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Print Management Guide - Managing Printers and Print Servers

 

  • Update and Manage Printer Drivers

  • Control Printer Driver Installation Security

  • Create a New Printer Filter

  • Create a New Driver Filter

  • View Extended Features for Your Printer

  • Add and Manage Ports

  • Manage Forms

  • Set Permissions for Print Servers
     

     Update and Manage Printer Drivers

    The following sections provide information about how to use the Print Management snap-in to manage printer drivers on a print server:

    • Add drivers for client computers running 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows

    • Update or change printer drivers

    • Remove printer drivers

    Add drivers for client computers running 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows

    To support client computers that use different processor architectures than the print server, you must install additional drivers. For example, if your print server is running a 64-bit version of Windows and you want to support client computers running 32-bit versions of Windows, you must add x86-based drivers for each printer.

     

    Note

    You can add printer drivers that are up to 2GB in size. You will not be able to back up printer drivers that are larger than 2GB.
    To add client printer drivers to the print server
     
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Printers.
    3. In the center pane, right-click the printer to which you want to add additional printer drivers, and then click Manage Sharing.
    4. Click Additional Drivers. The Additional Drivers dialog box appears.
    5. Select the check box of the processor architecture for which you want to add drivers.

      For example, if the print server is running an x64-based edition of Windows, select the x86 check box to install 32-bit version printer drivers for client computers running 32-bit versions of Windows.

    6. If the print server does not already have the appropriate printer drivers in its driver store, Windows prompts you for the location of the driver files. Download and extract the appropriate driver files, and then in the dialog box that appears, specify the path to the .inf file of the driver.

       

      Note

      You might not be able to extract some printer drivers without installing them. If this is the case, log on to a client computer that uses the same processor architecture as the printer drivers that you want to add to the print server, and install those printer drivers. Then use Print Management from the client computer to connect to the print server, and add the additional drivers from the Additional Drivers dialog box. Windows automatically uploads the drivers from the client computer to the print server.

       

    Update or change printer drivers

    To update or change the printer drivers for a printer, use the following procedure. Client computers automatically download and install the updated printer drivers the next time they attempt to print to the printer.

     

    Note

    When installing printer drivers that are provided by the device manufacturer, follow the instructions provided with the printer driver instead of using this procedure.

     

    To update or change printer drivers for a printer
     
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Printers.
    3. In the center pane, right-click the printer with the driver that you want to change or update, and then click Properties.
    4. Click the Advanced tab.
    5. Select a new driver from the Driver box, or click New Driver to install a new printer driver.

     

    Remove printer drivers

    When you install a printer driver on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows first installs the printer driver to the local driver store, and then installs it from the driver store.

    When removing printer drivers, you have the option to delete only the printer driver or remove the entire printer-driver package. If you delete the printer driver, Windows uninstalls the printer driver, but leaves the printer-driver package in the driver store to allow you to reinstall the driver at some point. If you remove the printer-driver package, Windows removes the package from the driver store, completely removing the printer driver from the computer.

    To remove printer drivers from a server, use the following procedure:

    To remove printer drivers
     
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Printers.
    3. In the center pane, right-click those printers that use the driver that you want to delete, or change the driver that is used by each printer to another driver.
    4. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Drivers.
    5. In the center pane, right-click the driver and do one of the following:
      • To delete only the installed driver files, click Delete.

        To remove the driver package from the driver store, completely removing the driver from the computer, click Remove Driver Package.

     

    Control Printer Driver Installation Security

    The default security settings for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 allow users who are not members of the local Administrators group to install only trustworthy printer drivers, such as those provided with Windows or in digitally signed printer-driver packages. This helps to ensure that users do not install untested or unreliable printer drivers or drivers that have been modified to contain malicious code (malware). However, it means that sometimes users cannot install the appropriate driver for a shared printer, even if the driver has been tested and approved in your environment.

    The following sections provide information about how to allow users who are not members of the local Administrators group to connect to a print server and install printer drivers that are hosted by the server:

    • Installing printer-driver packages on the print server

    • Using Group Policy to deploy printer connections to users or computers

    • Using Group Policy to modify printer driver security settings

     

    Installing printer-driver packages on the print server

    Printer-driver packages are digitally signed printer drivers that install all the components of the driver to the driver store on client computers (if the server and the client computers are running Windows 7 Windows Server 2008 R2). Additionally, using printer-driver packages on a print server that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 enables users who are not members of the local Administrators group to connect to the print server and install or receive updated printer drivers.

    To use printer-driver packages, on a print server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7, download and install the appropriate printer-driver packages from the printer vendor.

    Note

    You can also download and install printer-driver packages from a print server to client computers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. However, the client computers do not check the driver's digital signature or install all components of the driver into the driver store because the client operating system does not support these features.

