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Help with Printer selection script RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm a noob with scripting and I need help writing a script to help our traveling users find and select printers at the remote sites.  Right now, I have an ugly solution where I wrote a script that will install the printer the user selects.  I have a separate script for EACH printer!  Then I have a folder that has shortcuts to each script with the location of the printer at that particular site.  So, what they see is:

    Site 1
    Front desk color printer
    Front desk b&w printer
    Acctg printer
    Sales printer
    Main MF printer

    There is a list like this for each site.  (The users have no admin rights and they are not adept at Windows.)

    When the user double-clicks on a printer, it loads the drivers then asks the user if they want this to be their default.

    I copy the folder with the shortcut to the Public/Desktop of each computer and the folder with the actual scripts to the root of C: prior to the laptops being deployed to the users.  If the printers change, I must update the folders on all laptops.

    Like I said, ugly.

    What I'd rather have is a script that will find the print server at each site (there is only one server of any kind at each site) then list the printers available and allow the user to choose the one they want.

    I want it to just load the drivers and let them know they can print now.

    Can this be done or would it be a terribly difficult and long script?  Oh, and since I'm a remote tech, I have no admin rights on the server (2003/2008) or ability to add login scripts etc.  Any help would be so appreciated!

     

    Friday, November 8, 2013 2:37 AM

Answers

  • No Bill.  I currently have something in place but it's ugly and not too slick.  As I said in my original post "

    Can this be done or would it be a terribly difficult and long script?  Oh, and since I'm a remote tech, I have no admin rights on the server (2003/2008) or ability to add login scripts etc.  Any help would be so appreciated!"  I'm asking for thoughts and ideas on whether what I'm thinking of can be done rather than the cumbersome way I have now. 

    Asking can it be done on such little information makes this hard.

    You need to define how you plan on knowing how to match a printer to a location.  We can detect subnet but that may not be enough.  You may need a database of printers to make this work.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Marked as answer by cdubaz Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:59 PM
    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:57 PM

All replies

  • Are these laptops joined to the domain?


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Friday, November 8, 2013 8:35 AM
  • Yes.  They are joined to the same domain but are at remote sites that have only print server.  Users are not Windows-savvy and there is only one of me and a lot of them so I try to make it as simple as possible for them.   Thanks! 
    Thursday, November 14, 2013 3:00 AM
  • Yes.  They are joined to the same domain but are at remote sites that have only print server.  Users are not Windows-savvy and there is only one of me and a lot of them so I try to make it as simple as possible for them.   Thanks! 

    Are the sites identified in AD?

    How are they connected?  Does each site have a DC?  Is each a subnet?

    All of these items are drivers in AD.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:10 AM
  • The sites are identified in AD.  Each site has only one print server and the sites are in different states.  Each has their own subnet and depending on the size of the site, they may have one or up to 3 T1s/routers.  The network is typically slow to very slow. Latency due to all resources being at HQ several states away.  Heavy use of databases, video conferencing, web-based training...and IP phones.  We are not wireless, users must dock and connect via cabling.  The drivers are not in AD.

    Again, I know there are easier ways to do this but not being allowed on the server side in my current position, I am trying to creatively work-around the admins who don't see what the end users at these sites go through.

    Thanks for your hlep.

    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:03 PM
  • The sites are identified in AD.  Each site has only one print server and the sites are in different states.  Each has their own subnet and depending on the size of the site, they may have one or up to 3 T1s/routers.  The network is typically slow to very slow. Latency due to all resources being at HQ several states away.  Heavy use of databases, video conferencing, web-based training...and IP phones.  We are not wireless, users must dock and connect via cabling.  The drivers are not in AD.

    Again, I know there are easier ways to do this but not being allowed on the server side in my current position, I am trying to creatively work-around the admins who don't see what the end users at these sites go through.

    Thanks for your hlep.

    Place a GP at the site container for each site.  Set that GP to map users to the printers on that site.  If there are many printers at that site then tag them with location codes and set GP to use the location code to select the nearest printer.  If you need to sub-select by floor or department assign the laptop location to the floor or department when connecting then let GP select the nearest printer.

    AD is designed to allocate resources by location.  It is a good idea to implement location awareness for resources.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:20 PM
  • Again, I have no access to the server side.  Not at all.  The issues we experience have been brought up to the server side techs at HQ many times but they will not assist.  That is precisely the reason I am finding creative work-arounds to our issues, trying to do more by scripting etc.   I know and understand what you are saying but my hands are tied.  I'm sorry I hadn't made myself clear before.  I'm looking specifically for assistance writing a script that will be easier and slicker than the ones I'm currently working with.
    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:28 PM
  • Hi,

    If I understand correctly, you are asking for someone to write a script for you. That's not really the purpose of this forum. The purpose of this forum is to get help with scripting questions.

    Bill

    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:45 PM
    Moderator
  • No Bill.  I currently have something in place but it's ugly and not too slick.  As I said in my original post "

    Can this be done or would it be a terribly difficult and long script?  Oh, and since I'm a remote tech, I have no admin rights on the server (2003/2008) or ability to add login scripts etc.  Any help would be so appreciated!"  I'm asking for thoughts and ideas on whether what I'm thinking of can be done rather than the cumbersome way I have now. 

    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:50 PM
  • Again, I have no access to the server side.  Not at all.  The issues we experience have been brought up to the server side techs at HQ many times but they will not assist.  That is precisely the reason I am finding creative work-arounds to our issues, trying to do more by scripting etc.   I know and understand what you are saying but my hands are tied.  I'm sorry I hadn't made myself clear before.  I'm looking specifically for assistance writing a script that will be easier and slicker than the ones I'm currently working with.

    It would be easier if you were to ask a specific scripting question like " how do I ...".

    We cannot design a solution.  You have to figure out how you want this to work and ask specific how questions.

    Good luck.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:52 PM
  • No Bill.  I currently have something in place but it's ugly and not too slick.  As I said in my original post "

    Can this be done or would it be a terribly difficult and long script?  Oh, and since I'm a remote tech, I have no admin rights on the server (2003/2008) or ability to add login scripts etc.  Any help would be so appreciated!"  I'm asking for thoughts and ideas on whether what I'm thinking of can be done rather than the cumbersome way I have now. 

    Asking can it be done on such little information makes this hard.

    You need to define how you plan on knowing how to match a printer to a location.  We can detect subnet but that may not be enough.  You may need a database of printers to make this work.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Marked as answer by cdubaz Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:59 PM
    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:57 PM
  • I can't give you a menu of printers, I guess that's what the wizard is for: http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2012/09/11/how-to-increase-the-number-of-printers-listed-in-add-printer-wizard.aspx

    But if it helps, we've used a logon script similar to this for quite a while: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Map-printer-connections-68704bc6. As jrv said, you'd need to decide on the logic for what printers get mapped by who but a template for using sites, default gateways and departments is in there. Nothing stopping you keeping this one script in a central location and having your roaming staff click on a link to run it when they go from site to site rather than having to put a copy on every machine.

    The new-age approach would be group policy preferences. I realise you can't implement this but maybe this link will give you something to take to the powers that be to help convince them: http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2010/01/how-to-use-group-policy-preferences-to-dynamically-map-printers-with-roaming-profiles/

    I hope this helps,
    Mark

    Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:17 PM