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I just rolled out a few Windows 7 x64 machines and ran into this issue where non-admin users are unable to add printers hosted on a windows 2003 server. It works fine on a 2008 server. The issue appears to be with the point and print system. A user will attempt to add the printer, a prompt will come up requiring the user to elevate privileges in order to install a driver, and will fail citing 'access denied'.

I found the group policy setting Point and Print Restrictions:

When the policy setting is disabled:

-Windows Vista computers will not show a warning or an elevated command prompt when users create a printer connection to any server using Point and Print.

So I disabled it, verified that the policy was being picked up using rsop, but it still does the same thing. I've also tried the following:

  • Recreating the printers using newer drivers
  • Adding the printer using 32 bit drivers on the 2003 machine, then adding the 64 bit drivers on a Windows 7 machine
  • Adding the printer from a windows 7 machine using print management

None of these things work. The security settings are no different than the working printers. Help?

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Windows 7 uses a different Group Policy setting than Vista to enable Point-and-Print for limited users. Please see this related answer: Mapping printers using Group Policy Preferences; works on Windows XP, not on Windows 7 x64

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I had a problem similar to this that was because the drivers were not signed.

Also with some drivers you need to install the printer once for an admin user on each machine this will then allow any user to add the network printer without elevation.

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