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In most cases, navigating to \\%hostname% will show a share called "Printers and Faxes". In some cases, I've found that this share does not appear. Under what circumstances does this share exist/not exist? I'm mostly just interested in getting it back, but if there is more to know about it, I'd like to know.

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2 Answers

It sounds like file and printer sharing may be turned off. To turn it back on for an OS previous to Vista, go HERE. To change it for Windows 7 & Vista, look HERE.

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It's either that, or nothing is being shared from the computer. I'm too lazy to test right now. –  Holocryptic May 4 '11 at 18:08
    
File and print sharing was enabled, but it seems as though no printers were ever shared from the machines I was having trouble with. I remoted to them, then shared a printer out and unshared it and the printers on that machine are all visible remotely now. This normally wouldn't be an issue, but we've got servers that function as print servers for an application that is installed on them without sharing any printers out. –  bshacklett May 9 '11 at 17:52
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While I haven't been able to find comprehensive information about how this works, I have found a solution/workaround to my specific issue.

In my case, I have machines that function as print servers via a third-party application. These machines do not have printers shared via windows printer sharing, although file and printer sharing is enabled. We don't want to leave printers shared on this machine for fear that someone will connect to the share directly. Sharing a printer on one of these machines, then removing the share has enabled remote management, albeit temporarily; I've found that I must share a printer periodically to re-enable the management functionality.

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