I hate printers and even more so administrating them.
Never the less, I am setting up a new print Server based on Windows Server 2012 R2 since we are phasing out our older WIndows version servers.
I have installed the server, and added the "print and document services" role. I have installed the printers in the network and I have installed all the drivers so all features of the printers like multiple paper trays work as intended.
Now I need to deploy them to our Active Directory Forest and this is where it gets complicated, or rather annoying.
As far as googling would tell me, there are two ways of deploying printers:
- Right clicking on the printer within the print management console on the print server and choosing "Deploy with Group Policy". Then I select an existing gpo from our ad to add the printers to. The gpo is then being edited by the print server and the printers added to: Computer Configuration / Policies / Windows Settings / Printer Connections
This way drivers would also be published to the clients by the print server to allow f.e. the use of multiple paper trays.
BUT even with configured Point and Print Restrictions, I still cant figure out a way for the users to install the drivers they get from the print server. I have set the following here:
Users can only point and print to these servers: Disabled
Users can only point and print to machines in their forest: Disabled
When installing drivers for a new connection: Do not show warning or elevation prompt
When updating drivers for an existing connection: Show warning only
Still the printers are not being installed when doing gpupdate /force && shutdown /r /t 0 on the client. The gpo settings described before show up in gpresult without errors, but the printers are just not being installed. Also Event viewer just says 25 computer configuration policies applied without errors.
When I manually add the printers by just navigating to the shared path of the printer within the explorer, I get an administrative prompt for installing drivers. Once the driver is installed, the other printers are automatically added at next reboot. Still this is not how it is supposed to work, since the drivers should be installed automatically.
I have also found people on the internet suggesting to edit the gpo option of the Printer Connections to run in "logged-in users context". This would kind of make sense and explain why configuring point and print restrictions had no impact and imply that printer installations are run in system context which has no administrative permissions. WTF Microsoft?!
BUT editing the gpo to run in "logged-in" users context is not an option for me, since I dont see the gpo option in gpmc on the dc. Upon further googling those options only show up when the Print and Document Services role is installed on the system, and I do not want to install this role on our dc...
- Adding the shared printers from the dc to the gpo in Computer Configuration / Preferences / Control Panel Settings / Printers. This adds the printers to the clients no problem, BUT does not install a driver which then causes multiple paper trays and other features to not work. This is also not good.
Even when setting up Point and Print restrictions the drivers are not being installed. Seemingly this gpo option does not even trigger a driver installation via the print server, so meh...
At this point I have reached multiple second pages of google search results, indicating I have become quite desperate.
What I would ideally want:
All clients and servers just get the new printers from the print server by a gpo in the context of "Computer configuration", install the drivers and work with all features like multiple paper trays and other fancy dead tree painting shit. Seemingly this is not possible in the context of an Active Directory with seperate Domain Controller and Print Server systems.
Help, anyone? Please?