    Using Group Policy to deploy printer connections to users or computers

    Print Management can be used with Group Policy to automatically add printer connections to the Printers folder, without requiring the user to have local Administrator privileges. For more information, see Deploying Printers by Using Group Policy.

    Using Group Policy to modify printer driver security settings

    You can use the Point and Print Restrictions Group Policy setting to control how users can install printer drivers from print servers. You can use this setting to permit users to connect to only specific print servers that you trust. Because this setting prevents users from connecting to other print servers that could potentially host malicious or untested printer drivers, you can disable printer driver installation warning messages without adversely compromising security.

    Carefully evaluate your users' printing needs before limiting which print servers they can connect to. If users occasionally need to connect to shared printers in a branch office or another department, make sure to include those printer servers on the list (if you trust the printer drivers that are installed on the servers).

    You can also use the Point and Print Restrictions setting to disable warning prompts entirely, although this setting disables the enhanced printer driver installation security of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for these users.

    Note

    The following procedure assumes that you are using the version of the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) that is included with Windows Server 2008 R2. To install GPMC on Windows Server 2008 R2, use the Add Features Wizard of Server Manager. If you are using a different version of GPMC, the steps might vary slightly.

     

    To modify the Point and Print Restrictions setting
    1. Open the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC).
    2. In the GPMC console tree, navigate to the domain or organizational unit (OU) that stores the user accounts for which you want to modify printer driver security settings.
    3. Right-click the appropriate domain or OU, click Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here, type a name for the new GPO, and then click OK.
    4. Right-click the GPO that you created and then click Edit.
    5. In the Group Policy Management Editor window, click Computer Configuration, click Policies, click Administrative Templates, and then click Printers.
    6. Right-click Point and Print Restrictions, and then click Edit.

      Note

      The Point and Print Restrictions setting can also be found under User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Printers. This policy is ignored by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but is enforced by earlier editions of the operation system including versions Windows XP with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, and Windows Server 2008. We recommend that you change this policy setting in both locations so that all down-level clients have a consistent experience.

       

    To permit users to connect only to specific print servers that you trust
     
    1. In the Point and Print Restrictions dialog box, click Enabled.
    2. Select the Users can only point and print to these servers check box if it is not already selected.
    3. In the text box, type the fully qualified server names to which you want to allow users to connect. Separate each name with a semi-colon.
    4. In the When installing drivers for a new connection box, choose Do not show warning or elevation prompt.
    5. In the When updating drivers for an existing connection box, choose Show warning only.
    6. Click OK.

      Note

      To disable driver installation warning messages and elevation prompts on computers that are running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, in the Point and Print Restrictions dialog box, click Disabled, and then click OK. This setting disables the enhanced printer driver installation security of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Create a New Printer Filter

    Printer filters are used to display only those printers that meet a certain set of criteria. For example, it might be helpful to filter for printers with certain error conditions or those printers in a group of buildings regardless of the print server they use.

    Two default filters are provided with Print Management. For each filter that you create, you have the option to set up an e-mail notification or to run a script when the conditions of the filter are met.

    Note

    The print server role must be installed and you must be a member of the Administrators group to perform this

     

    To set up and save a filtered view
     
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. Right-click the Custom Filters folder, and then click Add New Printer Filter. This will start the New Printer Filter Wizard.
    3. On the Printer Filter Name and Description wizard page, type a name for the printer filter. The name will appear in the Custom Printer Filters folder in the Print Management tree.
    4. In Description, type an optional description.
    5. To display the number of printers that satisfy the conditions of a filter, select the Display the total number of printers next to the name of the printer filter check box.
    6. Click Next.
    7. On the Define a printer filter wizard page, do the following:
      1. In the Field list, click the print queue or printer status characteristic.

      2. In the Condition list, click the condition.

      3. In the Value box, type a value.

      4. Continue adding criteria until your filter is complete, and then click Next.

    8. On the Set Notifications (Optional) wizard page, do one or both of the following:
      • To set an e-mail notification, select the Send e-mail notification check box, and type one or more recipient and sender e-mail addresses. An SMTP server must be specified to route the message. Use the format account@domain and semicolons to separate multiple accounts.

      • To set a script to run, select the Run script check box, and then type the path where the script file is located. To add more arguments, type them in Additional arguments.

    9. Click Finish.

      Note

      To set notifications on existing printer filters, right-click a filtered view, and then click Set Notificatio

       

    Setting Optional Notifications

    When you create or modify a filter, you have the option of sending an automatic e-mail notification to someone or running a script when the conditions of the filter are met. This is useful for resolving printer problems, particularly in an organization with multiple buildings and administrators.

    For example, you can set up a view of all printers managed by a particular print server where the status does not equal Ready. Then, if a printer changes from the Ready status to another status, the administrator could receive a notification e-mail from Print Management.

