The situation:

  • Small office network with a single subnet, Server 2008 R2 DC and Win7 Pro clients
  • Multiple network printers (both Brother and HP)
  • All printers are installed on the Server 2008 R2 domain controller, shared on the network, and pushed out to Win7 clients via Group Policy
  • Both the domain controller and the Win7 clients are detecting three of the printers as duplicate, non-functional instances that show up in the Printers folder; they appear as "WSD Print Device" in Device Manager under either "WSD Print Provider" or "Other Devices" (depending on whether they have an associated driver).
  • All of the printers work fine as installed, but the superfluous automatic "WSD Print Device" detections are confusing to users.
  • It is possible to uninstall the WSD Print Devices in Device Manager, but they are automatically re-created on next reboot or as soon as one scans for hardware changes.
  • This is a relatively small environment with an unmanaged switch, so moving these printers to a separate VLAN is not a readily available option.

The question:

  • What is the most straightforward way to stop these "WSD Print Device" printers from being detected automatically?

Here's a sledgehammer approach if you can't disable the functionality on the printers themselves. If you use a GPO to disable "UPnP Device Host" and "SSDP Discovery" services they will no longer be discovered, but obviously that will also impact any other devices that would use those protocols...

Depending on the office, it may be a good idea anyhow. UPnP and SSDP can be security risks, but they can also be pretty darn convenient. :)

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