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Windows Thread, Installing printers for all users on lab computers in Technical; This is a common problem. I thought that I've solved it before but now I can't remember how. I feel ...
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    ronanian's Avatar
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    Question Installing printers for all users on lab computers

    This is a common problem. I thought that I've solved it before but now I can't remember how. I feel like I'm re-inventing the wheel.

    We have computer labs where any domain user can login on any computer and do basic work with Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and so on. We have a printer in each lab which has an IP address that is only used by the server; the server has the printer installed and shared. We need to install the shared printer once on each computer and have it show up for all users on that computer.

    Currently, if I login as domain administrator, browse to the server, right-click the printer and click "connect", it installs the printer for administrator but the printer does not show up for other users (whether they have a profile on the computer or have never logged in).

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    Hi there,
    You can create a batch file with the following command. You will need to run the batch file once on each machine.

    ::Use this line to add the printer
    rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /ga /n\\SERVERNAME\printershare

    ::Use this line if you need to remove the printer
    rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /gd /n\\SERVERNAME\printershare


    You will need to restart the Printer Spooler service before they appear!

    Switches:
    /ga = Add printer per machine i.e all users
    /n = Printer name
    /y = set printer as default
    /gd = DELETE printer per machine i.e all users


    Hope that helps.

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    Server etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by ronanian View Post
    This is a common problem. I thought that I've solved it before but now I can't remember how. I feel like I'm re-inventing the wheel.

    We have computer labs where any domain user can login on any computer and do basic work with Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and so on. We have a printer in each lab which has an IP address that is only used by the server; the server has the printer installed and shared. We need to install the shared printer once on each computer and have it show up for all users on that computer.

    Currently, if I login as domain administrator, browse to the server, right-click the printer and click "connect", it installs the printer for administrator but the printer does not show up for other users (whether they have a profile on the computer or have never logged in).
    What server are you running and do you make use of GPOs as I deploy all my printers via Computer GPOs at startup the machines that don't change and then for certain users I deploy using user settings on GPOs.

    I'm using 2003r2 with XP machines and it's the print server that comes as part of 2003 r2 that I use to help with the deployment. All you need to do then is deploy the pushprinterconnections.exe using a startup or login script and bish bash bosh, printers deployed. If it will be of use I can try and put together a few links that helped me when setting this up.


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    ronanian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aptproductions View Post
    What server are you running and do you make use of GPOs
    We're running Server 2008, and the lab computers run XP. We're not currently using GPOs here.

    as I deploy all my printers via Computer GPOs at startup the machines that don't change and then for certain users I deploy using user settings on GPOs.
    That would work great if I only had one lab, but they need a different printer depending on where they are. I think there's a way to do it based on the computer's AD account location property but that may be getting way too deep.

    I'm going to try rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /ga /n\\SERVERNAME\printershare and see if that works out well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronanian
    That would work great if I only had one lab, but they need a different printer depending on where they are. I think there's a way to do it based on the computer's AD account location property but that may be getting way too deep.
    I have 3 different printers across the schools and the machines are in various OUs in the AD depending on their location. I use GPOs to then deploy to the various machines, but you can also tell the GPO to only apply to specific Computers / Users if you need to.

    For instance, I have the IT Lab printer and over the other side of the school a Leavers unit printer. I deploy the printers to the machines using GPOs so that the machines in the IT Lab print to the IT Lab printer and the ones in the leavers unit print only to the Leavers unit printer. When a user logs on, because the machine holds the printer on it, they just get to use that.

    I only push to users for people such as myself (so that it doesn't matter which machine I log onto in the school I can send print to which ever I need to) and staff with laptops so that when they log in they can print to the printer nearest to their staff room / classroom.

    It's all really quite simple when you use GPOs, they're not as scary as they appear. You just need to make sure you organise your AD in a sensible fashion. Over the past 6 months I've been in this particular school I've rebuilt the AD from the ground up as it's a lot easier to manage, but for a quick fix if you're not confident on them the batch scripts also work well.


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    Print Management with 2003 R2 or 2008 Server is easily better than scripts! This is a good guide to give you an idea how easy it is to setup.

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    You could always try adprintx, which you can download from the url below. You just need to call it from your login scripts

    con2prt - Add or Remove Printer Connections

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    Computer rooms/printing

    We deal with this issue via scripts.

    The script is linked to the domain/site; it looks at the first 6 letters of the computer name (which includes the College site and room); and maps to the printer (e.g. \\server\printer) and also maps another printer to the site's copier-printer combi, it then sets the former as the default. This ensures that any student/staff will always print to the printer in the room by default, but they can always select the copier as an alternative (it's useful if the printer in the room isn't functioning for some reason).

    We use this in all student rooms which contain computers; full computer rooms or classrooms (many of our classrooms include some IT; usually 9 computers along one wall). How do other College/schools have IT distributed?

    I understand that Win2008 Server has built-in facilities for this; so we may look at moving over to this, but I haven't investigated it yet.

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    The other way to do it, although it will probably be a bit more work, is to add the printer as a local printer on each machine seting the port as a tcp/ip port.

    Will then show up for all users, but no central management of the print queue, each workstation will serve it's own.

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