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Difficulty Adding Printers to Client Machines RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello —

    We installed our print server on a Windows 2012 R2 Server in December of last year.  Ever since then, we’ve been experiencing major difficulty with adding printers on our client machines, which are all running Windows 8.1.

    We’ve tried:
    A virtual basic script
    Group Policy Policy
    Group Policy Preferences
    A batch file that deletes any existing printers on each user login before adding the printers again

    And we are still experiencing difficulty.  

    When using the VBS, the printers showed up half of the time or less.  We thought it was the outdated method, so we switched over to using Group Policy.

    When using Group Policy, the printers showed up inconsistently — showing up for some users but not others, sometimes disappearing after a restart, sometimes not.  I recreated the GPO and the OU from scratch multiple times.  Running a gpupdate /force usually forced the printers to add, but never for very long.  I confirmed that the GPO was actually being applied with no errors by running a gpreport.  Then I switched over to using a .bat file that ran on login.

    This is the .bat file:

    net use \\FQDN /user:username password /persistent:yes
    rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /dn /n\\FQDN\library /q
    rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /dn /n\\FQDN\library-color /q
    rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /in /n\\FQDN\library
    rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /y /n\\FQDN\library
    rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /in /n\\FQDN\library-color

    This worked in one of our spaces.  In the library, where the computers experience extremely high user turnover with constant login and logouts, the printers show up about half of the time.  Sometimes restarting and logging back in the user works, other times it does not.

    I have two questions.  

    One, has anyone else experienced issues with using a bat file to add printers on computers that experience a high number of login and logouts in quick succession?  Do you have any suggestions for making this work?

    Two, has anyone else experienced major issues like the other ones I described above with remotely connecting to printers on a 2012 R2 server from 8.1 clients?

    Thursday, October 29, 2015 2:04 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    I've been using a Server 2012R2 for about 18 months to serve 90+ printers to hundreds of client PC (mix of Win 7/8/8.1 and now 10, and also a few os x and linux boxes). Never noticed a problem like the one you define.

    Deploying printers with a GPO should do the job. I deploy them from print management, right click on printer and select 'Deploy using Group Policy Object'. You can select an empty GPO that you just created AND linked to the desired OU. And deploy by machine.

    Don't forget to enable the GPO machine settings, and be sure that target PC are in that OU and that user belongs to the security group that you checked on your printer settings.

    Deployment using  GPO (per machine) requires a restart once the policy has been applied (gpupdate, waiting or restart).

    Printers appearing offline or appearing and dissappearing could be caused by a corrupted printer driver. As a rule of thumb, I always set print drivers as isolated from print management (right click on driver), to avoid as much incompatibility problems as possible.

    • Proposed as answer by Ishmar Tuesday, November 3, 2015 9:33 AM
    • Marked as answer by Amy Wang_ Monday, November 9, 2015 2:04 PM
    Friday, October 30, 2015 11:51 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I've been using a Server 2012R2 for about 18 months to serve 90+ printers to hundreds of client PC (mix of Win 7/8/8.1 and now 10, and also a few os x and linux boxes). Never noticed a problem like the one you define.

    Deploying printers with a GPO should do the job. I deploy them from print management, right click on printer and select 'Deploy using Group Policy Object'. You can select an empty GPO that you just created AND linked to the desired OU. And deploy by machine.

    Don't forget to enable the GPO machine settings, and be sure that target PC are in that OU and that user belongs to the security group that you checked on your printer settings.

    Deployment using  GPO (per machine) requires a restart once the policy has been applied (gpupdate, waiting or restart).

    Printers appearing offline or appearing and dissappearing could be caused by a corrupted printer driver. As a rule of thumb, I always set print drivers as isolated from print management (right click on driver), to avoid as much incompatibility problems as possible.

    • Proposed as answer by Ishmar Tuesday, November 3, 2015 9:33 AM
    • Marked as answer by Amy Wang_ Monday, November 9, 2015 2:04 PM
    Friday, October 30, 2015 11:51 AM
  • Hello --

    Sorry for the delayed response!  Yes, I did try following those steps for deploying the printers, but kept running into the same problem of printers sometimes appearing, sometimes not.  I'll investigate the drivers and see if the issue possibly lies there.

    Monday, November 9, 2015 2:51 PM
  • If problems are for some users,it may be some corrupted info in the user profile. You may check registry, HKCU\Printers\Connections and see if everything is OK (compare against a working user).

    Monday, November 9, 2015 2:54 PM