In XP/Vista there was a group policy setting to allw users to install printers which resolved this in a past contract.
Alternatively, if you can get a printer drivers package in a exe or msi, you should be able to push it like a regular software package. In some cases you may need to create a script based process to copy the files and properly register them.
Do you happen to recall where that GP setting was?
Power Users should have the ability to install printers available from a print server.
If you read the description in the article and the policy (applies to 2003 to) it implies what I discribe.
If they can't install the driver, is it possible there are restrictions in the printer configuration on the print server?
Also, what David mentions about pushing the drivers like software would work as well. The users might also get aditional features enable which might or might not be good.
Bumping the thread.
How would I go about pushing it out like regular software? Now I have some Epson Thermal printers we are getting ready to deploy. The driver has a .INF which I tried installing with a .bat file but that didn't work.
Any ideas? Has anyone actually done this?
When you download the drivers, they usually come in an installer format whether it be exe or msi. The subsequent of the base install of the actual driver file is the inf, but, like video card drivers, if you want all the bells and whistles, you would need to run the full installer. How the install works will be different by the vendor's method of packaging so what you might be looking for on their website is an administrative installer.
If you are using Windows Server 2008 R2 as your print server, you can use the print management MMC to deploy printers via group policy.
As also suggested above, LD can push an .exe or .msi installer for you.
Figured it out!
I created a generic printer on our sever so the driver was available. Then used vbs to create and remove a the network printer, that effectively installs the driver on the computer.
For Windows 7, I had to modify our Group Policy to allow drivers to be installed without prompting. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753269.aspx#BKMK_GPLimitServers.
Here's the .vbs code: (This could be cleaned up quite a bit.)
'This script adds a network printer and then removes it in order to get the driver installed. computername should be the name of your print server. UNCPath
'should be the \\servername\printershare
'This is the share for the printer you want to add
UNCpath = "\\jager\Epson_Driver"
Set netPrinter = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
WScript.Echo "Your printer is mapped from : " & UNCpath
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
objNetwork.RemovePrinterConnection UNCpath, true, true
Wscript.Echo "This printer was removed : " & UNCpath
Should have thought of this earlier.
PS: From here I used Landesk to push a .bat file which calls cscript.exe to run the .vbs file for those who aren't familiar with vbscripting yet. All that needs to have in it is: cscript.exe your_script.vbs
another suggestion that i can give that you might like is using the batch file... Running the following adds the network printer using the inf file.
- RUNDLL32 PRINTUI.DLL,PrintUIEntry /ia /c\\machine /m "AGFA-AccuSet v52.3" /h "Intel" /v "Windows 2000" /f %windir%\inf\ntprint.inf
you can change the location of the inf file that is at the end. Use network share. Put the above mentioned line in the batch file adn deploy. Make sure you use /q for quiet if you need to.