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Printer Deployment Issues


ChubbRockk's Avatar
ChubbRockk ChubbRockk is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Experience: Intermediate
05-Jul-2012, 03:17 PM #1
Printer Deployment Issues
Domain functional level: Windows Server 2003
Schema Version: Windows Server 2003 R2
Print Server (member server): Windows Server 2008
Clients: Windows 7 x86 and x64

I recently deployed 3 printers via GPO to users in my office. Everything was fine for a week or 2 when suddenly there were random issues with Windows Explorer crashing. Clicking the Start menu then right-clicking Computer to bring up the context menu would crash Windows Explorer. Shell extensions were not causing this issue. Also, when clicking the Start menu and selecting Devices and Printers, it would load for several minutes and not show any printers. These issues were very random, making it hard to troubleshoot. Disabling my printer GPO resolved the issues and now I'm wondering what was wrong this whole time.

Here's how I deployed the printers:

I installed the printers on the print server then added additional drivers. I then right-clicked on each printer, selected Deploy with Group Policy, created a new GPO, disabled computer configuration, added the remaining printers to the same GPO, then linked it to our Users OU.

Basically what I'd like to know is... did I deploy the printers incorrectly given our domain functional level and/or print server. If so, what would be the best way to deploy these printers in my environment?
grondie's Avatar
grondie grondie is offline
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Member with 8 posts.
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Princeton, NJ
Experience: Advanced
16-Jul-2012, 01:12 AM #2
Sounds like you deployed the printers ok, have you considered that one of the printer drivers may be causing the issue? Try a process of elimination to try and locate the offending driver.

Good luck.
ChubbRockk's Avatar
ChubbRockk ChubbRockk is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Experience: Intermediate
16-Jul-2012, 10:05 AM #3
Thanks for your reply, I should look into troubleshooting the drivers. I have an update though, maybe there is another problem.

After disabling the GPO I still have all 3 printers showing up in Devices and Printers. I cannot right-click and remove them (I am an admin on my machine). When I look at the Print Management MMC I do not have anything under Printers, but under Drivers I still have all 3. Are they showing up under Devices and Printers just because I have the drivers installed? That makes sense, but shouldn't I be able to remove them then? Wouldn't they show up under the Printers node in the MMC also?

One other thing. I uninstalled one of the drivers from my machine, then went to another client computer and wasn't able to add that printer. It's shared from the print server, not my machine though. I tried to add it using '//print server/printer' and no luck. I installed it back on my machine, then I was able to add it to the client machine using the same path. Is there any way that the print server is pulling the driver from my machine? All x86 and x64 drivers show up on the server in the Print Management MMC Driver node though. The INF Path for each one shows that they're located on the printers C: drive. Driver Isolation is set to 'Shared' on my computer and defaults to 'Not Supported' on the print server since it's Windows Server 2008 non-R2.
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