sounds like its been fixed and if it worked it would be an infinitely easier way to deploy printers than the unnecessarily complex mindfuck that is AD with its labyrinth of intentionally complicated policies, OUs, scripts etc etc.

    I forgot to mention that its a standalone, networked HP laserjet I've been trying to deploy btw.

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    I have found that with XP and printer deployment through FOG, it is best to set it up to connect to the share name (network printer) instead of using just the drive and the IP.

    As for W7 - using a group policy to deploy the printers has worked flawlessly in our Server2008R2 environment.

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