Print to printers in another domain

This tip explains how to let a customer with a computer and user account in another domain print to your domain's printers.

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Have you ever needed to let a customer with a computer and user account in another domain print to your printers? This tip explains how.

Every printer on a Windows NT or Active Directory domain has some security placed on it. Even the special "Everyone" group has some security, because it is only for the domain on which it exists. When you have users who come onto your premises and need to print, they need a way to authenticate to your print server with a domain account. This is easily accomplished by performing the following steps:

  1. Create a new user in your domain. Something like "printer." Make it a member of the domain level "guests" group and give it a simple password like "12345678" that never expires. Be sure to remove the user from any other groups. You only want this account to be a guest. That way it can't be used to hack your network.

  2. Create a simple batch file to give out. The contents should be:

    @echo off
    net use \\<printservername>\ipc$ /user:<domain>printer 12345678

    Replace <printservername> with the name of the print server the person needs access to, and, of course, change <domain> to your Windows NT or AD NetBIOS domain name.

  3. Place the batch file on the desktop or some other easily accessible location on the computer of the person who needs access to the printers on your domain.

  4. Run the batch file to authenticate to the local IPC$ share on the print server. This will allow the user to enumerate the printers on the server and to connect and print to them.

You're all done! Every time the person comes to your office and needs to print, they just need to use the batch file to authenticate first.

This was first published in July 2003

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