Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got an interesting problem to solve with the printer on our network - we have a network of Windows 7 clients connecting to a Windows Server 2008, and we use group policy to assign our colour printer (a RICOH Aficio MP C2050) to the clients, which works fine.

However, to try and save toner, what I would like to do is assign the same printer twice to the clients, once as it is, defaulting to colour, and another where it would default to black and white. I can't see a way to set printer settings in the group policy editor - does anyone know if this is possible?

If it can't be done in the group policy editor, then perhaps a login script could solve the problem?

I've also tried to find black-and-white only drivers for the printer but haven't been able to either. :-/

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Many thanks, Dave

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

What I usually do (modern 2008+ might have better ways) is set the default setting to black and white (you do that on the print server printer default settings) which will get used by connecting clients.

Then instruct the users that to print in colour, they have to explicitly set the printer to do that (as they wouldn't normally print in colour so it's simple exception handling). It will then revert to black and white for the next session.

But your way should work as well if you set up two print queues on the server for the same printer, and use different printer default settings?

share|improve this answer
Hi Oskar, thanks for your reply - nice idea, but I fear that what would happen would be that if they wanted to print in colour, they would print in black and white without thinking, and once they realised would then print again in colour, thereby wasting even more toner (you know what users are like!). I'm currently trying (struggling) to set up the printer twice but when I log in on a client it only finds it once... hmm... – Dave Hollingworth Jun 25 '10 at 8:29
Educating users is the hardest part of the job description, but also the most satisfying ;p Anyway, if you really set up two completely different print queues with different port names on the print server - it really should work? (though the printer might take issue with having to sessions to it) – Oskar Duveborn Jun 25 '10 at 10:06

Sorted! I was changing the printer settings on the printers connected to the server itself, not in the print queue admin... all is well now it seems, thanks for your replies! :-)

share|improve this answer
If one of the answers had the solution you were looking for you should "accept" the answer. – Bart Silverstrim Jun 25 '10 at 11:30
Good point, done! – Dave Hollingworth Jul 5 '10 at 7:41

I agree with Oskar on this one, I think the easiest way would be to create two print queues and to deploy them via the GPO. In the Print Queue you should be able to open the printer head into advanced and then the button for printing default, depending on the driver/printer they should be an option for greyscale/black and white.

share|improve this answer
Hi James, I've just managed to get that bit to work, and it now assigns the two print queues (hurrah!) - alas, even though I've set the printer to black and white on the server, when the client connects it's set to colour... I'll keep trying... – Dave Hollingworth Jun 25 '10 at 8:45
You need to set the "printer default settings", not the regular printer settings dialog on the server... they're different. – Oskar Duveborn Jun 25 '10 at 10:06
There are two different sections where the printer settings can be set. When you go into printer properties the printing defaults on the general screen apply for one print, however the printing defaults in the advanced tab should take effect as defaults in the future. – JamesK Jun 25 '10 at 10:34

another easy way is to define a profile in Ricoh Print&Share with colour/black and white or make two profiles. You could also set up some intelligent recognition in the software that it always prints b&w based on the triggers that you define.

If you want to save a bit more you can configure additional Eco settings:

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.