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Managing Printers Using Print Management (part 1) - Configuring Properties of Printers, Publishing Printers in AD DS & Managing Printer Drivers

1/12/2012 6:12:40 PM
After you add print servers to Print Management and create printer filters to display and easily select different types of printers, you can begin managing these printers and print servers. Printer management tasks that you can perform using Print Management include:
  • Configuring properties of printers.

  • Publishing printers in AD DS so that users can find them easily.

  • Adding, removing, and managing printer drivers.

  • Exporting and importing printer configurations.

  • Performing bulk actions, such as pausing all print queues on a print server.

1. Configuring Properties of Printers

You can use Print Management to configure the properties of printers on your network. To do this, you might be required to install additional printer drivers locally on the Windows 7 computer from which you are running Print Management because some printer properties might not be configurable unless the printer's driver is installed on the local computer, Therefore, if the in-box (default) printer drivers included with Windows 7 do not include a driver for a network printer you want to manage, you must first download and install a driver for the printer from the print server before you can configure the printer's properties using Print Management.

To configure the properties of a printer, follow these steps using Print Management:

  1. Right-click the printer you want to configure and then select Properties.

  2. Respond to one of the following messages if they appear:

    • A message might appear saying, "To use the shared printer \\server_name\printer_sharename, you need to install the printer driver on your computer. If you do not recognize or trust the location or name of the printer, do not install the driver." If this message appears and you want to manage the printer, click Install Driver to automatically download and install the printer's driver from the print server.

    • A message might appear saying, "The printer_sharename driver is not installed on this computer. Some printer properties will not be accessible unless you install the printer driver. Do you want to install the printer driver now?" If this message appears and you want to manage the printer, click Yes to open the Add Printer Wizard. Follow the steps of the wizard to manually install the printer driver for the printer by supplying the necessary driver media.

    • If no message appears and the printer's Properties dialog box appears, the printer driver is either already installed on the local computer or is included as an in-box driver in Windows 7.

  3. Configure the settings on the various tabs of the printer's Properties dialog box as desired. See Help And Support for addition information about configuring printer properties in Windows 7.

2. Publishing Printers in AD DS

By default, when printers are installed on Windows Server 2003 or later print servers and are shared over the network, they are also automatically listed in AD DS. However, other network printers—such as stand-alone TCP/IP or WSD network printers—might not be listed in AD DS. You will need to add them manually to the directory so that users can search for them in the directory.

To add a network printer to AD DS manually, do one of the following using Print Management:

  • Right-click the printer and select List In Directory.

  • Open the printer's Properties dialog box, click the Sharing tab, and then select the List In The Directory check box.

You can also remove printers from AD DS either by clearing the List In The Directory check box or by right-clicking the printer and selecting Remove From Directory. You can remove printers from AD DS to prevent users from installing them manually by using the Add Printer Wizard from the Printers Control Panel item.

After a printer is published in AD DS, users can search AD DS using the Add Printer Wizard and manually install a printer connection on their computers. This allows users to print to a network printer.

3. Managing Printer Drivers

If client computers need additional printer drivers, you can use Print Management to add them to print servers, and you can also remove print drivers from print servers when clients no longer need them. For example, you can add additional printer drivers for network printers to support 64-bit Windows client computers by following these steps:

  1. Open Print Management and expand the console tree to select the Drivers node beneath the print server to which you want to add additional drivers.

  2. Right-click the Drivers node, select Add Driver to open the Add Printer Driver Wizard, and then click Next.

  3. Select the types of system architectures for which you need to install additional drivers.



  4. Click Next. If the drivers you need to install are not already staged within the driver store on the local computer, you will need to do one of the following:

    • Click Have Disk and provide driver media or specify a network location where the driver packages are available.

    • Click Windows Update if this is available to display a list of printer drivers available on Windows Update. Note that it can take several minutes for the list of printer drivers to be downloaded from Windows Update the first time that this is done.

    Continue stepping through the wizard to add the drivers to the print server and make them available for clients that need them.

The following considerations apply when adding additional drivers using Print Management:

  • Using the Add Printer Drivers Wizard from Print Management running on Windows Server 2003 R2 or later lets you add additional x86, x64, and Itanium drivers for versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista.

  • Using the Add Printer Drivers Wizard from Print Management running on Windows Vista or later lets you add Type 3 (User Mode) printer drivers only for x86, x64, and Itanium systems running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2. To add additional drivers for earlier versions of Windows, use Print Management on Windows Server 2003 R2 or later versions instead of Windows 7.


Note:

There are no differences in the installation method for adding 32-bit and 64-bit drivers.


You can also remove printer drivers from print servers when client computers no longer need these drivers. To remove a printer driver from a print server, follow these steps:

  1. Open Print Management and expand the console tree to select the Drivers node beneath the print server from which you want to remove drivers.

  2. Right-click a driver under the Drivers node and select Delete.

  3. Click Yes to confirm your action.


Note:

When you use the preceding steps to remove a printer driver from the local print server (when using a Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 computer as a print server), the driver package is uninstalled but remains staged in the driver store. Windows will pick and install the driver again when a compatible TCP/IP or Plug and Play printer is added to the system. If you selected Remove Driver Package instead of Delete, however, Windows will remove the package and not use the driver again.


You can display detailed information for all printer drivers installed on a print server by following these steps:

  1. Open Print Management and expand the console tree to select the Drivers node beneath a print server.

  2. From the View menu, select Add/Remove Columns.

  3. Add additional columns from the list of available columns to display more detail concerning each driver installed on the server.

To save detailed information concerning each driver installed on a print server and import it into Microsoft Office Excel for reporting purposes, follow the preceding procedure to add the columns desired and then right-click the Drivers node and select Export List. Save the detailed driver as a comma-separated (*.csv) file and import it into Office Excel. The Export List command is available for any node in an MMC snap-in.

DIRECT FROM THE FIELD

Is Your Printer Compatible with Windows 7?

Mitch Tulloch, MVP

http://www.mtit.com

Let's say your company is thinking of upgrading your Windows XP clients to Windows 7. Question: Will the printers you currently have installed on your Windows Server 2003 R2 print server work for users when their computers are upgraded?

Here's a quick way to determine the answer: Use Print Management to examine the version of each printer driver on your print server. If a driver says Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 (that is, Type 3 drivers), the associated printer will be compatible with Windows 7 and Windows Vista. If the driver says Windows NT 4.0 (Type 2), however, the printer uses a Kernel Mode driver and you will need an update for the driver before Windows 7 clients can use that printer.


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