This two-part Q&A article offers a plethora of printer management pointers from our resident experts on everything from pesky connection problems to security and application compatibility issues.
SearchWin2000.com member: How do I add a network printer to all users on a Win2k Pro PC (without deleting user profiles)?
Serdar Yegulalp: One way to do this is to add a command for all users when they log on, along the lines of net use lpt2: servernameprinter /persistent:no, which will add the network printer automatically at logon.
SearchWin2000.com member: Why can't my remote users in the local 'power users' group add network printers? In our work environment, the process is successful. However, at our remote sites, users get an 'access denied' message.
Laura Hunter: Verify that there are no group policy settings that might be overriding any local security policies. Local security settings are applied before any site, domain or organizational unit group policy objects, and any conflicting settings will be overwritten by the later GPOs.
SearchWin2000.com member: How can I let users install local printers and scanners on their systems? I have checked all the regular security settings and they are disabled locally and domain-wide. The power users group does not have this right in Windows 2000 Pro either (no matter what Microsoft says). A good 40% of my users are remote and they really need to be able to install those to pieces of hardware.
Roberta Bragg: Knowledge Base article 449338, "Cannot install language monitor-based printer driver as a power user" comments on your power user issue and suggests using PrintUI to push the installation of the driver remotely. KB article 189105 "How to add printers with no user interaction in Windows" explains how to do so in a login script. When users remotely connect, authenticate and read the script, the driver should install. Here is an article on how to write a script to install printers.
SearchWin2000.com member: Do you know how I can print from a Terminal Services client connected to a TS server? I want to be able to print at my home office while connected to the TS. I know I'm supposed to install the drivers at the server end and the client should auto-create, but it is not working.
Christa Anderson: The drivers will need to be installed on the client computer for the mapping to work properly. If they already are, then make sure that printer mapping is enabled on both the client side and on the server side, and that you haven't turned off the virtual channels needed for printer support.
SearchWin2000.com member: We have a domain group that is inserted in the local administrator group of our Windows 2000 Professional machines through group policy objects (GPOs). If a member of this group adds a new network printer, other domain users that log onto this machine cannot see the printer at all -- neither in the printers screen nor in any printer selection list in any desktop software (like Microsoft Word, for instance). But if the local administrator account adds this printer, everyone can see it. What may be wrong? Is there any registry key or profile information that I can set properly?
James Michael Stewart: Perform a domain synchronization and force a machine refresh on each client using the "secedit //refreshpolicy machine_policy //enforce" command. Be sure that the 'make this printer available to all users' option is checked. And make sure the security settings on the printer allow other users to access it and none of the printer-specific controls in the GPO (especially in the Security Options, User Rights and Administrative Templates sections) are incorrectly configured for your environment.
SearchWin2000.com member: In a networked environment with printers on a server queue, how can one "capture" a printer port in a Windows 2000 Professional client (similar as in Win9x) in order to print from DOS-based applications?
Serdar Yegulalp: The best way to do this for DOS-based applications is through the NET USE command: NET USE LPT1 servernamesharename where servername is the name of the print server and sharename is the name of the shared printer.
SearchWin2000.com member: I can't print from a DOS application while running XP. I have many other computers that are also running on XP that can print to the shared printer. I can print from any other application other than DOS. I've also used 'Net use,' and it says it is not recognized. Do you know if anyone has had this same problem?
Serdar Yegulalp: The printer needs to be shared first in XP in order to reroute it via the NET USE command. Make sure you are using the correct syntax as well: NET USE LPT1 "<printer share name>>" /PERSISTENT=YES
Don't forget the quote marks. The PERSISTENT switch will allow the printer to be reconnected to LPT1 at each restart.