Windows 7 Thread, Laptops - setting printer based on the room they're in .. in Technical; Ok, so, I don't know if this can be done easily without a lot of hassle, but I thought I'd ...
15th December 2011, 03:50 PM #1
Laptops - setting printer based on the room they're in ..
Ok, so, I don't know if this can be done easily without a lot of hassle, but I thought I'd ask the question.
We have a few laptop trollies now, mainly they are used within a small selection of rooms with a couple of printers between them, so I have simply added those laptops to a Sec Group and used GPP to deploy the printers of those areas to the laptops and the staff choose the printer they need from the laptop. Easy.
However, occassionally, laptop trollies stray into other areas of the school because the usual one has been booked out so they need to have access to the other laptop trolley instead that isn't being used, which then becomes a problem as they could potentially be walking across school to collect printing.
I realise I could just have all printers listed and let staff install printers as they need them, however, last time I did this, one member of staff got fed up of their printing being used by someone else that they added all the other available printers and sent a copy of work to each printer!! GAH!
So, is there a way in which I can, based on something or other, have the laptops decide where they are and go "oh, you'll be wanting to print to the library then, not the class room I'm normally in" or is this just going to be a nightmare?
There are a number of access points around the school, so I don't know whether there's a way to detect which Access Point they are connected to and add the relevant printers for that area or something?
Anyway, either a big fat "you're having a laugh, come back and ask again in 25 years" moment, or a "yeah, that's really easy, can't believe you're doing your job and you don't know how to do it. Do x, y and z and ta da" response would be good.
Andy T :-)
IDG Tech News
15th December 2011, 10:23 PM #2
This isn't going to be easy, but I believe it can be done. Your chief requirement is going to be able to identify where in the building where the laptops are, and the only way you would be able to do that is by the access point. Would being able to pinpoint what AP the machine is associated to be close enough? If so, here's what you can do.
The MAC address of the associated access point can be queried from WMI. With this, you can either deploy your printers by means of a VB script, or group policy. Let's say group policy for now. You can create a GPO to deploy each group of printers surrounding each AP in the building and apply them all to the computer OU. Next, you can filter what laptops the policies are applied to by means of creating WMI filters in AD. You can write a filter for each AP's MAC address and apply it to the appropriate policy. So the WMI filter containing the MAC address for AP01 would be applied to the printer policy for the area surrounding AP01.
Here is what you need to query in WMI:
WMI Class: MSNdis_80211_BaseServiceSetIdentifier
The thing you have to watch out for is the MAC is going to come out of WMI in decimal, so when you write your filtering query you'll need to convert the AP's MAC from hex to decimal.
I use WMI filters in AD for applying policies selectively to machines based on what version of Windows they're running, but I've never done something like this. But if it is in WMI, you should be able to filter by it.
Last edited by Duke5A; 16th December 2011 at 03:13 AM.
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soveryapt (19th December 2011)
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