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I have a Windows 2003 print server that I need to retire, but I need to migrate the print queues off of it first onto another Win2k3 server. I have found some information on migrating, but it all seems to have to do with duplicating the print queue settings. I want to figure out the most transparent way to deploy the new print queues to my clients.

Right now, the clients all have their print queues configured manually. I don't really care too much about removing the old queues, though I wouldn't say no to doing that. I just want to automatically add the new queues. It seemed to me that a GPO would be the way to go, but I've never set one up before. (I'm a Unix admin forced into dealing with Windows.) Every piece of documentation I've seen about print queue GPOs seems to reference things that simply don't exist.

Print Management Step-by-Step Guide refers to a "Print Management" option that might be in Adminstrative Tools or might be an MMC plugin. It exists in neither place on my print server. The print server role was activated ages ago, and there's no "Update this role" option as referenced in that document. I tried activating it on a different server, and it didn't appear there, either. (That document also says: "Installing Print Management is accomplished by adding or updating the print server role. Note that the computer on which Print Management is installed does not need to be a print server." Of course, you can't add the print server role without sharing a locally-attached printer, so I'm not sure how that statement isn't oxymoronic.)

I also found Microsoft referencing a program called PushPrinterConnections.exe, but I can't find anywhere that that program exists.

Basically, after two or three total failures in Microsoft documentation, I've given up and am asking in hopes that someone else actually knows how to do it.

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GPO editing can be kind of funky some times.

Edit the GPO that you want to use to push out the changes.

Navigate to Global Settings > User Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Printers.

Right click on Printers, select New, then Shared Printer. Change the Action to Delete. In the Share Path box select the old printer path to remove. Check the Delete all shared printer connections check box. Click OK.

Right click on Printers, select New, then Shared Printer. Change the action to Create. In the Share Path box select the new printer to add. Set the printer to be the default if you'd like to. Click OK.

Close the Group Policy. After the Group Policy replicates to all the domain controllers (usually about 15-30 minutes if all DCs are within one site) you can force your computer to download the GPO settings from the domain by running gpupdate on your desktop from a command prompt.

Once this has finished check to see if the change went through. If it hasn't it may simply be that the GPO hasn't finished replicating to all the domain controllers.

What you see may be slightly different as I'm running a Windows 2008 domain, and you didn't specify if you had Windows 2003 or Windows 2008. If its Windows 2003 let me know, and I'll hop onto a Windows 2003 Domain and update accordingly.

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2003. Updating. – wfaulk Feb 1 '10 at 22:29
Another question then, are you using Windows 2003 R2 or just Windows 2003? If you aren't sure right click on the My Computer Icon (If not on the desktop then it should be under the start menu) and select Properties. The General tab should say "Microsoft Windows Server 2003" or "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2". – mrdenny Feb 2 '10 at 2:51
OK, so it looks like the PushPrinterConnections.exe can be used on a Windows 2003 or Windows 2003 R2 server. Did you find this page about how to use it? You'll need the Windows 2003 R2 Admin Pack which you can get from – mrdenny Feb 2 '10 at 3:02
Uh, it's Service Pack 2, but not R2. WTF? Okay, I'll give that stuff a shot. I hate Windows. Zero Administration my ass. Everything is a damned addon, with no documentation. – wfaulk Feb 2 '10 at 15:21
With the older stuff everything was an add-on. Microsoft has finely figured it out and most of this stuff is included by default in 2008 and 2008 R2. Just don't get me started on the stupid names. Good luck. If you hit another road block let me know. – mrdenny Feb 2 '10 at 19:50

If you cant to backup/restore all your print queues and drivers, you can use printmigrator from Microsoft:

Take care, some settings are not migrated (recto/verso, paper size...) and some printer driver can't be migrated that way (mostly multifunction drivers)

Then, to reconfigure clients: -use gpo as explained by mrdenny -use a vbscript at logon, available on my blog: it keeps default printer, just change the server string to connect to the queue

share|improve this answer
PrintMigrator is deprecated. From Vista+/W2K8 you can use PrintBrm.exe/PrintBrmUI.exe which does not have the issues PrintMigrator does. -- I have used PrintBrm for 2K3-to-2K3 multiple times without issue. – jscott Feb 2 '10 at 12:47
ok, thanks for that update. Didn't know it works on 2003 – Mathieu Chateau Feb 3 '10 at 9:22

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