Deploy TCPIP Printer through GPO

Really quite lock down with work recently. But I think this blog is rather interesting to share.

Scenario

Got this project recently to deploy a printer to approx 150 machine. The requirement is that the user will print direct – TCPIP Printer.

The environment is running Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Enterprise. AD is Windows Server 2008 R2 functional level.

Printer is configured on site with static IP address.

In the past, we can use logon script to deploy TCPIP printer. Customizing the script can be done but will require certain level of knowledge.

Approach

To utilize the GPP (Group Policy Preference). How? I will explain in detail on this blog with screen cap from my test environment. 🙂

Summary of the approach

1. Prepare Print Server – For client to pull the printer drivers during deployment of TCPIP printer through GPO

2. Prepare GPO to deploy TCPIP Printer – To deploy

Step 1

On Windows Server 2008 R2, turn on Print and Document Service.

image

Step 2

Add TCPIP Printer through the friendly wizard (You need to know what is the static address of the printer)

image

Using the wizard, you can add the TCPIP printer. The reason why you need a print server is for client to download the drivers when using GPO to deploy TCPIP printer.

Step 3

Share out the printer (Use a name for ease of administration)

image

image

Share out the printer using a name for ease of administration.

Step 4 – Create GPO to Deploy TCPIP Printer (Computer Configuration)

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Under GPMC, create a new GPO – “Add_TCPIP_Printer”

I link to computer OU as the requirement is to deploy printer to all the machine in the site. Therefore, I will configure the GPO on the computer configuration. If the requirement is to make the TCPIP printer to follow the user, I will create it on the user configuration.

Under Computer Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Printers > Right Click and Add TCPIP Printer.

Following are recommended setting:

  1. Action – Update (Default)
  2. IP address – Static IP address of the TCPIP Printer (NOT PRINT SERVER IP Address)
  3. Local Name – Name which you want it to appear on the client machine
  4. Printer Path – Enter the UNC to direct the machine to obtain the printer drivers.

Click Ok to finish

(Do explore more the tab common as it has lots of function you can customize such as configure condition to update the printer only when user is within an IP range!)

Step 5 – Link the GPO to OU (Computers to target for deployment of Printer)

image

Link the GPO to the OU containing the computers to deploy the TCPIP printer.

Done!

Once the computer reboot or you perform a command on the machine – “GPUPDATE /Force”, the printer will appear on the computer’s devices and printers as TCPIP printer.

Step 6 – To roll back the TCPIP printer deployed

If you want to delete the TCPIP printer, you can reuse the same GPO, change “update” to “delete”.

Common issue

Printer did not appear – You may want to check if the printer driver is available for Windows 7 (By right, if you can install on Windows Server 2008 R2, it will be able to roll down to Windows 7 client machine)

Check DNS to ensure the client machine is able to resolve the hostname of the print server on the client machine by performing a nslookup command.

Advise and Conclusion

Before any rollout, proper testing should be perform – Proof of Concept should be perform.

If GPO is used with proper planning, managing of client machine will no longer be a nightmare. However, if implementation of GPO is not plan and just keep adding and apply, troubleshooting of any issue arise in the long run can be a headache!

Cheers

Tan Chee

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