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Windows Server 2008 Thread, GPO based printer deployment in W2k8 Domain in Technical; As you may know (if you've been following my posts) that over the summer we switched to a 2k8 Domain/DCs. ...
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    Geoff's Avatar
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    GPO based printer deployment in W2k8 Domain

    As you may know (if you've been following my posts) that over the summer we switched to a 2k8 Domain/DCs. In a continuation of that migration we are in the process of building a w2k8 print server on our VMware box.

    Prior to this we used Ric's Printer Scripts to install and deploy printers on a per user basis. However we are interested in using the new GPO functionality to deploy printers on a per user/machine basis.

    I am already aware of the fact that this method of printer deployment isn't suitable for thin clients. We plan on retaining Ric's Printer Scripts for our Citrix infrastructure.

    So my question is, has anyone done this? Are there any pitfalls I should know about?

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Still no way to set the default printer apart from when assigning the printer to the user, which makes it pretty useless.

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    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Yes we have used it, the only pitfall I found was that you need to install a client on the PC's, but this can be done via AD anyway.

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    Are you talking about using group policy prefrences or "deploy with group policy" from the print management console.

    We use group policy preferences to install printers, which is pretty good, however we had major issues with vista clients. We have had to revert back to vb scripts to map printers to vista workstations. It works flawlessly on XP however, you can specify which printer is the default. Combining this with item level targetting makes it very powerful indeed.

    It would be interesting to see if you had any joy using this method on vista clients, if you have any.

    Matt

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Yes I am aware you have to deploy pushprinterconnections.exe

    Are you talking about using group policy prefrences or "deploy with group policy" from the print management console.
    I'm talking about both. In fact I'm puzzled as to why there is overlapping functionality. How are these two functions supposed to be used? Is it one over the other? Or together?

    One my minions had Vista up until yesterday afternoon, where upon he reformatted and put XP back in. Vista was apparently 'doing his tree in'.
    Last edited by Geoff; 15th January 2009 at 10:37 AM.

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    It's one or the other. Deploy using group policy just adds the appropriate to a hidden section of the GPO, you have no control over removing printers, or defaults etc. Using preferences, you have finite control over which machines/users the printer is deployed to.

    Since an exe needs deploying either way, you may as well deploy the gpo cse and use preferences for the extra features they give you.

    We've had for more problems making XP work the way we want it to in a 2k8 domain than we did vista. Roll on the upgrade cycle I say.

    Matt

  7. Thanks to saundersmatt from:

    Geoff (16th January 2009)

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    Zimmer's Avatar
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    We moved from a VB scripted printer deployment to Active Directory PushPrinters a while back.

    Originally our login script would map printers based on their naming convention. It would also then assign a default printer based on the most eco friendly option.

    For example, in a staff office their is a HP Laserjet and a Xerox copier. It would be more cost effective to print to the Xerox, so the script would set the Xerox as default.

    When we moved to GPO based printer deployment assigning a default printer was the only challenge we had to face. What we ended up doing was adding to the end of the printers share name the letters 'PRI' and 'SEC'. By doing this we could then write a VB script that would read the printer share names and set a default during login.

    PRI representing the first option for default printer, and SEC being the default printer should PRI be unavailable at the time of login.

    Unfortunately I am unable to share this script but I would be happy to share our old script for printer deployment.
    Last edited by Zimmer; 16th January 2009 at 09:57 AM.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I've used 2003 R2 Print Management for years and I haven't had any problems. As a recommendation, always install the latest driver, but other than this there really isn't much to it.

    Deploying pushprinterconnections.exe is very straight forward. Copy it from the Windows directory, then place it either as a Startup Script (for machines) or Logon Script for users (within AD), or indeed a combination of both.

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    Geoff (16th January 2009)

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    john's Avatar
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    Used it with good success as well, had no issues, all I do with regards to the default if pushing more than one printer out is to ensure the one I want as default has its name with an _ at the beginning of its name or at least a name thas first alphabetically out of the rest of them and that solves that problem.

  12. 2 Thanks to john:

    Geoff (16th January 2009), Zimmer (16th January 2009)

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    Zimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Used it with good success as well, had no issues, all I do with regards to the default if pushing more than one printer out is to ensure the one I want as default has its name with an _ at the beginning of its name or at least a name thas first alphabetically out of the rest of them and that solves that problem.
    I had no idea PushPrinterConnections dealt with defaulting alphabetically!

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    john's Avatar
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    Always worked fine for me and was good and reliable. So for example I had D3_COL and D3_BLA (both Printer name and Share Name) and the D3_BLA was the automatically selected Printer with it being a B and not a C So you may need to re-name your printers about a bit but it worked fine which is all I wanted and needed, so no need for anythign else like a script to recifiy that issue.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Especially the underscore tip to deal with default printers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    Still no way to set the default printer apart from when assigning the printer to the user, which makes it pretty useless.
    Yes you can?
    Theres a box on the targetting tab (i think its there anyway) that you can tick saying 'set as default printer' with another one that says 'only when a local printer isnt present' or something like that anyway.

    Our domain here is completely new, with the entire network being rebuilt from scratch over the summer. We went with 2k8, and apart from a few problems with 2600n's, our print server, touch wood, runs pretty well.
    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomam View Post
    Yes you can?
    Theres a box on the targetting tab (i think its there anyway) that you can tick saying 'set as default printer' with another one that says 'only when a local printer isnt present' or something like that anyway.

    Our domain here is completely new, with the entire network being rebuilt from scratch over the summer. We went with 2k8, and apart from a few problems with 2600n's, our print server, touch wood, runs pretty well.
    .
    I think DMcCoy was referring to the pushprinterconnections.exe (or Print Management Console) method of deploying printers, where as you are describing the GPO Client Side Extension method. But you are indeed correct with the tick boxes you describe.

    Matt

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    k-strider's Avatar
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    Do i read this right that if we upgrade / add a 2008 DC to the LAN (still 2003 R2 here) we get to push printers out using GPO using Group Policy Preferences and this works on XP clients etc...

    Do you just need to ensure the Group Policy Pref Client gets deployed from WSUS

    and Just need a 2008 DC

    or do you need to raise the whole forest / domain to 2008 Native?

    Thanks Gordon.

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