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How does your organization manage print servers, printers, drivers, and end user printer installation and driver upgrades?

We have a Windows 2003 R2 print server. All updates are installed. It serves 15 printers to 80 users. We use group policy to install printer connections. Most of the printers are HP Laserjets, 4345s, 4700's, 4014;s. We are now using the HP Universial PCL 6 for most connections.

I have followed this: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc725772%28WS.10%29.aspx

But user's still can't update drivers unless they are local admins, which we really don't allow--enforced via restricted groups policy. This failure may be because the drivers aren't signed or in the trusted publisher store.

Print driver update and management is kludgy. Installing a new Xerox global PCL driver on the printer broke all the HP printers using the HP Universal PCL driver. They started reverse collating, and printing extra pages, until we turned off advanced features in the HP Universal driver. Then seemingly out of the blue, the HP Univeral driver today got updated (we don't know how, the other admin swears he didn't update) and brought down printing for all users that couldn't update the driver.

It's a horrible mess and very disruptive.

We've battled driver install issues for a long long time. What methods do you use to mitigate problems?

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Make sure you don't have "Devices: Prevent users from installing print drivers" enabled via policy. If that is disabled and the printers are shared from the server users should be able to install their own printers from the directory. Where I work we don't update printer drivers unless the update closes a security vulnerability or fixes a problem we are experiencing.

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