Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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 want to prestage the print driver installations for all printers I have installed on my network.

I reckon I can do this with some jiggery-pokery with pnputil, but I need to know what I should be injecting.

Anyone have any idea how I can get all the print drivers off my print server?



share|improve this question

when you say printers installed on my network do you mean they are connected to a print server?

maybe use the printer migration tool from MS! it creates a cab file full of printer drivers but I haven't tried using it for what your looking for.

share|improve this answer

I'm not completely sure I know what you're asking for.

Details about the print drivers installed on the server (including a list of the files that make up the driver) are available in the registry of the print server computer under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments. There's a subkey for each different printing environment, and below that (and a version subkey) there are entries for each driver.

The driver files are stored in subfolders of %SystemRoot%\System32\Spool\Drivers.

share|improve this answer
I am trying to script intalling multiple printers at once, for use in a login script. I need to "prestage" the drivers, so the user doesn't get a UAC prompt when the driver is installed. Think I can do this with pnputil.exe, but I need the inf file details for the printers I have on the network. – Ben Jul 19 '10 at 14:35

From your answers elsewhere, this is what I'm assuming your environment is:

  • You have a bunch of Vista/Win7 workstations that need printers
  • You do NOT have a print-server
  • You want to set up printers on these workstations as direct-IP local printers

But in your question you state, "Anyone have any idea how I can get all the print drivers off my print server?" which suggests you actually DO have a print-server.

If you have a print-server based on Server 2008, and the printers being deployed are network-printers (hosted on the print-server) instead of direct-IP printers, this process is actually pretty easy. We're doing it right now to deploy printers to our computer labs without them having to be on the images.

  1. Set up the printer on the print-server with the correct drivers. Install the other architecture print-driver (32-bit if your server is 64-bit, and vice versa) for completeness.
  2. Allow it to be used by your target audience.
  3. Deploy the printer via GPO. You have a login-script, so you're already using GPOs.
    1. You might need to rearrange your computers for this, or play with WMI filters to get exactly the right computer base.
    2. In Print Manager, right-click the printer you want and select Deploy with GPO.
    3. Browse to the computer-GPO you want to deploy it to
    4. Select "computer objects" in the menu.
  4. Repeat for any other printers you want pushed to computers.

The printer will now be deployed automatically the next time the machine reboots, after it updates its GPO cache. Drivers will populate automatically in the background before the user even logs in. If you want to set the default printer, this can be done by user-side GPO preferences.

The nice part of this is that if you update the driver on a printer for some reason (they do get replaced once in a while) the updates populate to the client stations without notice to the users.

If your print-server is Server 2003, but the domain is Server 2008 or higher, this can still work but you have to do the work from a Server 2008 server, connecting remotely to the Server 2003 print-server via the Print Management tool on the 2008 server.

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.