I am a part-time Windows 7 administrator in an office with about 10 PCs and a standalone networked printer... No Windows print server, though we do have an Active Directory domain.

So I have been scouring the web, have read Why use a print server?. Obviously, a print server is not necessary to overlord a small office but I wonder if I can deploy/modify printer settings across all the Windows desktops without one? Everywhere I see "Group Policy" being applied to, for example, setting the printer to default to black-and-white, there is a print server involved.

Is it necessary to have a print server in order to distribute changes to the Windows clients? If not, how would I do it? I do have a PC with the Windows Administrative tools installed on it.



Printers can be assigned by script, or GPO/GPP, with or without the presence of a print server. A print server just makes centralized management easier... and provides a convenient place for all the damn printer drivers to be found.

There are bunch of good examples of scripts for assigning printers here in this Q&A. In your case, you'd just remove the print server variables and references.

If done by script, this is most often done by a logon script, so the printers are mapped when the user logs on, but there's nothing saying it has to be done that way. Without a print server, you'd need to map directly to the printer and install the drivers programmatically, which wouldn't be too tough, but it may be difficult (or a much bigger pain than you'd like, at least) to assign defaults to a printer that's not attached to a print server.

I can't seem to find a reference I like for deploying printers by GPP or GPO right now, and am feeling kind of lazy, so I'll just say I can add that on request - I also have the suspicion you're not managing domain-joined workstations, which limits the usefulness of Group Policy anyway.


I found the full answers here: http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/11413-group-policy-preferences-printer-deployment and an addendum here: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/60a1bfa0-1313-40fa-a103-16c3d54dc983/tcpip-printer-via-gpp?forum=winserverGP

Together, they seem to have solved my problem. However, a minute ago my boss came by and asked me why I was doing things the hard way. We only have 10 clients, so he told me to go to everyone's desk and make the change... :-\

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