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i just want to make sure there are no caveats with installing print drivers via group policy. also, if this is just a bad idea and a better idea exists let me know.

thanks!

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Can you provide more information about your printer setup? Are these printers that are local to workstations, or printers that are shared on server? Which OSes are involved? Windows provides some functionality that might not require you to install any drivers manually. –  Lucky Luke Jun 8 '11 at 4:04

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The best way to install a printer driver is with the INF file. All print vendors package their EXE files differently, so it's unreliable to use the EXE. It would be best to use something like 7-zip to extract the executable and use rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry to install the print driver. If you JUST want the driver it would look something like this

rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /f C:\InfPath\InfFile.inf /m "model number"

Use rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /? to check out all the different options you have to install printers.

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You can always build a spool server install drivers on the server (both x32 and x64) and then through group policy make any domain account load the printers you want on logon (with logon script) something like that

Set wshNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
Set ADSysInfo = CreateObject("ADSystemInfo")
Dim oShell
Set oShell = WScript.CreateObject ("WSCript.shell")
oShell.run "\\X.X.X.X\upcw\name.lnk"
Set oShell = Nothing

    wshNetwork.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\spoolserver\prinet1"     
    wshNetwork.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\spoolserver\prinet2"
    wshNetWork.SetDefaultPrinter "\\spoolserver\prinet1"

In this examle you define two printers wich are on a server named "spoolserver" through a script named "name.lnk" saved on a server with IP x.x.x.x and you make the printer named "prinet1" windows default printer... When the user who is under the GP of the script above logs in his terminal will look for the printers and "download" the drivers set on the "spoolserver", no exe no nothing. I hope I helped.

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With the advent of Windows 7 and 2008, this became even easier, as you can configure a printer as desired on a client computer, such as your admin workstation, then push it it into an existing GPO using a GUI menu so it requires minimal effort and not even scripting. I wanted to use it myself but I was stuck with the answer you accepted often in the past because of limitations in my environment. I hope this appeases people who thought my link for an answer was too brief, and now I can beat a dead horse even deader.

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Yes, it's easier. You should consider editing your answer to make it somewhat useful, on its own, and include the link. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8231/… –  jscott Jun 8 '11 at 17:55
    
OK, wise guy. I was in a rush at that moment. Next time, I will not post as to make sure the person does not find out the answer. This funny contraption called a web browser does not allow re-reading information at one's own leisure. –  ajstein Jun 8 '11 at 18:14
    
No offense was intended in my comment, I didn't down vote your answer or anything. I, personally, do not agree that the current accepted answer is the best. I had hoped you would expand on how to use GP (or CSE) to deploy printer/drivers as it's a common question here on SF -- and GP/CSE is my preferred solution. The MSO link above (in particular its accepted answer) describes why "single link answers" are not usually desirable. –  jscott Jun 8 '11 at 19:16

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