    In addition to setting notifications on a custom set of printers, you can set notifications on printer server objects. For example, if the server is offline, or the spooler goes down, an e-mail notification can be sent.

    Script notifications are useful for resolving printer problems and troubleshooting. For example, you could automatically run a script to restart a spooler when printers go offline. You could also automatically run a script that prints a test page.

    Scripts can be written in Visual Basic Script (.vbs) or any scripting language available on the computer. The script has to be on the computer with Print Management. The script should be running with your credentials and you need to have the permissions to do whatever it is that you want the script to do.

     

    Create a New Driver Filter

    You can use Print Management snap-in to create custom print driver filters. Filters display only those print drivers that meet a certain set of criteria.

    Note

    The Print Server role service must be installed and you must be a member of the Administrators group to perform this task.
    To create a new driver filter
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. Right-click the Custom Filters folder, and then click Add New Driver Filter. This will start the New Driver Filter Wizard.
    3. On the Driver Filter Name and Description wizard page, type a name for the driver filter. The name will appear in the Custom Driver Filters folder in the Print Management tree.
    4. In Description, type an optional description.
    5. To display the number of printer drivers that satisfy the conditions of a filter, select the Display the total number of items next to the name of the filter check box.
    6. Click Next.
    7. On the Define a filter wizard page, do the following:
      1. In the Field list, click the driver characteristic.

      2. In the Condition list, click the condition.

      3. In the Value box, type a value.

      4. Continue adding criteria until your filter is complete, and then click Next.

    8. On the Set Notifications (Optional) wizard page, do one or both of the following:
      • To set an e-mail notification, select the Send e-mail notification check box, and type one or more recipient and sender e-mail addresses. An SMTP server must be specified to route the message. Use the format account@domain and semicolons to separate multiple accounts.

      • To set a script to run, select the Run script check box, and then type the path where the script file is located. To add more arguments, type them in Additional arguments.

    9. Click Finish.

      Note

      To set notifications on existing driver filters, right-click a filtered view, and then click Set Notifications.

       

    Setting Optional Notifications

    When you create or modify a filter, you have the option of sending an automatic e-mail notification to someone or running a script when the conditions of the filter are met. This is useful for resolving driver problems.

    Script notifications are useful for resolving driver problems and troubleshooting.

    View Extended Features for Your Printer

    er. Extended view is useful when you want more information about the status of a print job, its owner, the number of pages, the size of the job, when it was submitted, its port, its priority, and other advanced job properties. In the Print Management snap-in, extended view displays beneath the columns in the right pane.
    To show extended features for your printer
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, right-click Printers, and then click Show Extended View.

      Note

      To display or hide columns in extended view, select a printer. On the Jobs tab, right-click the column heading row, and then click the name of the column that you want to display or hide.

       

  • Add and Manage Ports

    You can use Print Management to add, delete, and configure printer ports for a print server.
    To add and manage ports
     
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Ports.
    3. To add a new port, click Add Ports. In the Printer Ports dialog box, select an available port type, click New Port, type a name for the port, and then click OK.
    4. To add a new port type, click Add Ports. In the Printer Ports dialog box, type the folder path where the printer driver software INF file is located, and then click OK.
    5. To manage an existing port, click Manage Ports. In the Printer Server Properties dialog box, select the port and do the following:
      1. To delete a port, select the port, click Delete Port, and then click OK.

      2. To configure a port, select the port, click Configure Port, enter a value in seconds for the transmission timeout retry interval, and then click OK.

     

    Manage Forms

    You can use Print Management to manage printer forms.
    To manage forms
     
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, right-click Forms, and then click Manage Forms.
    3. In the Printer Server Properties dialog box, do the following:
      1. To create a new form, select an existing form, select the Create a new form check box, change the printer measurement units, paper size, and printer area margins as needed, click Save Form, and then click OK.

      2. To delete a form, select the form, click Delete, and then click OK.

     

    Set Permissions for Print Servers

    To secure a print server, you must consider what rights users and groups will have. You can secure a print server by granting specific rights to users or groups of users. For each user or group of users, you can grant or deny permission to:
     
    • Print documents

    • Manage printers

    • Manage documents

    • View details about the print server

    • Manage the print server

    • Use special permissions or advanced settings

    Set permissions for print servers
     
    1. Open Print Management.
    2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, right-click the applicable print server and then click Properties.
    3. On the Security tab, under Group or users names, click a user or group for which you want to set permissions.
    4. Under Permissions for <user or group name>, select the Allow or Deny check boxes for the permissions listed as needed.
    5. To edit Special permissions, click Advanced.
    6. On the Permissions tab, click a user group, and then click Edit.
    7. In the Permission Entry dialog box, select the Allow or Deny check boxes for the permissions that you want to edit.