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Windows 7 Thread, Strange printer issue; is our setup OK? in Technical; Hi, We use Windows Server 2008's Print Management to deploy printers via GP (targets computers, not users). We then noticed ...
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    Strange printer issue; is our setup OK?

    Hi,

    We use Windows Server 2008's Print Management to deploy printers via GP (targets computers, not users). We then noticed that these printers were available as students moved around different computer rooms, so we used a log-off script to remove all printers. This has been working fine but somehow prints are going to the wrong printer sometimes.

    I assumed the printer wasn't being removed but we have caught a few students doing this (accidentally) before they logged off and they have the correct printer installed and it worked fine after that. So it seems the issue disappears by the time I turn up without anything actually changing.

    Printers use IPs reserved in DHCP so they cannot be using the same IP address. The issue has happened when printing from different software (MS Office, IE, Photoshop, Music Software). I've tried logging a student in and then not logging off and log on somewhere else but again the correct printer is listed and it works.

    Has anyone else had this issue? Is there another way to provide access to printers that I can try which may help the issue. I would have thought I was doing it the best way but then that doesn't remove the settings, only applies them!

    Many thanks

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    alexsanger's Avatar
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    Using GP Preferences myself - seems to work fine and dead easy to set up for printers shared from the server. Have both XP SP3 and Win 7 x64 clients. I apply the printers to users in a GPO on the OU for the room, so achieveing the same end as you.

    Edit - I set each printer up using "replace" instead of "update", which allows you to check the box to remove the item if the policy is removed. So far, so good for us.
    Last edited by alexsanger; 12th March 2012 at 01:13 PM.

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    I'm not using GP itself to add the printers, but the Print Management software which uses a GPO to push the settings somehow. I think I did originally try using GP but it wasn't working. I'll give it another go and let you know my findings.

    Thanks

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    When adding a printer using a GPO, the issue we have is the printer is added, but there is no port listed (so it doesn't work). In the GPO settings I have specified a port and path (both the same); \\server\printer.

    Adding the printer manually with these settings works. Any idea why the port isn't listed? The options are greyed out from the PC and no port is ticked.

    Thanks

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    kcymer's Avatar
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    We tried both GPO and print management:
    Print management - does not allow to set default printer, lots of printers stay in the profile, unless you use script
    GPO way - not reliable, students not always get a printer - some errors with ports - did not make any sense, as they could log off and login again and it worked.

    So we went back to login scripts - first remove shared printers and than add printer in the current location - works all the time without any problems

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    Thanks for the advice. What commands do you run to add and remove printers in the script? How do you check what room they are in? By computer name?

    Thanks

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    kcymer's Avatar
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    One way of doing it with this script : MyPCHealth

    We use something simpler, as above you create one big script, what we use is bit of code to remove printers:
    Code:
    strComputer = "."
    Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
    Set colInstalledPrinters = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
    ("Select * From Win32_Printer Where Network = True")
    For Each objPrinter in colInstalledPrinters
    objPrinter.Delete_
    And script to map printer
    Code:
    Dim objNetwork, strUNCPrinter
    strUNCPrinter = "\\servername\PrinterName"
    Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
    objNetwork.AddWindowsPrinterConnection strUNCPrinter
    
    objNetwork.SetDefaultPrinter strUNCPrinter
    WScript.Echo "Check the Printers folder for : " & strUNCPrinter
    
    WScript.Quit

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    Thanks for the info.

    As a quick attempt for a fix I set the "delete all network printers" command (reg delete "hkcu\printers\connections" /f) as a logon script (as well as the existing logoff script) just to make sure all printers were being deleted. I didn't know if that would interfere with the GP setting to add printers when they log on but it seems fine, and so far all is looking good!

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I think there must be other issues, as I deploy printers using GPO in all my networks with zero problems (touchwood).

    If you deploy printers per computer, then it's available to any user who logs on.

    If you deploy printers per user, then you can control who has access to what a lot easier.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    If you are using roaming profiles then yes the printers can follow the users.
    Quote from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304767
    By design, when a user is using a roaming profile, that user's default printer roams with the user profile.
    I use GPPs to map printers and the first thing that runs is a deletion of all existing printers before processing the rest. Works flawlessly every time.
    Last edited by sparkeh; 20th March 2012 at 01:26 PM.

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    > If you deploy printers per computer, then it's available to any user who logs on.
    > If you deploy printers per user, then you can control who has access to what a lot easier.

    In our environment "per computer" is what we want, and it appears to be working OK (just this strange phantom printing)

    > If you are using roaming profiles then yes the printers can follow the users.

    Yes, that's what we found so we now have logon/logoff scripts to delete all printers

    > I use GPPs to map printers and the first thing that runs is a deletion of all existing printers
    > before processing the rest. Works flawlessly every time.

    Not heard of GPP. Or is that just adding printers through GP?

    Thanks

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramsay View Post
    Not heard of GPP. Or is that just adding printers through GP?

    Thanks
    No no, its using Group Policy Preferences rather than just straight group policy.
    There is a guide here that also has links explaining GPPs: PeteNetLive - KB0000492 - Deploying Printers with Group Policy Preferences

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    OK thanks, I will set up our printers using that guide when I get a bit of time and see how that works for us.

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    Just found today a few students who have the right printer listed (in Control Panel and Office) but in Adobe Reader there is another printer there (set as default)! It is likely that these students were in the room with this printer but even though Windows has removed it (after they logged on somewhere else) Adobe Reader still shows it.

    I don't think this is the original problem, as people had been printing from other applications. I'm sure it has got better but it's still happening (hopefully just Adobe Reader now!).

    I wonder where this setting would be stored. I looked in the AppData/Roaming/Adobe folder of their profile but cannot see anything obvious. I guess I need to find a way to exclude the file/folder where this setting is saved to avoid it happening. Fresh settings for Adobe Reader each time is fine. Any help appreciated.

    Thanks

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