Printer GPP randomly being a PITA
It's everyone's favourite topic! And it's driving me bl%%dy mad at the moment and making me look bad to boot.
We did the Windows 7 thing this summer, so printers needed redeploying which we did from a new 2k8R2 print server. We used to do printers by GPO (pushprinterconnections.exe etc.) but under 2k8R2, printers were never unlinked from roaming profiles, so students ended up with every printer in school added. Rubbish.
So we moved to GPP which, 98% of the time, works fine. We can set the default, clear all printers etc. but intermittently, printers will fail to install on login.
Each printer has its own GPO. Loopback processing is set to merge, and a shared printer is added under User Preferences using the FQDN of the server. Using the NetBIOS name was worse. Using the print server's IP made no difference. We need to add them shared for PCounter, we can't add them directly by IP.
Setting a VBS script to force a gpupdate on login seems to fix the problem at login. Unfortunately when policy refreshes in the background, printers then sometimes disappear. Not a problem for most people, but some staff are logged on at machines for longer than an hour so get hit by this 90 minute refresh (this includes my line manager in SMT).
If I set the group policy to not refresh printers during background policy refreshes, it prevents the login script from re-evaluating printers, so printers might be missing from login, therefore affecting more users. Not an improvement.
All my printers are using the most up to date drivers available (Oki Executive Series, fwiw). The most common error is 0x80070bc4 No printers were found but occasionally 0x8007007a The data area passed to a system call is too small crops up as well.
If I tick the Common option to Run in Logged On Users Security Context then I get errors about the environment being incorrect instead, and there's no improvement.
98% of the time it is fine. The printers are all added fine. There is no rhyme nor reason to the failures. I am going mad trying to pin this down.
So: anyone know why this happens occasionally? Anyone know how to stop background refreshes without blocking the script, or a way to retrigger the script on background refresh? A way of getting more detailed logs than what I'm seeing in the application log?
Or, if all else fails, anyone got a nice, quick, clean script to add a printer that won't slow logins down? No need for logic with the computer name etc. as the one-GPO-per-printer works fine.
tl;dr: why won't printer GPP just work, goddammit.